#151: The First Few Minutes with Sublime Text

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Geoff Graham on

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Sublime Text is a pretty darn popular code editor. Despite its popularity and all the good things I’ve heard about it, I still lean heavily on other editors (Coda being my go-to for most projects) and have never given Sublime Text the time of day. Call it sheer laziness or whatever, but I’m a creature of habit.

However, I saw Chris had posted an idea for a new article going over how to create a project in Sublime Text and I thought that would be a fun one to take. As someone who has never used Sublime Text, we could make this into a recorded dry run and learn together.

That’s what we’ve done here in the following screencast. Watch as Chris helps me launch Sublime Text for the first time, get a feel for the settings and how to get a web project off the ground.

Here are the key takeaways from my experience:

  • You’re always in a project. It took me the entire video to realize that Sublime Text assumes you are already in a project, even if you haven’t created one yet. The app expects you to start working right away and create the project after.
  • There are a crap ton of possible settings. The Sublime Text documentation provides simple example for tab spaces, but the full list of options (and there are a ton of them) can be found in the Sublime Text > Preferences menu option
  • It’s not Coda. I went into this thinking that Sublime Text is meant for managing web projects, but it’s really built around being a text editor (surprise!) before anything else. That said, you can create projects, but it’s super simple to open a file and start editing write away. At the same time, you can manage project-level settings if needed.
  • Switching Projects has a quick command. Typing ^⌘P (at least on OSX) to pull up a list of Projects.
  • Project settings override User settings. Sublime Text allows you to manage your personal settings in Sublime Text > Preferences, but those are overridden by the settings defined in the Project file.
  • Workspaces are created with Projects. They are a user-level set of configurations that Sublime Text records for you as you go and remembers them the next time the project is open.
  • Workspaces files are not meant to be edited. This is another thing I learned at the very end. A Workspace is a JSON file that records your moves, so to speak, and remembers them for the next time you open the project — things like last open files, autocorrect behavior, file changes and editor layout options.

Enjoy! This was a dry run so, if you have questions, then it’s likely that I do as well and we can figure out the answers together in the comments.