I'm not too happy with EE's template editor. It would be nice to have the following:

  • Show line numbers (and column numbers maybe)
  • Tab support
  • Ability to increase the height of the editor

Are there any options for me?

up vote 20 down vote accepted

You can (and should) save templates as files and then use the editor of your choice (as well as version your templates with Git/SVN/whatever).

If for some reason that isn't an option for you there's Editee which is an extension that extends the CP template editor to make it more usable.

EDIT: There's also ThEEditor and its Code Mirror based derivative ThEEditorCodeMirror, which though I haven't used it looks excellent for those times you have to use the template editor (eg because you're halfway up a mountain in the Alps with only an iPhone: true story...).

If you are a Mac user, a third option is Mountee which lets you mount your EE templates (and snippets and more) as files in finder.

Personally I would go with templates as text files though - my general rule is whatever you can get out of the DB you should - it makes everything from versioning to moving between environments much easier.

EDIT: If you wish you can even go so far as to disable the template editor for templates saved as files.

Enable template-files and use any Code Editor isn't an option?

There are other options. The best (and only) option for me is to save the templates as files and then edit them with whatever editor I please.

http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/templates/templates_as_files.html

I don't care what features Ellislab is able to provide for template editing. The template editor will never be my home. It will never have the setup / layout of my primary editor. It will never have the flexibility that I reqiure. It will never be Vim!

That said, web based editors are coming a long way. I suppose Ellislab could look at the available options which are gunning for replacing desktop editors.

Personally, I'm a fan of the Mountee approach. We use Mountee with BBEdit and CSSEdit to modify most of our clients templates. But that's a personal preference, I've just never been a fan of the save templates as files approach. Mountee, http://hellomountee.com is a great option. Though it maybe Mac only.

I use Mountee personally because I like being able to edit not only my templates but my global variables and snippets as well. I've also started researching using git for my projects and low and behold Mountee has a KB article about using Mountee with git.

  • I'm a huge fan of Mountee... it's extremely fast and makes searching templates easier, too. – Travis Smith Dec 7 '12 at 7:38

I have ThEEditorCodeMirror installed as an default add-on. (But I don’t use it very often because I save and edit templates as files.)

ThEEditorCodeMirror gives you line numbers, tab support, auto indent, themes and Ctrl-S saving.

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Even you should save your templates as files, there are solutions you can try Editee addon will do the job you are asking, or you could try Mountee app (mac only) to edit your templates in your favorite editor.

There is a Firefox extension called "It's All Text" that adds a small button to the bottom (default) of the template editing box that opens the contents of the text box in any editor of your choosing. Upon saving, it writes the saved version back. Update and you're done!

It's All Text Download (if you are already in the Firefox browser)

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