Daniel Samuels Software developer based in Cambridge

Software Spotlight: Sublime Text

In this episode of Onespacemedia’s ‘Tools of the Trade’ series, Lead Developer Daniel Samuels and Head of Product Thomas Rumbold talk about why Sublime Text is a vital weapon in any software developer’s arsenal.

All of the developers at Onespacemedia use Sublime Text. It’s a fantastic, lean text editor with a simple UI which is packed full of great features - many of which really help to speed up our development workflow. However, the real power under Sublime’s hood comes from its vast collection of plugins and settings. Take a look at how our team are using some of Sublime’s best features, plugins, settings and shortcuts to put our coding environments into overdrive.

Daniel Samuels - Lead Developer

I’ve only started to use Sublime in the last few years - before then I was using Textmate. However, at the time I was having some serious issues with writing to files over a local network. It would freeze up as it tried to scan the entire folder structure and it got to the point where I just couldn’t get anything done, so I knew I had to make a change. Sublime was still fairly new at that point (even though it was version 2) but it was starting to gain momentum - maturing into a editor worthy of succeeding Textmate. Throughout the years I’ve refined my configuration and stripped out built-in plugins which weren’t needed and it’s left me with a lean, fast, efficient platform to work from.


So, here’s my config.

There’s one thing I haven’t been able to change since switching from Textmate and that’s the Blackboard theme - I adore it and I don’t expect to ever change it, it’s just that good. There’s a bunch of boring stuff in here, but here’s some of the key changes:

There are 3 settings which are useful for keeping code consistency, especially when conforming to PEP8:


I don’t have as many plugins as I used to, but here are the ones worth mentioning:

Thomas Rumbold - Head of Product

A lot of what I do at Onespacemedia is to do with system specification, client liaison, project management and trying to keep the communication moving quickly between the development team and our clients. I joined the team as a developer though - so although recently I’ve been less hands on with code, there are a few, more general things that I think are worth mentioning that make Sublime our obvious choice.

It’s very fast and lightweight

Sublime Text is fast. You can typically open a complex project in under ten seconds and get to work quickly. Based on previous experience, some IDE’s take up to a minute to boot a project with lots of moving parts. That gets very annoying very quickly (particularly if you’re switching around throughout the day). Sublime smokes the competition.

It’s easy

In a general sense, Sublime is easy to use and easy to customise. Working across projects is made simple by some great features and there are a stack of great plugins that help you keep your workflow fast. You can integrate version control plugins, language specific assistance and it’s got a rich collection of settings that lets you configure it exactly as you like it.

It looks awesome

Plainly put, it looks awesome. The vanilla installation looks great but it’s also easy to theme. If you’re staring at code for 8 hours a day, that makes a real difference.

It’s cross compatible

Sublime is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Although we’re a Mac house there’s value in this - in the case we ever need to fire up another machine that runs a different OS, we can still use our beloved Sublime. Little things like this helps keep us moving and that’s always something we like.

It has great shortcuts

There are lots of great shortcuts in Sublime that allows you to hack up your code, move it around, duplicate parts, find files and switch around between projects. This sort of stuff is really useful because once you’ve learnt them, you can keep your concentration focused on solving problems. In fact, they’re so valuable that we’ve included some of the best in the next section.


Sublime shortcuts are awesome. We’ve put together some of our favourites below

In closing

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this insight into our use of Sublime Text at Onespacemedia. If we’ve missed a great shortcut, plugin or need to specify something awesome in our settings, please let us know in the comments below (but if you’re going to suggest that we use Vim or Emacs, don’t bother!). Having said that, if anyone has actually found out how to exit vim, please let us know.

This post originally appeared on the Onespacemedia website.