Yes, it's another text editor. You might think after all this time that there
are too many text editors -- but like many of the rest, EmEditor has some nice
features all its own. One nice thing is that they've packed a lot of functionality,
including impressive control over the display, color-coding for multiple languages
(including nice touches like properly color-coding script within HTML), and
a macro recorder into a relatively tiny space: the executable is 300 KB, the
whole install under 2 MB. The small size goes along with nice speed and some
other unusual decisions - most notably the use of SDI instead of MDI for the
If you need more functionality, you can get some of it from plug-ins, dynamically
loaded bits of code that can do things like manage browsers, spell check, and
so on. The plug-in API is open if you'd like to extend the product yourself.
Also of note is excellent Unicode support, though it's distressing that Microsoft
still doesn't include a Unicode font with the operating system.
Other features you might find useful are OLE Drag and Drop, easy customization
of the interface, the ability to switch code pages used for displaying the current
file without reloading, and a taskbar icon that gives you access to recently-edited
files. There are some compromises that make this less-suited as a programmer's
editor. For example, there's no source code control interface. But for a quick
text editor, it's a nice piece of work. EmEditor is shareware, so you can download
and try it before deciding whether it's worth the $30.
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.