October 2, 2019

BBEdit Command Line Tools

BBEdit has some shell commands which allows integration between the MacOS Shell and BBEdit. There are four commands:

  • bbedit - Allows you to export commands to be viewed/edited in BBEdit.
  • bbdiff - Makes it easy to compare two files.
  • bbfind - Use BBEdit powerful find feature to perform multi-file searches.
  • bbresults - Easily read formated error outputs in BBEdit results window.

Here are some creative ways to make use of the BBEdit command-line tools.

Four Sample BBEdit Commands

Directory Listing

List the current directory by file size (in Bytes). The results will display in BBEdit in a new window with the Unix Shell Script settings.

ls -lahS | bbedit -m "Unix Shell Script"

Largest Files on Your Computer

Thanks to alvinalexander.com on this tip "How to find the largest size file on your computer." I modified it so it outputs to BBEdit so that it's easier to read.

du -a * | sort -r -n | head -100 | bbedit -t "Top 100 Largest Size Files"

Find Files

A simple example which: Finds all the MP3 files and open the list in BBEdit with a window title called "MP3 Files." This has an extra bit of code to suppress

find / -name "*.mp3" 2>&1 | grep -v "Permission denied" | bbedit -t "MP3 Files"

Find Content

Use the bbfind command to search through files on your computer. In this case, search for the word "Confidential" in all the files in the /Users directory.

bbfind -nw "Confidential" /Users

That last command would be fun to run to see what files are marked Confidential on your computer.

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