TextMate Tabs, How To Use Tabs In TextMate On Mac OSX Lion

On Windows I use Notepad++ religiously however since Notepad++ is not available for OSX I am trying to become familiar with TextMate. So far TextMate is pretty solid but there are a couple things that make it less convenient to use. One of the primary items I noticed almost immediately was the fact that TextMate does not support tabs in the same way that Notepad++ does. The good news is there is a work around where you can use tabs in a very similar manner. Use the information below to work with tabs in TextMate which if you are like me you require easy access to numerous text documents at the click of a button.

Create TextMate Project To Have Multiple Text Files Open In Tabs At The Same Time:

So the basis of what we are going to do is create a default project which I call “daily” and within that TextMate Project is where I open and work with all all text files. Follow the steps below to create a project, move all your text files to the project, and in the future open all new text files within this project.

  1. Launch TextMate: Click the TextMate icon either in your dock or in the Finder window to launch the TextMate application which with default TextMate settings will look similar to the below example image.

    Launch TextMate

  2. Create TextMate Project: While the TextMate application is active click on File in the top navigation bar and select New Project from the drop down as shown in the below example image.

    TextMate New Project Menu Item

    When you select New Project from the drop down menu above a Untitled Project window will open as shown in the below example image.

    TextMate New Project Window

    As  you can see this is basically just a blank window with a mini side window out to the left side. Now you can start adding text files either by using the controls at the bottom of the side window or by dragging text files into the side window. Once some files have been added the project window will now look like the below example image.

    TextMate Project With Text Files Opened In Tabs

    Make sure to also save the project by clicking File in the top navigation bar and then selecting Save Project As from the drop down menu. This will save the project and then allow you to open the project, which will include all of the text files you have associated with the project, by selecting the project from the Open Recent menu item.

While this isn’t the most convenient way to work with text files in tabs it definitely beats not having tabs. I would imagine that the TextMate developers have adding full tab support to future versions. The TextMate project files are saved with the extension .tmproj in case you ever need to locate your TextMate project files.

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