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In this movie we're going to make sure that you have a good Text Editor installed. This is what we're going to be using to write our PHP code. If you've been coding before, then you may already have a favorite text editor and that's great. You can feel free to use any text editor that you want. The only requirement is that it needs to just generate only text at the end. That's what a text editor does. It's very different from a word processor like Microsoft Word. That would be a terrible text editor. And the reason why is because that is focused on a different purpose. It's about formatting a document. So it keeps all sorts of extra information in the file.
Where does the function start, and where are the different arguments to the function located? All those things can have different colors to them that help us to be able to read the code quickly and understand what's going on. They also usually need to have a way that we can navigate a whole project. So we can open up a project and move between the files quickly instead of having to always go back to the finder, open the file work with it, close it again. You want it to have good search and replace features, especially once you start working on a large project. It's really important to be able to search all your code to look for times when you've used a certain variable name, let's say. Maybe you want to change the variable name, well, we want to replace it throughout the entire application.
Make sure that we can find them all. It's also important to have good auto-pairing of brackets parentheses and quotes. So when we type an open bracket it goes ahead and creates the closed bracket at the same time. So that we don't forget to do that, they're always closed. When we're coding that's super important that these are always paired up. And then preferred features i would list off being able to auto indent. So that when code needs to be indented it goes ahead and indents it to the right spot, you don't have to hit tab to indent it. Code completion so that you can start typing and then often hit a key like Tab and it will complete the thought for you. And customizing the coloring of the document and the coloring of the code. This is often referred to as themes.
You can often have a couple of different themes and switch between them. So that's what I would say that the features you want to look for in any text editor. And, of course, you'll want to look for things that are good for working with PHP, specifically, so that it has good code coloring for PHP. Most of them will, because PHP is so popular. Now, the one that I'm going to recommend that we use, if you don't already have a favorite, is TextMate, it's a great text editor, it has lots of great features. It's created by Macromates, so macromates.com is the site to get it at, and it has a free 30-day trial, it's about $50 to actually buy the program if you like it. There are other ones out there, though, that I want to just list off that you can explore and check into.
Sublime Text 2 is extremely popular, a lot of people have been moving from TextMate to Sublime. And then Eclipse, Netbeans, Komodo, Coda, and BBEdit. Those are all other popular, either editors or IDEs, for integrated development environment. That's what that stands for. So give all of these a look. Maybe TextMate won't be your favorite. Everybody seems to have their personal favorite that they love and they just won't part with. And if you don't have a favorite, then I recommend you give TextMate a try to start with. Lets see how we can get text mate installed. So here I am on the macromates.com website.
For TextMate you can see here is the free 30-day trial. You'll just click that button and it will say where do you want that download it to. I'll just select the default for opening it. You could also save it to your desktop somewhere and then it will download, here we go. Once that's done, I can close that up, and there it is, there's TextMate. I can throw this file away anymore. This is the application right here, so all you need to do is drag that to your applications folder. And you can see that I already have my copy in here, but you can just drag your copy in, and then you'll have it there. It's also not a bad idea to drag it down to the dock as well, so that you have a copy down there running. Once you've got it installed you'll just want to double click on it and it willpop open with a new document.
It may prompt you for some other information since yours is not licensed. My copy already is licensed, I've purchased it. I just want to show you can change the way that this looks by going to TextMate. Preferences, and then under the Fonts and Colors you can pick different themes. I've picked one here called Idle Fingers, and that's the one I'm going to be using, it has a black background which I think is nice and easy for reading code. Let's open up our existing PHP file we have that already, php.info, I'll double-click on that. You can see that it does code coloring, it puts it in red, when everything else is not.
That's one of the configurable options. You can also notice that it gives me line numbers here. That's also a nice useful feature. So you can read through their online documentation. It will teach you a lot of the different tips and tricks of how to do things faster. But the main thing that I want to make sure was that all of us had a good text editor to start with before we start creating our php code.
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