Manipulating text with BBEdit
But the other thing I use BBEdit for is a bit more esoteric and hard to describe—something I call “text munging”, for lack of a better word.
Text munging takes many forms, but generally it happens when you’ve got a bunch of text in one format and you need to get it into a different format. I’ve used BBEdit to transform the source pages of websites, to format a mailing list properly, and more. Today I used it to generate a podcast feed out of a chunk of HTML.
BBEdit has been my go-to text editor, notepad, and “text munger” since I started using a Mac as my primary computer, I think around 2001-2002.
I depend on it many times daily, and similar to Snell, just last week used BBEdit to migrate blog posts from a broken Movable Type installation by transforming its static HTML files into XML for importing to WordPress.
Related reading: learning regex via BBEdit.
Update: “Call with iPhone” now available too.
I spend a lot of time on the phone these days, and am tired of copy/pasting phone numbers into Skype’s finicky little dial pad, so I hacked together a Service for OSX to dial them for me.
Download this zip file, unpack it, and drop the Call With Skype file into ~/Library/Services/ (note for anyone using an OSX version since Lion: the Library folder is hidden…you’ll need to use the command line or go to Finder > Go and press your Option key).
Once you’ve done that, you should be able to highlight a phone number within any application, and right click to Call With Skype:
It should work for international numbers too.
Also, a tip: if you have a bunch of Services installed, “Call With Skype” might get buried under a “Services >” submenu when you right-click. Most people don’t use Services at all…if you’re in that camp you can head to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Services to disable any that you’re not using. If you disable enough of them, the submenu will disappear.