User to user discussion and support for UltraEdit, UEStudio, UltraCompare, and other IDM applications.

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14 posts Page 1 of 1
I was just killing some time tonight, and heard somebody praising UltraEdit. I decided to check it out.

This has to be one of the worst editors I've used. In the context of paid software, it is probably the worst. What keeps all of you using it, with the awesome modern options available, like all of the IDEs from Jetbrains? I'm assuming most are using it for C/C++? I guess there aren't that many options when it comes to those.

Anyways, I'd love to hear back. I'm guessing that most are just used to it, and have felt no reason to change, which I understand. Though the dated 90's look of the interface was enough to cause me to projectile vomit on to my monitor.

Does UltraEdit have support for autocompletion BTW? I noticed that some text files can be downloaded with lists of tags. I'm assuming that's how you get it working?
UltraEdit is for me the best general text editor. It is impossible to answer your question as we don't know what are your requirements on a text editor.

For example if you want to use UltraEdit mainly for coding C/C++ using projects and expect features IDE (Integrated Development Environment) usually offer which are designed for writing code in specific supported programming languages, UltraEdit might not be the right choice. UltraEdit is basically a general text editor.

UltraEdit is highly customizable and has lots of features to make writing text (including) code very efficient. Therefore many use UltraEdit although not being an IDE with customizations for coding in C/C++, too. UltraEdit can be extended with customizations to an IDE like tool. I have done this in the past also for some controllers. (Now I'm using UEStudio.) UltraEdit although being a general text editor as features usually only IDE have like customizable syntax highlighting and code folding. But UltraEdit has no built-in language intellisense. There is an auto-completion feature in UltraEdit, but it is language neutral.

UEStudio is a product of IDM which is UltraEdit with additional features to become an IDE for some programming languages. It has intellisense for the supported programming languages offered via IntelliTips features for the user. It supports also debugging for some languages and architectures within UEStudio.

However, if UEStudio is the right tool for you depends on what you are coding. For example C/C++ development can be done for Windows applications on x86 based architectures, but can be also for various controllers in embedded devices. This does not make a difference on writing code in C/C++, but it makes a difference for example on debugging. UEStudio is also highly customizable which is the reason why users created lots of configurations for various C/C++/C# compilers, assemblers, interpreters like PHP and Java, etc.

But UEStudio is an IDE not designed for 1 to 5 specific developments like for example Visual Studio.

So why do I use UltraEdit and UEStudio?

I use them because being the best text editor and best IDE for my work on various text files and my various developments.
Best regards from Austria
I (and many members of my office) use UltraEdit on our PCs to edit source code for multiple Linux clusters. This source code ranges from Fortran90 to Perl to Python to Java to IDL to HTML to JavaScript to C/C++ to shell scripts (Korn, Bash and C). It makes more sense to keep a single editor open to work on a project than to have multiple IDEs open and besides not all of the languages mentioned have IDEs. That doesn't mean that I never use IDEs but I usually only do so when it provides a service that UltraEdit doesn't and that I need at the time.

As to the dated 90's look - I programmed on punch cards two decades before the 90's. I don't care what the interface looks like as long as it provides the services I need. UltraEdit keeps me productive. We've been using it for more than 12 years and over that timeframe our UltraEdit PCs have been connected to VMS, OpenVMS, Unisys MVS, AIX, Unix and Linux machines.
I see that JetBrains boasts over 75,000 customers. UltraEdit has millions. Apparently there are a lot of people that don't agree with your assessment.

One thing I've learned about UltraEdit and UEStudio... if you don't give several days of delving into the depths of what all it can do, you just won't be able to understand why it is so powerful.

I remember the 90's interface. Lived through it. I started programming with punch cards in the 70's as well. UltraEdit has a modern interface, more so than many editors out there.

However, perhaps you're talking about UltraEdit for Linux? Is that the one you tried? Yeah, it's further behind the curve than the Windows version, but the Windows version is quite solid.

One thing I would look forward to, however, is UltraEdit redone as a Windows 10 Universal App, so I can run it on my Laptop, Tablet, and Phone, and automatically sync between the 3, with a nice, modern Windows 10 touch interface. I rarely use mouse and keyboard these days, as most of my input is done by touch, gesture, glance, blink, and speech recognition, with speech recognition being one of my primary ways of working with my computer. So, yeah, an UltraEdit with full Cortana integration would be more ideal for me, but I'm asking too much for now. However, wait a couple of years and I'll probably be demanding it, or something like it.
“Don’t document the problem, fix it.” – Atli Björgvin Oddsson
For me there are two main (and interrelated) drivers: flexibility and familiarity.

I program in a number of different languages (Perl, C, Java, batch, makefile...) and work with a lot of different text formats (YAML, XML, TAP, custom...) IDEs tend to be focused on a single language/environment. Eclipse is good for Java, Padre is focused on Perl, etc. UE is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. What it lacks in power/features for a particular language it more than makes up for in its ability to adapt to anything I throw at it.

I'm more productive using the same editor for everything than a different editor for each thing. UE's flexibility makes it useful in enough situations for me to become deeply familiar with it in both the number of features I'm aware of and the frequency with which I use them.

There is of course some inertia as well. I'd heard enough glowing praise for xmacs that I tried it (several times) but gave up because it was frustratingly inefficient. I didn't know how to do anything in it. I didn't even know what it could do. I couldn't justify investing the time that would have been necessary to become proficient at it.

Some of my favorite features:
  • Syntax highlighting (fully customizable)
  • Function list (fully customizable)
  • Projects (simple, but flexible)
  • User tools (This allows me to define my own implementation for many IDE features; e.g. SVN integration)
  • Column mode (including column fill)
  • Code folding (fully customizable)
  • Templates (fully customizable; can contain placeholder variables)
  • Scripting (e.g. I have a custom script to re-wrap comments)
  • ctags support
  • Autocomplete
  • ...and many more that I use daily
None of these features are unique to UE, of course, and there are useful ones missing. (I can't refactor the way I can in Eclipse, auto-complete isn't class aware, etc.) In the end, the selection of an editor/IDE is always a trade-off. Overall I find UE to have a great breadth of features and be highly customizable, which is more valuable to me than being optimized for a particular language.
It's all about what you are trying to do!

I work in IT where my primary role is to manage EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) processes. I've been using UltraEdit since something like version 4 for viewing and editing EDI files, and what set UE apart from the rest way back then were four main functions: Sorting, HEX mode, Column Mode, and macros. While these are basic functions of many competing editors today, UE continues to implement them well, and UE has been significantly improved over the many years.

A couple years ago, we migrated to BizTalk to handle all EDI processing. BizTalk is very XML-centric, so we needed something that would handle XML files seamlessly. The then current version of UE failed miserably enough that we turned to NotePad++ for all XML viewing/editing. While NotePad++ provided almost what we needed for handling XML files, it was still very rough in spots such as HEX editing, comparisons, and comprehensive macros. Yes, it worked well, but it was rough.

Since then, UE fixed its XML management making it our current go-to XML viewer/editor. So once again, UE remains the one-stop-shop for text, EDI, and XML file viewing/editing.

After countless paid updates, I purchased a lifetime license, and haven't looked back with any regret. And this were PERSONAL purchases, not work purchases, so I'm quite invested in it. I have always kept an open mind for other solutions, but in all cases, I always end up back with UE.

Maybe for other people, a different editor may be more appropriate, but for me, it is my Swiss Army knife of editing tools. YMMV, of course.

Jim Barr
I used Codewrite for many years. It inherited the key commands from an older editor whose name I forget. But you could switch between that mode and vi mode - for the regular expression work of find/replace. Codewrite support is gone and it ran out of gas on large files, and a few other things. I switched to UltraEdit as a fill-in replacement and also because most other editors in the general purpose category just didn't have the features.
I have to remember to click the "regular expression" check box when using RE, but that is not a huge problem.
The column mode cut/paste does not work as I'd expect it to, but it does work.
A few quirks of mine is all. But it handles everything I do, with ease.
The text processing - by that I mean changing or formatting large chunks of code seems to slow it a bit, not like vi for example, but it does work every time without dying.
I dislike IDEs in general as they try to help you too much. I've always felt that it is not the job of an editor to find a database table's structure and try to help you type. That is annoying to me.
It is sometimes difficult to undo some of the IDE hooks that get going, always trying to help you, as an example try to get Visual Studio to understand Oracle, and not its own database connections. That can be a challenge.
Yes, I've been at this probably longer than most programmers have been alive, but UltraEdit has extraordinary features that I really like. Easily extending keywords for color is one of those really nice, and very easy to do features.
One feature I want added: Please add an auto-keep like notepad++, so I can close my editor and not have to go around saving all my files, or not - just close, and open them all back up when I return.
That's not that hard to do. I often have five or six files in various stages and for different reasons that I may or may not want to keep. Just save everything so in the morning when I can think again, I can decide then.
jcrawgen, thanks for letting us know why you use UltraEdit.

jcrawgen wrote: I have to remember to click the "regular expression" check box when using RE, but that is not a huge problem.

Uncheck configuration option Regular expressions at Advanced - Configuration - Search - Auto Reset Settings if this option is currently checked. Then UltraEdit keeps this option checked as long as you don't uncheck it in Find/Replace window.

jcrawgen wrote: The column mode cut/paste does not work as I'd expect it to, but it does work.

Would you explain why column mode cut/paste is not working as you would expect. There are some configuration options, see Key DEL or Ctrl+X in column mode replaces selection by spaces instead of deleting it (solved) and there is Column - Insert/Fill Columns.

jcrawgen wrote: One feature I want added: Please add an auto-keep like Notepad++, so I can close my editor and not have to go around saving all my files, or not - just close, and open them all back up when I return.

Do you have enabled already Reload files previously open on startup at Advanced - Configuration - File Handling - Load?

Do you have enabled also Open from Explorer also loads file list at Advanced - Configuration - File Handling - Advanced in case of starting UltraEdit by double clicking on a file?

Of course new, not yet saved files must be saved on exiting UltraEdit.

An alternate method to keep current workspace as is with saved or unsaved files is not exiting UltraEdit and shutdown Windows, but use hibernate feature of Windows. It is customizable in Windows energy options which action is performed on clicking on Shutdown button of Windows or pressing on keyboard the standby key. I configured my Windows to hibernate in both cases. A real shutdown respectively reboot is done only once per month after Windows security updates have been installed.
Best regards from Austria
Why do I use UltraEdit?
I've been using it since release 7. I find that it is easy to use. I use it for all of my text editing tasks. It is the only editor I've found with an embedded FTP that supports Unisys OS2200 systems.
I use it for the syntax highlighting feature. I have written wordfiles for several of the more esoteric "languages" available for use on an older OS2200 system.
I use it for the scripting features. I have been slowly teaching myself JavaScript. It makes some tasks much easier. And I like the macros as well.
I use it because I can setup the toolbars and menus the way I want them. With just the features I use most often. With the themes feature I can even change to colors to what I want.
Thanks for asking.
Greetings from Chicago!
I use UE because I write code in several different languages - it is much easier to do so if you can use the same editor for all.

UE has a clean interface, it's very easy to use and has powerful features such as a well defined column editing mode, User definable syntax highlighting, User definable GUI, User Macros, handles very large files .....starting to sound like IDM's advertising now :D

Of course it's not perfect, and everyone has a different view of what is best (hence the User customization). I have always encouraged people to try it for a few days, and then judge how it measures up to what they are currently using. It's very rare for UE not to come out on top once it has been put to the test - you just get so efficient with it and that allows you to really concentrate on your work.
I have watched UltraEdit evolve and I use it constantly. It is one of (if not) the first applications I reinstall on my system in the event of a re-load - I feel naked without it. It's easy to use, extremely powerful and highly customizable. I use column mode and macros daily, and custom syntax highlighting has allowed me to work with some really wacky files over the years. I've always loved that I can load up a 30MB CSV file and run a search and replace for 30,000+ items with almost no effort - try that with notepad even today.

Back in the old days, I used a DOS editor called QEdit, which started out as Shareware. I used that right up until the release of Windows 3.0, they wanted a hefty premium at the time to upgrade to the Windows edition, and the Windows version was terrible product at the time so I moved on. I worked on a job where they reimbursed me for a $400 copy of Visual SlickEdit, so i used that for a little while.

When I moved from Windows 3.1 to Windows NT 3.1, I found that my copy of Visual SlickEdit wouldn't run anymore, so I went searching and found UltraEdit-32 - basically the only decent editor that supported Windows NT at the time. I actually called Ian direct to register the software - I forget if it was 1996 or 1997, but it cost me $30 (plus Ohio tax) and I think it was maybe version 3.0 I was using at the time. I upgraded a few times until I finally decided to purchase a lifetime upgrade license around version 12.0 I think. I'm currently running v22.10 with the same license, so I've definitely got my money's worth on upgrades.

I've used many other text editors, but UltraEdit is always going to be in my toolset. :D
Interesting topic. I encounter a lot of things I don't like, too. I have always just moved on. But whatever.

I've tried all the other text editors. I got fed up with UE's slowness about a year ago and tried them all again. I actually bought another one in part because it was lightning fast... But then I encountered annoying limitations and missing features... And I got a refund.

I've also tried all the freebies that everyone seems to think should do the trick for me. No thanks. Many of them are a complete joke.

There's no single reason I am still with UE, even though it's general slowness has always annoyed me. It's everything. It's the load of features. It's the configurability. It's the column mode that works like I want it to. It's the built-in FTP support. It's a ton of things I can't remember.

Go use something else. I could not care less. If anything, the idiots who rave about how great the garbage freeware editors are make me feel better about my choice. My choice is based on preference, not on the fact that I'm poor, stupid, or unwilling to part with my money.

ALTHOUGH ... I am about to install the 64-bit version of UE. I have a feeling IDM is about to wipe out my highly-customized UE installation and make me VERY angry. If that happens, who knows, I may be on a different forum tomorrow. Edit: It was a mixed bag. Some settings saved, others gone forever. Favorite files? Bah, you didn't want those, did you? Theme? We'll change that for you. (You don't mind, right?) And settings? We'll save a couple random settings (like your shell extension settings, as they appear in the UE settings dialog ONLY ... hah, it won't actually work though, read on), but the rest... You really wanted the defaults again, didn't you? Yeah, those backup settings that you could not possibly remember, LOL, well just set 'em up again, loser! File associations? We'll leave those all pointing to the old, nonexistent path. Shell extension? Same. (You do like seeing errors, right?)

Yeah you know what, forget the first several paragraphs of this post. My blood is starting to boil here. Maybe I am stupid! Thanks, IDM!

Edit 2: I'm still recovering/restoring my UltraEdit installation. I really appreciate this, IDM. No, seriously.

Would it have been THAT HARD for you to make the installer copy, for example:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\IDM Computer Solutions\uedit32\FavoriteFiles


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\IDM Computer Solutions\uedit64\FavoriteFiles


Would that have been too tough a climb? Yes? Better for EVERY USER to have to figure out where this setting is, and then fix it manually?

And this is just ONE random example. I already mentioned some other settings that got messed up, lost, or ignored by the upgrade. I'm glad I have Registry Workshop installed, which lets me search for the old UE path and replace it with the new. But again... WHY THE %#@! SHOULD I HAVE TO DO THIS??? This is YOUR job!

And let's not forget that this is NOT THE FIRST TIME I have had to do this. There have been several other "Oh, there UltraEdit goes again! I guess I'll spent the next 3 hours redoing everything!" moments over the years.

This is the kind of crap that makes people hate you! I have been a customer since 2001 and I am || <-- this close to uninstalling this crap for good. My time is worth more than fixing your apathy and laziness.

So yeah, OP, good call.
Hi Everyone!

I discussed with IDM during beta testing UE v22.20 how to best take over the settings from uedit32 on first start of uedit64. It looks like IDM and I also forgot completely that there are users who have all settings stored in Windows registry instead of %APPDATA%\IDMComp\UltraEdit\uedit32.*. Please report this to IDM support by email so that next version of uedit64 takes care also about HKCU\Software\IDM Computer Solutions\Uedit32. With default settings of storing configuration in INI file the registry just contains:

Code: Select all
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IDM Computer Solutions\Uedit32]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IDM Computer Solutions\Uedit32\Locks]

So there is by default nothing which needs to be taken over by default from uedit32 to uedit64.

Another good point is file associations made within UltraEdit via Advanced - Configuration - File Associations. That should be modified also by uedit64 from uedit32.exe to uedit64.exe when having permissions to do so. All other file associations with uedit32.exe which UltraEdit can't be aware of because made with Windows Explorer must be modified by the user with Windows Explorer. Please report this also to IDM support by email.

I discussed also with UltraEdit how to setup 64-bit version of UltraEdit to make it possible to use both, 32-bit and 64-bit version installed both into same directory as other applications like my favorite file manager Total Commander supports. It is possible for the most part to have both versions installed at the same time, but currently not in same directory and not for all features. But Ian and Richard are thinking about that for the future (perhaps UE 23.00) after a long email by me where I explained how Total Commander supports a 32-bit + 64-bit installation in same directory.

I'm quite sure that UE v23.00 or perhaps even next hotfix version of UE v22.20 will make already a better job on taking over the settings from uedit32 stored in Windows registry to uedit64 and perhaps supporting also a full featured installation of both versions in same directory, especially if early updaters like you report in detail by email to IDM support their experiences on what has not worked or what was simply overlooked.

See also Upgrading to 64-bit version from UE < 22.20.
Best regards from Austria
I recently updated from UE 23 to 24, and as before, my settings have been wiped out. The names of my themes are there, but they don't look right when applied. Favorites are all gone. Everything, gone.

Is there a way to get this stuff back like there was last time, or do I have to take drastic measures, like restore from an image backup?

Edit: Only after posting this did I notice the change in registry key name for the settings, under HKCU\SOFTWARE\IDM Computer Solutions. Old = "uedit64", new = "UltraEdit". I'll play with this tomorrow.
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