Every developer has their own tooling and special setup—I know I do. It’s that tooling that can help you become a faster, stronger, and more productive developer.
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One of the ways I find new tools is through pairing with other developers. I’ll be working on a problem, and see the person I’m pairing with do some magical thing in a two second flash.
This is the moment I interrupt the pairing session to find out what that tool was, where to get it, and how to use it. This is by no means the most efficient way of finding new tools, but it’s often when I find the best ones.
With all this in mind, I spent some time polling front end developers here at cheohanoi.vn, to get a list of all the essential Sublime Text plugins they just can’t live without.
To make things a bit easier, I broke the plugins into the following categories:
If you want to ensure that what you”re building is secure, be sure to check out our article on website security.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Snippets and code style
- 3 Git integration
- 4 Linters and syntax highlighting
- 5 Editor enhancements
1. Package Control
Package Control is the first and probably most essential Sublime Text plugin. It enables the easy installation, download, and update of packages or plugins into Sublime Text. The terms package and plugin are often used interchangeably.
To install Package Control, follow the instructions found on the Package Control website. From there, you can simply type in ctrl+shift+p on Windows, or cmd+shift+p on a Mac to open the Command Palette.
Installing Package Control.
Once the Command Palette is open, you can then type Install Package, to install a plugin from the Package Control website. You can also type Add Repository, which allows you to add plugins that are not hosted on the Package Control website, by simply using their repository url (make sure not to include .git at the end). And finally, Remove Package, will let you uninstall a plugin from your system by removing it, as well as any assets from the Sublime packages directory.
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Snippets and code style
Snippets are a great built-in feature of Sublime Text. You can build your own, in addition to using the preinstalled ones, or use a plugin that has a bunch for you like Emmet. The way snippets work is simple—you simply begin typing a keyword that activates a snippet, and press tab to expand the text.
Expanding markup with Emmet.
Emmet is a plugin that enables faster HTML and CSS creation with the use of snippets. It uses abbreviations that expand to valid HTML tags.
For example, to build out a navigation you only need to type the following code:
Which will expand to:
View Emmet plugin
Aligning variable definitions with Alignment.
Alignment plugin helps to easily align multiple selections, or multi-line selections. What that means is you can align multiple selections, or lines, via delimiter such as =. Simply type ctrl + alt + a on Windows, or cmd + ctrl + a on a Mac, to align your selection. To align with :follow this tutorial to setup custom delimiters.
View Alignment plugin
Most developers use some type of version control. These days, Git seems to be the most popular. Here are a few Git related plugins for Sublime Text that make working with Git a lot easier.
SublimeGit brings Git into Sublime, so you don’t need to go back and forth between the command line and your text editor. You used to have to pay for this plugin (that’s how awesome it is), but this past year it was open-sourced. It has a huge list of features, which you can find in the SublimeGit docs. To get started quickly, install the plugin and use the Command Palette to launch your Git commands.
View SublimeGit plugin
Modified line, deleted region borders, and inserted line indicators in the Sublime Text gutter.
GitGutter brings some native Atom functionality to Sublime, adding diff hints to the gutter of the sidebar. You can additionally hover on the indicators in the sidebar, to see a diff popup. You can perform a variety of commands on the change, such as copying the content of the diff state, reverting the changes back to the state in Git, jumping to next or previous change, and more.
Check out our list of the 21 best Atom packages for front end developers.
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View GitGutter plugin
Opening Git blame on Github for selected lines.
GitHubinator is a plugin that shows selected text on a remote GitHub or Bitbucket repository. You simply highlight the text you want to search for, right click to open the context menu, and launch the corresponding Github or Bitbucket web page in your default browser. This plugin is amazing if you need to figure out who’s worked on a file previously, or check the Git blame.
View GitHubinator plugin
GitOpenChangedFiles isn’t coy about what it does; its name says it all. Simply install and run cmd + option + o on a Mac, or ctrl + shift + o on Windows, and watch this plugin open the corresponding files for you in Sublime Text, with all the files you’ve changed in your branch.
View GitOpenChangedFiles plugin
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Linters and syntax highlighting
While working on teams, consistency is imperative. Linters and syntax highlighting help provide that consistency and set best practices.
SublimeLinter is the most popular linter available on Sublime, as it currently sits in the top 25 downloads on Package Manager. Once installed, you’ll also want to install plugins for the various languages that you might code in.
To do this, just open Package Control to install plugins with the same name. Simply type SublimeLinter-, for example SublimeLinter-jshint. You must install linter plugins with SublimeLinter—the version for Sublime Text 3 doesn’t come with them pre-installed.
View SublimeLinter plugin
Changing double to single quotes, with the Command Palette.
ChangeQuotes “converts single and double quotes, and and re-escapes quotes within the string,” according to their docs. Once installed, whenever you want to change quotes, make sure your cursor is inside the quoted text. Open the Command Palette to run ChangeQuotes—there is no need to select the text to change quotes.
View ChangeQuotes plugin
There are a ton of plugins for syntax highlighting. These are the two major plugins we use at cheohanoi.vn, that fall outside the existing syntax highlighting that ships with Sublime Text.
The Sass plugin adds syntax highlighting as well as tab/code completion, for Sass and SCSS files.
View Sass plugin
Syntax highlighting courtesy of Babel.
View Babel plugin
12. Siteleaf’s Liquid Syntax
Siteleaf’s Liquid Syntax adds liquid syntax highlighting for Liquid as well as some handy snippets.
View Siteleaf’s Liquid Syntax
Left: Before SidebarEnhancements. Right: After SidebarEnhancements.
SideBarEnhancements provides enhancements to the operations on Sidebar of Files and Folders for Sublime Text. Particularly, it sets delete options as a “Move to trash,” includes an “Open with…”, gives you the ability to move files, and more.
View SideBar Enhancements plugin
14. Maybs Quit
Maybs Quit enables a quick panel to confirm quitting Sublime Text. Both cmd/ctrl+w and cmd/ctrl+q are too close to one another on the keyboard, and can lead to mistakes. Avoid quitting Sublime Text unintentionally when you’re only trying to close a file, by using Maybs Quit!
View Maybs Quit plugin
AutoFileName follows through on its name: it completes filenames automatically. It triggers a dropdown with file names relative to your existing file and subsequent path as you type.
View AutoFileName plugin
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16. View In Browser
View In Browser helps you to launch your projects into your default browser with a simple shortcut, ctrl+alt+v. It also enables shortcuts for various other browsers installed on your computer, such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and more.
Checkout View In Browser plugin
Linking CodePen to Sublime Text with the GhostText plugin.