Code Writer v2.5 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 5:06pm

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Code Writer v2.5, our free text/code editor app, is now published to the Windows Store.  Please note that the new version may take several hours to show up in the Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for Universal Windows allows you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Accessing App Settings

See the Summary section for info on our future plans to give the app a UI refresh designed for Windows 10.  In the meantime, we've made the app's Settings easier to access in Windows 10.  It can be done in two places:

Settings1

The first is from the hamburger menu on the upper left of the app window.

Settings2

The second is from the bottom app bar that shows when you press Windows+Z or click the status bar ellipses ("…") to show the app bars in the Editor screen.

Browse Picker

The Browse picker's 'All Files' file type filter can now open unregistered file types.  It comes up by default allowing *.* files to be opened.

BrowseDialog

If you drop down the file type filter, all file extensions are now sorted alphabetically.

Move Selected Lines Up/Down

MoveLinesUpDown

Alt+Up and Alt+Down can now be used to move the selected lines up and down.

New Font Options for Eastern Character Display

EasternFonts

New options for Eastern fonts are now available in the Editor settings flyout.

HTML Improvements

A HTML5 doctype is now added by default to the HTML, PHP, and ASP new document templates.

HTML auto-completion for void elements will no longer self-close certain tags like <br>.

Miscellaneous

Several other updates are included:

  • codewriter://close-all URL closes all open documents, losing any unsaved changes.  If you have a troublesome document that might be preventing the app from loading, try this command.
  • Print settings for syntax highlighting, line number margin, and whitespace are now saved.
  • Indentation guide contrast has been increased.
  • Fixed a bug where the Save As dialog didn't select the document's current file type by default.
  • Fixed a bug where the CSS file type wasn't syntax highlighting media queries correctly.

Summary and Future Windows 10 Plans

This update adds several features that have been requested by our users.  It will likely be the last version released for Windows 8.1.  Now that our Universal Windows Controls are released, our goal is to get Code Writer upgraded to the Universal platform and give it a UI refresh that is better designed for windowed usage.

Have any suggestions for a refreshed Windows 10 UI?  Now is the time to post them in the app's discussion forum.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for Universal Windows, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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Code Writer v2.4 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, September 12, 2014 at 2:19pm

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Code Writer v2.4, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML allows you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Quote Delimiter Auto-Completion

Quote delimiter auto-completion has been added for most file types.

QuoteAutoCompletion

In the screenshot above where a JSON file is being edited, I've typed a quote character to start a string and its end quote was auto-completed.

Text Share Target

Code Writer is now a text share target, meaning that any other Windows Store app can share text to it.  For instance, if I open up the "My first note" note in OneNote and use the Share Charm, I see Code Writer listed:

ShareText

By tapping the Code Writer item in that list, it opens another flyout where the text that will be sent to Code Writer can be previewed.  Simply tap the "Create a Document" button and a new document will be opened in Code Writer that contains the sent text.

File Share Target

Code Writer is also a share target for all of the default file type extensions. For instance, if you have OneDrive open and select a file, you can open the Sharm charm and Code Writer will be listed as a share target.

Tap on Code Writer and a flyout will open that displays the files being shared.  Press the Open File button and the file will be opened in Code Writer.

Multiple files can be opened at a time too!

Improved Character Encoding and International Support

We've added a special new character encoding option that can be found in the Editor Settings flyout for using UTF-8 without a signature.

Utf8NoSignature

When opening non-Unicode files, the default character encoding specified in Editor Settings is now used as appropriate.

We've also improved international support with better caret/selection movement and delete and backspace functionality around multi-byte Unicode characters.

Summary

This update adds several features that have been highly requested by our users, and we're excited to get it into your hands.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for WinRT/XAML, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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Code Writer v2.3 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:17am

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Code Writer v2.3, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML was recently released, allowing you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Mouse Context Menus

Mouse users have been asking for context menus to be added to the editor so that they can quickly access clipboard and undo functionality without having to use keyboard shortcuts.  This version delivers that functionality.  Now when you right-click over the editor surface, a context menu will be displayed:

ContextMenu

This begs the question, how do you access the app bars that used to display on right-click?  There are several ways to show them:

  • Mouse right-click at top/bottom of the screen.
  • Left-click the status bar on the lower left, where the ellipses show (see screenshot below).
  • Press the Windows+Z keyboard shortcut.

StatusBar

And if you'd like to restore the old functionality where mouse right-click always showed the app bars?  We've got you covered there too!

ContextMenuSetting

A new option on the Editor page in Settings lets you determine whether context menus are enabled for right-click or not.

JSON File Type Added

JSON is a very popular data serialization format that is widely used in web technologies these days.  We just finished work on a new JSON syntax language for our SyntaxEditor control, and have added a new JSON file type option to Code Writer as well.

JSON

The new file type has everything from syntax highlighting to code outlining and even syntax error squiggles.  This makes Code Writer an ideal app to view/edit JSON files.

JavaScript Completion Lists

Completion lists have been added to the JavaScript file type.  The completion lists work similarly to other popular editors where all the identifier symbols that are located in the current document are presented in a list in response to Ctrl+Space being pressed.

JavaScriptCompletion

As you type, the list filters down to only show matching items.  This makes entering identifiers much faster since you can easily auto-complete instances of already-inserted identifier names.

Keywords are also included in the completion lists.

Per-Document Character Encoding Option

In past versions, you could set an option in Settings that would affect the character encoding used for all documents.  In this update, we have changed that setting so that it only affects new and opened documents.  From that point on, each document tracks its own character encoding setting, which can be altered from the Document Properties pane:

DocumentProperties

This allows for different documents to be saved in different character encodings.

Miscellaneous

Numerous miscellaneous improvements have also been made:

  • Improved delimiter auto-completion logic.
  • Block indent mode retains whitespace after the caret when Enter is pressed.
  • General settings option for analytics (error/anonymous usage stats) reporting.
  • .log and .srt files open with text file type.
  • .ass and .ssa files open with INI file type.
  • Fixed bug where documents saved with char encodings may not completely clear old file contents.

Summary

This update adds several features that have been highly requested by our users, and we're excited to get it into your hands.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for WinRT/XAML, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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Code Writer v2.2 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, January 20, 2014 at 1:21pm

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Code Writer v2.2, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.  This version focuses on adding major new find/replace-related features. 

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML was recently released, allowing you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

New Find/Replace Pane Search Options

The Find/Replace Pane now includes search options for match case, whole word, and use regular expressions.

FindReplace1

The buttons to toggle them only appear when the pane is fully-expanded.  When collapsed, it will look like this:

FindReplace2

The selected options appear in subtle small text below the Find What field.  If no options are selected, that entire text row disappears so no screen space is wasted.

Regular Expression Insertion Options

Drop-downs with insertion options for find/replace fields appear when in regular expression mode.

FindReplace3
In the screenshot above, the Find What field's drop-down button is clicked, displaying a popup menu of available regex syntax options.

Incremental Search

Incremental search is a way for the end user to quickly search for text in a document without needing to interact with search dialogs or panes.  With a couple keyboard strokes, the end user can instantly start searching for text.

Ctrl+I enters the new incremental search mode, which is a feature that allows for fast text searching via the keyboard. Ctrl+Shift+I searches backward.  See this previous blog post on how incremental search works.

Search Match Highlights

An editor settings option has been added for the new search match highlights feature.

FindReplace4

Search matches are highlighted in the editor, even as you change search options in the Find/Replace Pane.  In the screenshot above, we have searched for the text "using", and all instances of it are automatically highlighted.

Find Next Instance of Selected Text

Ctrl+F3 will find the next instance of the currently-selected text.

Improved Delimiter Auto-Completion

Delimiter auto-completion logic is now a lot smarter as detailed in this blog post.

Miscellaneous

Numerous miscellaneous improvements have also been made:

  • Improved logic to prevent opening multiple instances of the same document.
  • Improved PHP syntax highlighting.
  • Documentation on touch interaction in the Editor screen.
  • Fixed issue with touch-based scrolling working in certain scenarios.
  • Fixed where Ctrl+Tab was cycling two documents forward instead of one.
  • Fixed unsaved documents showing empty tab tooltips.

Summary

This update significantly improves the searching features of Code Writer and we highly recommend that you upgrade to it.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for WinRT/XAML, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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Code Writer v2.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 8:10am

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Code Writer v2.1, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.  This version focuses on adding full support for new features in Windows 8.1, along with adding some other great updates as well. 

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML was just released, allowing you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Editing Multiple Lines of Text

We just posted an in-depth blog entry on updates coming to SyntaxEditor that allow for multi-line editing via block selections.  These features just launched in the WinRT/XAML version of SyntaxEditor and are part of today's Code Writer release as well.

MultiLineEditing

In this screenshot, you can see how a block selection spans multiple lines (it's a selection line after the s in lines on each line) and as I type, the characters appear on each line.  Tab (indent), Shift+Tab (outdent), Del (delete next character), Backspace (delete previous character), Shift+Del (delete to next word start), and Shift+Backspace (delete to previous word start) also work.

Windows 8.1 App Resizing Support

Windows 8.1 allows apps to resize to various small widths, not just the former "snapped" mode width from Windows 8.0.  In previous Code Writer versions, the app bars and Advanced Editing gallery were disabled in snapped mode.

CodeWriterSnapped

In the new Code Writer version, the app properly resizes itself and still allows full access to app bars and the gallery.  See the screenshot above for an example showing how the app bar buttons collapsed down to a compact size, which still providing app functionality.

Tappable App Bar Hints

To help aid in making app bars on various app screens more discoverable, we have added app bar hints to all screens that contain app bars.  We've used the standard ellipses indicators and have made them as unobtrusive as possible.

AppBarHint1

Here we see the main Editor screen.  Tapping the statusbar area will show the app bar.

AppBarHint2

Here we see the bottom right of the Add Document screen.  Tapping the app bar hint will show the app bar.

Large Live Tile Support

Our live tile implementation tells you all the open documents and whether they have been saved or not.  We have added support for the new large live tile size in Windows 8.1.

LargeLiveTile

Take a look at this previous blog post that provides more detail on how the live tile works.  The new large live tile is capable of displaying up to 18 open document names.

Miscellaneous

Numerous miscellaneous improvements have also been made:

  • Improved image for Windows 8.1 small tile size.
  • codewriter://reset-settings URL restores app settings defaults.
  • Improved the syntax highlighting of PHP code in HTML attributes.
  • Improved all icons to render crisper.
  • Improved the editor's touch-based selection gripper hit testing.
  • Improved the validation of custom file extensions in Settings.

Summary

Be sure to grab this latest update if you have Windows 8.1.  Or if you haven't tried Code Writer yet, go to the Windows Store to download it, and help us by tweeting about the app!

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for WinRT/XAML, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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