Multipurpose Text Editor

TextWrangler by Bare Bones is not a full-fledged word processor, yet it still stands out among text editors for macOS thanks to its wide all-purpose functionality. It is free, feels native on Mac, and is more than enough for general-purpose transformation and manipulation of text. Additionally, it offers a diverse toolkit for programmers and webmasters working with HTML.

TextWrangler’s advanced features include regular-expression pattern matching, unlimited undo/redo steps, find-the-differences feature (with a comprehensive display of differences), and the ability to read corrupted text files. If you routinely handle many files at once, you will also appreciate search-and-replace option across multiple files with the possibility to check quickly whether the effect is what you intended.

On the downside, the learning curve is rather steep. Despite the clean well-organized interface, it takes some time to get a grip on all the hidden functions. You will need to consult app’s manual more than once. Another minor drawback is that TextWrangler, akin to Open Office, assigns itself to be a default app for many file types. As a result, when you look your text files up in Finder, they are all labeled as “TextWrangler documents”, and there is no way of telling their actual formats. This may be handy for some, but there are users finding it annoying and misleading.

Bare Bones have discontinued TextWrangler in 2016, that is why the app only available for older versions of macOS (up to Sierra) Developers also encourage users to go for BBEdit instead – a paid app which is a more professional and functionality-rich “big brother” of TextWrangler.

Version: 5.5.2

Latest Updates

  • Multiple bugs fixed (g., during the “Check Syntax” procedure)
  • Multiple cases of crashes fixed
  • Multiple cosmetic/coloring bugs addressed
  • Memory leaks fixed
  • Number of strange behaviors addressed

Price: Free

Developer: Bare Bones Software, Inc.


  • Intel
  • OS X 10.9.5 or later

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