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Programmers working on a code file

A Guide to Sublime Text: Top Use Cases and Pro Tips

Sublime Text has become one of the best programming text editors in the tech industry for a good reason. If you know how to use Sublime Text, you can write, edit, share and debug your code online without ever integrating it into your computer. 

If you are looking for Sublime Text tips that will help you make the best of this tool, this guide to Sublime Text is for you. It will help you understand what Sublime Text is, why you need this tool, and what are the common use cases of this text editor. Most importantly, you will learn how to set up and use Sublime Text. 

What Is Sublime Text?

Sublime Text is a source code text editor that was designed in 2008 for writing and editing programs. The software has a downloadable version, plugins, and API support with awesome features. This is a popular text editor within the coding community. According to Statista, 74 percent of programmers use a desktop editor like Sublime Text. 

While it was written in C and Python, Sublime Text can be used to write and edit a range of programming and markup languages. It is a cross-platform tool when it comes to rendering performance on Linux, Windows, and macOS. 

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Why Do You Need Sublime Text?

You need Sublime Text because it allows you to write fresh code and edit fragments of existing source code without changing the entire program. Since the current file edits are done in a plain text format, it is guaranteed to produce clean results in just a bit of time. 

If you know how to use Sublime Text, you will find it easier to convert human-readable code to machine language on interpreters, compilers, and debuggers. This significantly shortens development time. 

Sublime Text Use Cases

  • Writing source code: Sublime Text is most commonly used to write Python code from scratch. However, it can also be used to write C++ programs. While some people might use it to write Java code, this is not recommended. Luckily, according to the TIOBE Index, Python is the most popular programming language.  
  • Editing source code: Beyond the common usage of Sublime Text to write code, it can also be used to edit the source code of an already existing program. However, it should not be confused with traditional word processors as it is a more sophisticated tool. 
  • Editing multiple files: One of the best features of Sublime Text is you can use it for editing multiple text files and lines of code at the same time. You can subsequently compare the project files to the different layouts available on the platform. Not every text source code editor has this feature. 
  • Analyzing code metrics: You can use your Sublime code editor to analyze code metrics from the command palette. These metrics are insights into the code you are writing. Sublime Text helps you to analyze them and provides a detailed but easy-to-understand report. 
  • Share code from GitHub: Code written or edited on Sublime Text can be shared to GitHub directly from the command palette because the software comes with Git capabilities. Other members who use GitHub as their Git repository can view and make suggestions about the code or package control after they have uploaded it. 

Key Terms You Need to Know to Use Sublime Text 

Meta Patterns 

In programming, a meta pattern is a table that represents information about a data system. You should learn how to identify and use different types of meta patterns to use Sublime Text and its essential features effectively. 

Variables 

A variable is used to store information in programming. This information can be referenced subsequently and applied when necessary. Variables are usually stored with a symbolic name to make it easier for programmers to find them, especially during collaborative work. A variable can be a number value or a string. 

Compiler 

A compiler is software that is used to change high-level programming languages like Python to low-level programming languages that machines can understand. This is because high-level programming languages were not created in binary code, and computers only understand binary language. 

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) 

An IDE is a virtual environment where developers can write, compile, interpret, debug, edit, share, and deploy code. While some software only offers one or two of these services, a typical IDE combines all these services into one. If you edit code on Sublime Text, you can transfer it to an IDE like Visual Studio Code, which will let you enjoy full package control. 

Debugging 

Debugging is the process of automatically scanning through code to remove mistakes, misspellings, or any other error messages that might affect the final render. The Xdebug tool on Sublime Text allows you to debug your programs from the settings files after you finish writing and editing the code syntax. 

Equipment You’ll Need for Sublime Text 

  • A computer: You will need a laptop or desktop to download and run Sublime Text 3 or any other version of Sublime Text. The text editor was not designed to be used on mobile phones and tablets, so don’t be surprised if you face challenges when trying to use it with these devices. 
  • The right operating system: Sublime Text is compatible with the main three operating systems. These are Windows, macOS, and Linux. It would not function properly on any other operating system. 
  • Git repository: Git is one of the most popular free version control systems used in the tech industry today. While having a Git repository account set up on GitHub isn’t compulsory, it will help you share your code with ease. 
  • Web browser: To use the Sublime Text browser plugin, you will need to have a modern browser like the latest version of Chrome installed on your laptop. Other browsers like Microsoft Edge or Safari may not work as well with Sublime Text. 

How to Set Up and Start Using Sublime Text 

Step 1: Download Sublime Text 

The first step to understanding how to use Sublime Text is to visit the official Sublime website and download the software on your computer. You will see the Download button at the top left corner on the header of the home page. Before you begin with your download, make sure you choose your operating system from the three options at the top right. These are Linux, Mac, and Windows. 

Step 2: Open the File and Install It 

After the download is complete, you should be able to see the .exe file as part of your downloaded software. Open it and follow the prompt that appears to start the installation process. This process is supposed to take a few minutes. If it is taking too long, end the process and start again or check the package settings. Make sure you choose the designation folder before you start installing the program. 

Step 3: Complete the Installation Process 

At this point, you should see a button in the pop-up window with the word “Finish.” Click on it to finish the installation process, use the CSS selector to customize it, set arbitrary commands, and start using Sublime Text. You do not need to restart your computer or do anything fancy after the installation process is complete. Just start using the tool on your remote servers. 

Step 4: Run Your First Code 

To confirm that the installation process was successful, you can run your first code. If the code you want to run is Python, for example, you need to select “Python” from the Tools option. After you have selected it, paste or write the code on the integrated console and press “Ctrl + b.” There are built-in commands to help this process run smoothly. 

Step 5: Debug Your Code

As soon as the process is complete, you can debug the Python code to make sure there were no errors. Click on Tools again and on Xdebug. Follow the prompts to debug the Python code. If you have a problem with debugging or load time, you can refresh the page or check your memory usage from the status bar. 

The Importance of Sublime Text for Business

As a web developer or any other type of software engineer, you can learn how to use Sublime Text to help you speed up the development process and save costs. Since Sublime Text comes with multiple features, you can write and debug your code in just a few clicks. 

All you have to do is download the program, install the package settings, and configure Sublime Text on your computer. You can also customize the color scheme or background color, command palette, package control, active file path, and everything else required for the program to run smoothly. 

Top Sublime Text Tips: Use Sublime Text Like a Pro

  • Use keyboard shortcuts: The Sublime Text editor contains a lot of shortcuts that can be used to save time and increase efficiency. For example, clicking “Ctrl + r” or “Cmd + g” will take you directly to a symbol instead of searching for it manually. At the same time, pressing on “Ctrl + m” and “Cmd + m” will take you to a matching bracket. 
  • Replace span-based comment tags with instant comments: Commenting and documentation are key parts of programming, but the span-based option can be time-consuming. You can speed things up by copying the entire fraction of code you want and clicking “Ctrl + /.” If you are using a Mac, click on “Cmd + /.” 
  • Take advantage of the command palette: One of the best ways to master Sublime Text is to learn everything about the command palette. The command palette allows you to use a combination of keys to get the desired results without using your mouse. 
  • Use the spell check option: If you are writing all your code on Sublime Text rather than just copying and pasting it, you need to use spell check. The spell check option reduces the possibility of errors on the entire file making things even easier when it is time for debugging. 
  • Enhance the sidebar for even more features: The enhanced sidebar lets you view more features like auto-completion and pancake settings that do not display on the regular sidebar. If you are using Sublime Text for the first time, you may not even know that such a feature exists. Use the search bar to explore the command line tool and its collection of packages. 

Sublime Text for Different Professions

Profession Applications
Web developers Write, edit and debug code
Python developers Write Python code and edit it according to specifications
C++ developers Write and edit C++ programs
Software developers Edit lines of code, compare code to different layouts
Software engineers Analyze code metrics and modify code

Should You Use Sublime Text?

Yes, you should use Sublime Text as your code editor if you are looking for an affordable editor with package control and other features. The source code editor is easy to use as a browser extension and as a website plugin. Code written and edited on Sublime Text can also be debugged and applied on a compiler without additional changes or basic errors. 

How to Use Sublime Text FAQ

Is Sublime Text good for beginners? 

Yes, Sublime Text is good for beginners because writing code on it is similar to writing on a word processor like Microsoft Word. If you get lost while using Sublime Text, you can use the file menu or file extension on the command pallet as a guide to complete your tasks. Moreover, there are hundreds of tutorials online to help you use this tool.

What is the best code editor for beginners? 

The Sublime Text editor, Atom, Codespaces, Vim, and Espresso are some of the most popular code editors for beginners who have little or no experience with coding. A beginner may also benefit from using Nodepad++, Brackets, or Bluefish. If you want to get a job in programming, you will want to become comfortable with code editors.  

Does Sublime Text support HTML? 

Yes, Sublime Text 3 comes with mini HTML, an engine designed for HTML and CSS. It allows you to display your content in style rather than plain text. You can run your HTML code on Sublime Text the same way you run your Python code on the editor. 

What can Sublime Text do?

Sublime Text can be used to edit programs, highlight syntax, and create macros. Those who know how to use Sublime Text can apply its basic functionality for auto-indentation and type recognition to write a source code that is more efficient. It is also an ideal tool for debugging. 

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