Monthly Archives: April 2012

Save the environment (no, not that one)

I’ve been looking for a general purpose IDE and text editor that I can use for writing simple C++ applications but also when playing around with Visual Basic, HTML, CSS and some legacy code written in Fortran (yes I am that old). There are a few contenders and I like Code::Blocks for C++ and EditPlus is a good all rounder with user tools capabilities and syntax highlighting as well as being a good notepad replacement. Notepad++ also has some very good features and is open source.

And then there’s UEStudio v12 by IDM Computer Solutions, which as they say is ‘feature rich’. An understatement if ever there was one and potentially it’s overwhelming but the saving grace is that it can be fully customised into what IDM call ‘Environments’. This means that with a couple of clicks the IDE/ editor will re-configure to suit your needs, from Power User to Notepad Replacement. You can edit the built-in environments or create new ones of your own.

Not surprisingly, I found that on first installing UEStudio, support for Fortan syntax highlighting was not included but I quickly found a supporting file (called wordfile) on the IDM website to download and copy to my wordfiles directory. Simple as that and there are hundreds of such files available for almost any language you can think of.

UEStudioUEStudio is a fully integrated development environment supporting over 30 compilers and assemblers, although these need to be installed separately and are not part of the package. A Quick Start Guide and online tutorials and tips are provided for many common tasks and there is also an active user forum.

I’ve seen complaints that it can be hard to find your way around UEStudio, which may be true at first, but once you’ve set up each environment for whatever uses you have, then its complexity is not a problem.

I’m still evaluating UEStudio but so far some of the features that I like are;

  • Environments
  • Project management
  • Ability to compile, build and debug within the application
  • Built-in FTP client
  • HTML preview
  • CSS style builder
  • Huge number of customisation options (including toolbars and menu items)

IDM Computer Solutions also sell UltraEdit which is the same as UEStudio but without the IDE features and UltraCompare, which is an advanced file/ folder compare utility. I’ve not tried UltraComapre as there’s a built in Lite version with UEStudio but as you’d expect the professional version provides many additional features.

With a little more effort to learn its extensive capabilities, UEStudio is a strong contender to be my favourite editor/ IDE and notepad replacement.

A fully functional trial can be downloaded from the IDM Computer Solutions website. At £50 it’s not cheap but if you need a professional level text/ HEX editor and IDE, then UEStudio v12 is definitely worth a look.

[s3r star=4.5/5]