Notes on Ultra Edit

In October 2013 I tested 12 text editors in order to find out if one of them fits my needs. Those needs turned out to be quite extravagant as only one of the editors was able to fulfill most of them: the commercial and not really cheap Ultra Edit. Unfortunatley I had to find out, that even this result was wrong. Back to the requierements I postulated in my review:

The editor of my choice should be able to
- deal with very large files (>50MByte)
- search for regular expressions (perl flavor)
- show special characters (for example the one between the quotation marks: "" The Unicode Code is U+008D : (REVERSE LINE FEED) (see here)

1. Ultra Edit can deal very good with very large files.
2. Ultra Edit is still the editor with the best RegEx support as you can e.g. choose the flavour of Regex you want to use (I prefer Perl). But unfortunatley it turns out to have a quite user unfriendly work flow: It is not possible to enter a Regex, make a test search and edit the Regex afterwards as the regex search window changes to a search bar. Here you may neither see nor edit the Regex. You need to close the bar and open the window again to get it. And again. And again. Also, it is not possible to switch from the search to the replace dialoge without closing the one window and open the other one. And reenter the search phrase, of curse. This feels so weird, I can't believe that there are users out there who prefer this kind of behavior. So, in many cases I need to use another editor (notepad++) to get my regex straight.
3. Kind of ironic: The feature that convinced me the most of Ultra Edit, the possibility to see invisible special characters, turned out to be a bug that was removed yet in the version I have bought.

Regarding point 2 and 3 I was in contact with the very kind and competent support of Ultra Edit but unfortunatley they do not seem to plan changes regarding those two issues in the near future.

Don't get me wrong: Ultra Edit is still a great editor and may be worth the money for many kinds of users. But I thought I should share theese experiences with you.

Read the whole test here.




I've been using UE since about version 4 (it's currently version 24), but I've never run into the Regex search issues you mention.

I dock the 'Find and Replace' dialogue, and usually have it pinned to the right sode of the editor.

To get this, press Ctrl-F twice - the first brings up the little inline search box, the second the main Find/Replace dialogue, which is dockable

Regex's I enter in the 'Find What' box persist when I switch between Find, Replace, Find in Files and Replace in Files tabs.

There is also a little icon to show the history of my searches (and the 'Replace with') so I can select them again, or even swap them between the two boxes.

Regex search and replace has always been strong in UE, and is really quite fast - much faster than recording a macro to reformat a file




Hi Adam, thanks for your comment. You are right, back then I didn't knew that you're able to dock the search bar to the side. As you mention it, I should correct this in this post, sorry for the inconvenience. I agree with you: The Regex support of UE is great - unfortunatley I still found a bug in the Regex implementation and am waiting for a fix, I think I will write an actualized review in the near future. Kind regards


I'll look forward to it!

What's the regex bug you are having issues with?


The regex bug is related to the search string list: random results miss the last character. Thanks for your feedback, again!