Code Writer v1.6 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, March 29, 2013 at 10:14pm


We just published v1.6 of Code Writer, our free text/code editor app, to the Windows Store.  This version adds new advanced editing functionality for the XML and XAML file types, and further improves upon touch interaction.


New XML/XAML Editing Features

These new features are now available when editing XML or XAML files:

  • Code outlining (folding) - Lets you expand/collapse block elements via the new outlining margin.
  • End tag auto-complete - When completing a start tag, the appropriate end tag will be inserted.
  • Quick info - Show when hovering over a tag or attribute, and give more information about the namespace and hierarchy.
  • Smart indent - Moves the caret to the appropriate indent level after Enter is pressed.
  • Syntax error reporting - Places red squiggle lines under syntax errors.  Hover over them to get more information.
  • Text formatting - Makes the code more readable by formatting it.

These new features will increase XML/XAML file editing productivity dramatically!

New Advanced Editing Gallery Operations

The Advanced Editing gallery has three new operations:

  • Trim all trailing whitespace - Removes all whitespace at the end of any line.
  • Format document - Formats the entire document (only available for languages that support text formatting).
  • Format selection - Formats the selected text (only available for languages that support text formatting).

Margins Hide for Snapped View

This new version automatically hides the line number and outlining margins when Code Writer enters snapped view.  This allows the limited screen real estate to be maximized for the code itself.

Touch Interaction and Performance Improvements

The touch-based selection grippers have been adjusted and enhanced based on usability testing.  Also numerous performance optimizations have been made to the core editor itself to improve the editing experience.


With the latest advanced editing features for XML/XAML, Code Writer is quickly becoming a go-to app for these file types.

Go to the Windows Store to download it, and help us by tweeting about the app!

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Code Writer v1.5 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 3:36pm


We just published v1.5 of Code Writer, our free text/code editor app, to the Windows Store.  This version adds touch-based text selection, new and improved file types, and more.

Touch-Based Text Selection and Context Menus

Past versions of Code Writer had support for the soft keyboard and touch-based scrolling in the editor.  But the editor was still missing the last couple pieces of desired touch functionality:  text selection and context menus.


Version 1.5 adds complete touch-based text selection features to Code Writer, allowing you to fully edit files without a hardware keyboard!

Tap on a character to display the selection gripper.  Tap and drag the gripper to extend the text selection in either direction.  Once more than one character is selected, two selection grippers will be visible, one at the start of the selection and one at the end.  Both can be manipulated to alter the selection.

You also can tap and hold, tap the selection, or tap a selection gripper to show a context menu with common editing features like Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, etc.  The context menu is intelligent and only shows applicable commands.

Live Tile Badge Notifications

Version 1.5 adds live tile badge notifications to the Windows start screen.


The notification is the number on the lower right part of the tile.  It tells you the number of unsaved documents that are currently open, helping you know when there is work left to be done.

New File Types

Asp.targetsize-48     AspNet.targetsize-48     Ini.targetsize-48

Several new requested file types have been added in this version:  ASP, ASP.NET, and INI.

Improved PHP File Type Features


We've improved the PHP file type to support full syntax highlighting of HTML, CSS, and other script blocks.  PHP also now supports color previews.

Startup and Memory Improvements

Numerous other minor enhancements have been made to aid in improving startup time and reducing memory usage.  In addition, the app now recovers better if an error occurs during startup.


With the addition of full touch support for text editing, this new version makes Code Writer the go-to solution for any kind of mobile text editing need.

Go to the Windows Store to download it, and help us by tweeting about the app!

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Code Writer v1.4 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:41pm


Major New Features

Obsidian Theme

A new theme has been added the is inspired by the classic Obsidian theme.


File Encoding Option

An option has been added to the Editor settings flyout, allowing you to specify a desired file encoding to use when saving files.  By default it will use logic that attempts to match the file's existing Unicode format (if present), and fall back to saving in UTF-8.

Middle Mouse Clicks to Close Documents

Middle mouse button clicks on the document tabs now close the document.

Color Previews Support rgb() and rgba() Syntax

Color previews now work for rgb() and rgba() syntax.

Horizontal Scrolling Support via Trackpad

Use trackpads and advanced mice to horizontally scroll documents.

Duplicate Line Operation

A new duplicate line operation can be executed from the Advanced Editing Operations gallery or via Ctrl+D.

Disable the Soft Keyboard

A new Editor settings flyout option allows the soft keyboard to be disabled from showing when the editor has focus.  This is ideal for touch-based reviewing of code.

Chord Hotkeys for Advanced Editing Gallery

New chord hotkeys have been added to some of the Advanced Editing Operations gallery items that didn't already have hotkeys.  For instance, pressing Ctrl+E then C will execute the comment selection operation.

New Modern Icons for File Associations

We've completely rebuilt our icons used for file associations in the desktop side, such as:


Now file type icons all have high-resolution support and have a modern look with the Code Writer logo, and the same color associated with each file type.

Current Line Highlighting Remains Visible

Current line highlight now remains visible when focus is moved to other UI elements, such as the find/replace flyout, etc.


This new version adds some very nice enhancements to the app.  Go to the Windows Store to download it, and help us by tweeting about the app!

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Code Writer v1.3 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 5 comments
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:08am


Today we published v1.3 of Code Writer, our free text/code editor app, to the Windows Store.

Code Writer was first released last week but has already gained a tremendous following and is rapidly climbing up the daily rank charts.  Yesterday we hit #23 in the "Productivity, Free" category!  Please continue to help it grow in popularity by spreading the word to your colleagues.

We've been watching the posts in our forums and in the Store reviews and have delivered on the top requests.  This is a very exciting release so let's take a peek at what's new.

Major New Features

File Associations

File associations have been added to all the built-in file types.  This allows Code Writer to be registered as a possible default application for the various supported file types when you open files in the Windows desktop or other apps.

We've also added some very nice looking icons for the file types when you choose to register them with Code Writer as the default application.

Custom File Extensions

A new detail flyout for each file type has been added that lists all the pre-defined file extensions.  It also provides the ability to add custom file extensions for the file type.


In the screenshot above, we've added ".log" as a new custom file extension for text files.  This lets the Browse picker open .log files.

Select Multiple Documents in the Browse Picker

Speaking of the Browse picker, now you can select multiple files to open.


Navigate to a folder, hit the Select All button and open every file in the folder.

Document Properties Pane

A new Document Properties pane has been added that shows a larger view of the filename and path.


It contains a drop-down that allows you to change the file type associated with the current document only, which normally defaults to a file type based on the file's extension.

The pane also displays some helpful statistics like total line, character, and word counts.

Go To Pane

The Go To pane allows you to enter a line number and jump directly to it in the editor.


New Settings Options

Code Writer has a large Settings area where you can customize things to your liking.


New in this version is the option to change font family, with built-in font preview.


This new version adds some very nice enhancements to the app.  If you like what you see, please click the button below to go download it and write some code on your devices.

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Code Writer for Windows 8 Gives Chrome-Free Text Editing

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 1 comment
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:27am


In our last post, we introduced our new free Code Writer app, which is a text and code editing application for all Windows 8 devices, including ARM devices like the Surface RT.  Code Writer uses a work-in-progress port of our SyntaxEditor code editor control to the WinRT/XAML platform.

Chromeless Editing UI

Following the design methodologies for Windows Store apps, we've made the Code Writer editing experience completely chromeless.  Everything is hidden from view by default while you are editing your document.


We do however show current line and column status right within the horizontal scrollbar area.  This is important info that you always want to see and doesn't waste any valuable space by being in the scrollbar area.

You'll note the orange background for the line/column display.  As mentioned in our previous post, we've designed our app to use color to create a bond between you and the various file types you work with.  If you peek at the last post, you'll see that on the Add Document screen, the HTML document file type has the same orange background.  While we're editing a HTML document in the Editor screen, the same orange color subliminally tells us that we're in a HTML document.  This is useful when Ctrl+Tabbing through documents.

Tabbed Document Interface and Other Editing Features

You may be asking, how do I access other documents and editing features with a chromeless UI?  You simply swipe down from the top (or up from the bottom) to show the app bars for this screen.  Pressing Windows+Z or right-clicking does the same thing.

The top app bar shows the tabbed document interface.  A blue border surrounds the current document.  Other open documents have a border on one side, again the same color used to identify each file type.  For instance the JavaScript file there has an olive color.

Simply click on a document to switch to it.  Right click options are available as well with features like Close All But This, etc.  Click the "add" button on the upper right to access the Add Document screen (also available via Ctrl+N).


The bottom app bar has access to editing features.  One interesting feature is the popup gallery of advanced edit actions.  This gallery will grow over time (we already have more features coming in the next version).  It allows quick access via large touchable buttons to features like tabify lines, convert case, indent, etc.


Code Writer has a very polished and unique design for a text/code editing app.  And it follows all of the Windows design experience guidelines, making it fit right in with other high-quality apps for the platform.

It is available in the Windows Store now.  If you like what you see, please click the button below to go download it and write some code on your devices.

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