Let me count the ways…
I have been having a great time testing Brackets.io, the open source text editor by Adobe. Ever since switching from Espresso to Sublime Text, I have missed many of the preview features in Espresso…and then along comes Brackets.
Extract for Brackets (preview)
By far, this is my favorite feature and the one that makes it stand out from existing code editors. If you have a Creative Cloud account, your Creative Cloud Files folder is available in Brackets–which enables you to quickly extract the text properties, colors, dimensions, gradients, and more, and turn that into code within your CSS file. You can also extract image assets from the PSD file right within Brackets keeping you in one application for a more efficient workflow.
Live Preview enables you to make changes to a file and see them in the browser, similar to Live Reload. I am using a Grunt watch task here in order for the Sass to be compiled, which is why there is a lag. If I was coding straight HTML/CSS it would show up instantly.
There are so many amazing extensions already available to make Brackets even better.
Below, I’ve included a list of the ones I have installed:
Like I described above, the Extract for Brackets extension provides the functionality of Extract right inside Brackets. Extract design information and assets from a design comp via contextual code hints for CSS.
These days, I work within the terminal, but boy, does Brackets make it really easy to just check a few boxes and hit “Commit.” There are a surprising amount of Git commands you can run as well, such as creating and switching branches, setting up your own keyboard shortcuts and more. Definitely worth using for some quick commit and continue work.
Run a Grunt command with the click of a button. Grunt for Brackets makes it simple to select which command you’d like to run, as well as ending a watch command.
Monokai Dark Soda color scheme is one of the most loved themes out there.
Preview the colors within CSS file.
Adds Dash integration with Brackets. Requires Dash and OSX.
This extension displays SVG, TrueType, OpenType and WOFF fonts.
Make quotes work more like they do in Sublime. If text is selected and ‘ is pressed the selection will be wrapped in quotes.
Imitate Sublime Text’s behavior of snippets.
This extension will provide hints/auto-completing for writing WordPress Themes and Plugins.
Show colors you used in your CSS file before as code hints.
File extension colors in Brackets’ file tree.
Create and view Github Gists within Brackets. (View > Show Gists Manager)
Autocompletion for SASS/SCSS variables.
Simple to-do list for Brackets. Tasks can be stored in text files or Trello.
Live preview SVG files in an inline panel while you edit them. Click in SVG to jump to corresponding code.
Toggle the case of the current word.
Time to Switch?
Maybe. I do have some items on the wish list including:
- Faster search (when searching more than 1 file)
- Split view option for Extract
- Extract to check to see if which variables exist, and use those first (some sort of variable settings/mapping)
- Color highlighting of variables used throughout the sass partials, and not just in the file declared.
It looks like they’ve been working on some great upcoming features. Using Extract and the built-in Grunt and Git has certainly saved me time from switching back and forth between applications. If you haven’t tried Brackets (since the 1.2 release), I definitely recommend spending a few weeks with it. You won’t be sorry.