Tell us about your usage scenarios

Code Writer App Suggestions and Support Forum

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
Version: 1.2.3

We'd love to hear more about how you use Code Writer on your devices.  For instance, do you edit web site files, use it primarily for code peer reviews, or just as a Notepad replacement?

Please tell us what you work on with the app and which file types you use.  Thanks for your feedback!

Actipro Software Support

Comments (15)

Posted 12 years ago by Clint Brown - VP Development, eSSETS, Inc.

We have a web-based application for physical asset management at CodeWriter is replacing Notepad++.

The site uses PHP and MySQL on the server, with the CodeIgnitor MVC. On the client we use JavaScript and jQuery. As a result I spend most of the day looking at .php and .js files, with a smattering of .sql

All of the development and unit testing is done on the laptop, which has Apache and MySQL running, so don't have much need for an FTP feature, although I do know a lot of others don't have that type of setup. The code is dispatched to the server eventually using Subversion. I like this setup because I don't necessarily need an Internet connection while doing the majority of the development, which is handy while travelling.

Posted 11 years ago by The Dolphin

I am a computer science student who codes mostly in C and Java. Code Writer acts as a mobile supplement for a full IDE when I don't have access to my main computer.


I am also a PC enthusiast who likes to tweak configuration files for performance or image quality. Thus I use Code Writer as a replacement for Notepad++ for these tasks.

Posted 11 years ago by Aaron W. Hsu

Code Writer has become my text editor of choice. I am a Computer Scientist developing compilers and other code. I tend to use a lot of applications that do not integrate well with Visual Studio, and my research is in programming languages, so I often want a streamlined development experience with a minimalist aesthetic. Code Writer fits this bill. I tend to work mostly in slim environments without huge IDEs. Most of my time is spent developing large documents and code bases around non-traditional languages such as APL. All documents are created using DocBook V5, which requires good text editor support. Code Writer has proven to be fairly good at handling XML and APL code.

[Modified 11 years ago]

Posted 11 years ago by Sumit

I want to use Code Writer to be the one app that enables me to replace my laptop with a Surface 2.

On the Surface / Windows RT i need to browse a lot and sometimes write code. That's exactly what i do on my Laptop right now. Sadly, i need the FTP-feature badly. So once you'll add FTP, i'll get a Surface 2.

Posted 10 years ago by Johnny

I develop pages in php and mysql, I also use javascript, json and the standard files for the web.

Just as the first poster I have setup my laptop and tablet with a server , I use IIS though and I have mysql running, and all my project files are synced through google drive, so accessibility accross device is not an issue.

I used dreamweaver but the application is too heavy and I never used all of its features, then I tried sublime text and webmatrix and stick to the latter, but code writer have already replace it.

There are 2 main features I would like to see in future updates would be:

Expand/Compress block of codes, at least for php :) which is what I use the most!

Auto-complete, I know many users would want it, I, however got used to type without auto-complete, but would still benefit from it.

Other features that could be useful are:

Support for .htaccess files

Edit file names, delete files from the app file browser.

Great app hope you guys keep working on it and add more features but please don't load it too much keep it light, that's what I love there is basically no waiting-time to start typing.

[Modified 10 years ago]

Posted 10 years ago by JMan

I mostly write code for my own little personal projects (C, Python, Javascript, Html). I also do some code-golfing (make code as short as possible), and Code Writer handles this well.

I usually have multiple files open too, so the tabs feature is very useful.

Posted 10 years ago by Eric S Johansson

I use NaturallySpeaking. It would be ever so helpful if you could make your editor compatible with NaturallySpeaking Select-and-Say. You would be even better if I had the capability of adding on speech UI friendly controls such as instead of using selection by mouse, be able to leave a mark to define a region. You would not believe how difficult it is to drag a mouse by using your speech.

I have more suggestions on how to make an application friendly for speech recognition use if it's of interest.

Posted 10 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not sure that component works with WinRT apps like Code Writer.  It seems to be more desktop app oriented.  Microsoft has a Bing Speech Recognition Control ( and while a number of transactions are free, they make you pay for it beyond that.  What sort of speech recognition would you like to see?  Integrating Cortana for app launching would be neat, once she comes to desktop in Windows 9.

Actipro Software Support

Posted 10 years ago by Eric S Johansson

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, Microsoft solution for speech recognition is not a useful solution. The recognition accuracy is significantly lower than NaturallySpeaking, it doesn't have the basic tools that we have through natlink and is generally seen as an also-ran product by disabled users. The Cortana solution is best described as not even in the same universe as what a disabled person needs for an accessibility interface. We've been launching applications by speech since 1985 with word spotting command and control systems. It is sad but that kind of thinking has kept handicap accessibility in general and speech recognition specifically in the stone ages as compared to modern user interfaces.

The tl;dr form of a speech friendly interface is one where the speeches interface can interact with and analyze the contents of an application in order to be able to create and modify grammars based on the context. Scraping a GUI is losing proposition because by the time information has been decimated for presentation, you lose essential information necessary to produce a complete and useful grammar.

Speech user interfaces are wide and shallow with poor discoverability. Graphical user interfaces are narrow but deep with moderate discoverability.  Just as you would not want to model a GUI on a speech user interface, you do not want to model speech interface on a GUI.

In summary, a basic accessibility friendly interface for a user is not what you do with text to speech or speech recognition or even a graphical display, it's the tool that uses an API which presents information necessary to create an appropriate interface. It's the tools let you can automate functions provided by an application in order to minimize the number of steps to accomplish a task. The notation used to automate also affects the accessibility of the system because if the language is not something can be easily used from the accessibility interface, then the user becomes dependent on somebody else to create the interface for them which is a horrible thing to do to someone.

Take a look at this speech interface I created here. I apologize for the rough cut nature of the demonstration but it was an on-the-fly thing I captured to demonstrate where I was to a few people in the programming by speech community.

is a very rough start at what I'm working on for programming by speech. Everything speakable relatively efficiently and easily. By identifying markers in the result of the workflow, one can then add a little bit of workflow to transform it from the speech friendly form to the code friendly form. You may not understand this but try to write C sharp code by speech for a day without a keyboard or mouse on your system and you will see what I mean.

Interestingly, I have been coming to the conclusion that the best UI for speech interface is a very simple grammar structure within a text region  supporting the grammar for hinting and nothing more. All the buttons and checkboxes and widgets and flashy they-make-my-hands-hurt-worse screen junk actually get in the way of building a speech friendly or application interface.

An example of this is the speech friendly tempering system I'm experimenting with. Right now my solution counts on features of Emacs and since Emacs itself is becoming less and less important to the function of a speech driven programming environment, I was looking for alternative environments that could work with NaturallySpeaking Select-and-Say.

So if you would like to help disabled people, don't try to build the user interface for them. Instead, give us or more specifically me, the ability to do a few simple things. Make the edit control you use for this code  writer application work with NaturallySpeaking. Let the Select-and-Say operation work as it was intended. You're almost there. I can dictate directly but not correct. The next, provide the ability to manipulate the text in the buffer by a relatively simple API, not something overly complicated like Microsoft API.

For example, the toggle name counts on the ability to select a region by name (i.e. class, method, statement, line, expression, region). It counts on the ability to mark where the cursor is, the ability to extract the region, pass it through a filter and then replace the contents of the region with the output of the filter. At the same time, the filter will be extract information to improve the grammar for subsequent work.

The requirements for supporting toggle name are a great example of how a speech user interface has almost no overlap with what's in a keyboard driven interface. It is clumsy and awkward to navigate by character, by word, by paragraph. In fact, it's almost completely unnecessary. However, at least in many applications other than writing, the ability to identify something by an abstract name and operate on it is far more valuable for speech and completely unnecessary for keyboard.

Thank you for reading this far.

--- eric

[1] Python because it's the only language I can drive with speech recognition without damaging my voice. Most other languages have way too many extra punctuation characters that take a lot to say to get a little result. My programming by speech model should eliminate much of that problem.

[Modified 10 years ago]

Posted 10 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi Eric,

Thank you for the feedback.  Keep in mind that Code Writer is a Windows Store app (which are very sandboxed by Windows) and doesn't use any native Win32 edit controls that are found in desktop apps.  I've looked but haven't really seen any documentation on how/if NaturallySpeaking can be used in Windows Store apps.  What I've seen generally points to use of Win32 controls.

Even if NaturallySpeaking will work with native WinRT TextBox controls through some form of automation, our editor uses a custom control that doesn't inherit TextBox, so those mechanisms wouldn't work in our app.  In the WinRT API, Microsoft doesn't allow C# Windows Store authors to capture text properly, as we can in other UI frameworks.  For instance, as a C# custom control, our editor cannot capture any IME input for international customers.  We can only gather text input by watching WinRT KeyDown events.  Improving this sort of thing is something we've repeatedly asked the XAML team at Microsoft to improve for a couple years now.  I am not sure if improvements in the API for supporting text input properly are coming in Windows 9 yet or not though.

Actipro Software Support

Posted 10 years ago by Eric S Johansson

Thank you very much for the explanation. It's a pity because the editor looks really nice  and has great capabilities. A bunch of us crips are looking at other editors now to see which is the easiest to adapt. I'm pretty sure we will be seeking funding  (probably crowd sourced) as well because we need to pay a developer to spend some serious time on this and make it a quality product

thanks again.

Posted 8 years ago by Adam Łyskawa

Notepad replacement, and all code editors but IDE-s replacement. I made it default editor for most of text / code file types.

I hardly believed such a super cool app exists! This is the first UWP app which is actually equally or more convenient to use than regular WinForms / WPF apps, and I use it on regular desktop.

My most common usage scenario is editing of configuration files (XML / JSON / plaintext), game scripts (various formats), all-in-one HTML and JavaScript files. Before Code Writer I used Notepad++, Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code. All but Notepad++ are way slower than Code Writer, and Code Writer looks best of them.

I don't use Code Writer only for code I write in Visual Studio for obvious reasons: IDE's projects support and code completion. But still I prefer to use Code Writer to make quick changes to some project's files like readmes, HTMLs or stylesheets and of course config files.

BTW, my Windows 10 installed it by default, I was curious what is it, I opened and was immediately amazed! I wonder what editor engine does the app use, in my desktop apps I use mostly Scintilla.NET, but AFAIK it's WinForms only.

Posted 8 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the feedback.  The current iteration of Code Writer was originally written for Windows 8.  We've been slowly working on a new design implementation for Windows 10 that is much more usable in a windowed environment.  If you want to see some screenshots of our prototypes, please check out @CodeWriterApp on Twitter.  It has a very different UI but so far it's been much more pleasurable to work in.  It's still work in progress at this time as we're making it in our free time.

Code Writer is basically meant to be a showcase of our SyntaxEditor control.  We make SyntaxEditor for WPF, UWP, WinForms, and Silverlight.  Please do check it out!

Actipro Software Support

Posted 7 years ago by Jack Lag

I'm using Code Writer for the sole purpose of browsing/editing configuration files on minimum Windows installations with no code editor installed.

I've been using Notepad so far, but the syntax highlighting comfort is particularly useful with XML files.

Posted 6 years ago by Joachim Mika


I'm an experienced ex-developer now working in a government role with a very locked-down Windows-10 environment.  I was very frustrated at not being able to replace Notepad with something better until I found Code Writer in the Windows store.  I'm super impressed and will be using it for all my text-editing tasks. 

Thanks for such a well-built app.

Joachim Mika / Melbourne / Australia

The latest build of this product (v4.2.42) was released 3 years ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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