Book Image

TextMate How-To

By : Chris Mears, Christopher J Mears
Book Image

TextMate How-To

By: Chris Mears, Christopher J Mears

Overview of this book

Not all text editors are created equal. TextMate was created with versatility and power to the developer. Whether you want to organize your files in projects, utilize the efficiency of code completion, take advantage of the thousands of publicly available bundles, or gain insight using powerful regular expression searching, TextMate is an essential and easy-to-use tool you need in your development arsenal. "TextMate How-To" is a practical guide filled with conventional recipes on using one of the most popular text editors on the OS X platform. It is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how to code more efficiently and effectively, no matter what programming or scripting language you use. This book will guide the reader through using TextMate for practical purposes. It will start with configuring the application, then cover navigation and editing of files, and finish with bundles and advanced features. Throughout the book, the reader will quickly master the key features of the application through easy to follow tasks. Using this book, the reader will learn the most common text editing and coding tasks including navigation through the document and searching of text. The reader will then learn about working with and navigating between files and projects as well as utilizing bundles to greatly speed up development. Finally, explore the ability to use shell commands and macros to increase productivity. With just a few hours, "TextMate How-To" will teach the reader everything necessary to hit the ground running with this powerful text editor.
Table of Contents (7 chapters)

Becoming a Zen Coding master (Should know)

Zen Coding is a method to code HTML at top speed through the use of CSS selectors and other abbreviations. This task will briefly cover the philosophy and use of the most common bundle items.

Getting ready

Install the Zen Coding bundle via GetBundles.

How to do it...

In order to expand a Zen Coding abbreviation or alias, you need to use the keyboard shortcut Command + E, or from the menu select Bundles | Zen Coding | Expand Abbreviation.

For example, div#main will expand to <div id="main"></div>

Here are some more examples:

How it works...

On the Zen Coding website, at, Zen Coding is defined as an editor plugin for high-speed HTML, XML, and XSL (or any other structured code format) coding and editing. The core of this plugin is a powerful abbreviation engine, which allows you to expand expressions—similar to CSS selectors—into HTML code.

Zen Coding can greatly expedite HTML development. There are some other helpful actions included in this bundle:

  • The Increment/Decrement number by 1 action (Command + ?): Add or subtract 1 from the number to the left of the cursor. An example use case would be if you duplicate a line (Control + Shift + D) and then want to increase the ID by 1.

  • The Remove Tag action (Command + Shift + K): Remove the tag surrounding the text.

  • The Wrap with Abbreviation action (Command + Shift + A): Wrap current selection with the abbreviation you enter into the pop-up dialog after running this action.

There are more actions, so definitely explore all of them. A handy cheat sheet is available at

There's more...

The purpose of covering Zen Coding in this book is to highlight the power of TextMate as a full-featured coding tool. It will save you a lot of time if you do a lot of HTML and CSS coding.

More information about Zen Coding

To find out more information about Zen Coding, the philosophy, and more actions, you should visit the official website at Listed at this website are a number of plugins available for other applications, should your friends and colleagues be jealous of your fast HTML coding abilities.


Along the same lines as Zen Coding for HTML, there is also Zen Coding for CSS, which mostly utilizes short-form abbreviations for CSS properties.

Find out more by going to this wiki page at