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Improve Your Workflow with Small Sublime Text Tweaks

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For developers, our tools are as important as the work we’re doing, and picking the right tool can often increase our workflow by a huge margin. My personal favourite text editor is Sublime Text, which is available for free trial. One of the reasons that I love Sublime Text is that it comes built in with lots of great features that can improve your workflow in a big way.

How Sublime Text can Help

To begin with, Sublime Text supports multiple cursors, which is a feature that I really love and take full advantage of when writing code. It’s especially useful when you need to edit several lines with the same information in a quick and easy way. Simply find the place you’d like your next cursor to appear, hold and click and you’re in business. There’s also a couple shortcuts to make things even faster. For example, if you want to edit a bunch of things that are in a row, it’s easy to do that by clicking and holding where you want your first cursor to be, holding ⌘ + alt and dragging the mouse down to where you’d like other cursors to appear.

Sublime Text drag-and-tag multiple cursors

This can be especially useful in a situation like above, where you’d like to go back and add something in to a bunch of different items.

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Another really great feature of Sublime Text is the ability to do what people call “line bubbling”. Line bubbling is basically moving text within your document without having to cut and paste the text and worry about proper indentation. To do this, simply highlight the text you’d like to move (either a line, a block, or several blocks of text) hold ⌘ + control and use the up and down arrow keys to move the text up or down.

Sublime Text line bubbling

If for whatever reason you find yourself needing to re-indent your text, you can do that by pressing ⌘ + } white your text is still highlighted to move the text one tab space right, or ⌘ + { to move the text one tab space left.

If for some other reason, you find yourself having to change one word, or a string many times in the same file, that’s also very very simple with Sublime Text. Sublime has a built in feature that takes you to the next occurrence of a string, which can save you hours of time over the course of a year (not to mention have better accuracy). To do this, highlight the string you’d like to find, and press ⌘ + d to find all other instances of that same string. This is particularly useful for editing things like classes.

Sublime Text find next occurence

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I would also strongly suggest installing Package Control (for which there is a tutorial for here), as it’s a huge part of what makes Sublime Text so great, and infinitely customizeable. This essentially allows you to install small custom modules that extend the functionality of Sublime. One that I would definitely recommend installing would be Emmet, which will cut down on your hours of development time in a massive way. There’s tons of documentation and cheat sheets available online, but it’s easy even from a small example how this could cut down on time spent writing markup big time:

Sublime Text example

Improve Your Workflow, Improve Your Efficiency

This is far from an exhaustive look at the benefits of the many great editors out there, let alone Sublime Text. But as someone who spends a good portion of my day working with a text editor, it’s hard to over-stress how important it is to have the best tools for the job, and small shortcuts can end up saving you lots of time and headache down the line!

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