Book Review: Take Control of BBEdit

I rank BBEdit as one of those applications that few mortals ever get to make really hum. It has many features under the hood that go underutilized or completely forgotten. Take Control of BBEdit  by Glenn Fleishman dives into this complex application.

Fleishman’s approach in the book is to take the reader through install, setup, and working with the various BBEdit features, working with documents, writing more efficiently with BBEdit’s tools, editing text, wrangling text (automating reusable text elements), search and replace, and then through working with web pages and sites. He does a great job of putting together how BBEdit users had to put together working with text, managing web sites, and managing projects to maximize BBEdit.

The valuable part of the book for me is the automation coverage, which I plan to put to work on some of my own personal web projects when I get a chance. After reading the book, I am also now going to take more of a project-focus when using BBEdit on projects in the future rather than my old way of treating HTML pages on an individual level.

In the future, I hope TidBits Publishing can spring for some eBook design lessons. If not, hopefully O’Reilly can offer them some mentoring in the fine art of eBook design or buy them light gray note boxes for Christmas.  Notes in a horrible shade of urine yellow pock the entire book. They are distracting and detract from a book that has some strong sections. The heading font colors in the ePub version aren’t aesthetically pleasing either.

The book also has some screenshots with examples that don’t fit the book (I am looking at you Figure 12!) and Fleishman gets too chatty and conversational at times that could have readers going for the search option to find what they need  or just plain getting irritated if they have limited reading time.

I give this book points for its technical depth and approach even though I grew irritated with it at times due to Fleishman’s chattiness and the eBook’s poor design and distracting aesthetics. The redeeming qualities of the book outweigh the negatives making this book a good choice for anybody who wants to learn BBEdit better.