Reviewing 21.20.2014 (Aug 31, 2014)
I have a lifetime license for UE. I love UE's features and its design. I've tried all the other text editors, including all the freebies that people rave about simply because they are freebies. None of them cut the turd.
The problem is that UE is a slug. It's aggravatingly sluggish. Not just to launch, but ... to do everything. Even scrolling in a large file is annoyingly slow in UE. It's just not a good user experience.
I also deeply despise the way they make paying users suffer in their attempts to curb piracy. Years ago, they added anti-piracy bloat and made launch times 10x slower. They still have that crap, but now, they also block other applications from having anything to do with the UE window. This means I can't use Actual Window Manager on UE, for one thing.
I'm seriously considering switching to EmEditor, even though that editor lacks some functionality I consider basic (FTP, a favorite file feature, etc.).
Reviewing 21.20.1004 (Jul 23, 2014)
UltraEdit v21.20 Changes (2014-06-26)
UltraEdit v21.20 includes over 150 improvements and fixes to the following:
Column mode editing / drag 'n drop
Quick column mode
Hide / show lines and code folding
Folding for block comments in HTML
Scripted find / replace
Perl regular expression find/replace
Find in files with customized output format
Shebang detection for syntax highlighting
Compare files (UC Lite)
Mixed line terminator handling
Open file under caret via context menu
Themes and user interface
Menu access via key accelerators
OEM and special character input
File and selection sort
CSS color tooltips
Project and workspace reload
FTP connectivity and transfer issues
Scrolling via mouse wheel in FTP dialogs
Stability and performance
Reviewing 21.20.1001 (Jun 28, 2014)
I've been using Ultraedit since about version 2 and have a lifetime license.
While the editor has a lot of useful features I can't find on any other editor, I find that those really useful features stopped coming at around version 12. These days it is so horribly bloated and slow to use that I have pretty much stopped updating even though it costs me nothing to do so.
For me this product stopped being a must-have editor at v12. Everything added since then is pretty much pointless fluff for me. Giving it a 3 since this software has stopped being innovative.
Reviewing 21.00.1033 (Feb 20, 2014)
My view of this current UltraEdit 21.00.1033 has not fundamentally altered since my previous review of U/E 20.00 (hereunder), which is that it is now a huge overly bloated text editor that's grown like Topsy and thus somewhat disorganized and confusing to use (especially for the casual user).
This version of U/E adds a few new features such as improved 'Quick Find', 'Multi-caret' editing that allows—as its web site says—'multiple changes in different places in your file at one time'—a dangerous operation unless you're an experience user who is very familiar with what you're doing; and there's also changes to the inbuilt FTP client browser which U/E's site espouses as multi-pane with many improvements. (To me, the FTP section looks uncannily like a clone of FileZilla.)
UltraEdit is aimed at developers and such who spend considerable time editing, and it has an exorbitant price to match of $79.95. I have not had sufficient time to verify that the bugs which were present in v20 are fully ironed out in this version.
One of the major obstacles to using UltraEdit since version 17 is that the program is activated a la Windows which means that you can't move it around on a memory stick and such. Locking the product to a particular machine, is perhaps tolerable for programs such as Windows and Photoshop, but frankly it's quite ridiculous to do so for a text editor (for me, this is not a piracy issue—I've multiple legit earlier versions—but it's often impractical especially in the early stages of fixing/reinstalling a PC before U/E is able to go online to be validated, especially if the program's demo mode has already timed out). Even though I've access to lifetime upgrade licences, I still prefer to use version 16.20 as it's not encumbered with this ergonomically-unfriendly activation nonsense. [It seems, as a concession, U/E can now be installed on three machines, each with their own activation (perhaps activation was causing Ian Mead's sales to fall excessively).]
That said, in fairness to U/E, I should clarify what I said in my earlier review of v20. For the average user I'd still strongly recommend the freeware Notepad++ (or perhaps free RJ TextEd) in preference to U/E, but Notepad++ cannot handle very large text files without crashing (it's a design fault rather than a bug)—but UltraEdit can.
U/E has always been able to edit reasonably large text files of 10s to some hundreds of megabytes but until version 20 it's been a first-class dog at so doing. It was slow and unresponsive even with the large file settings enabled, and with really large files it'd take ages before the scrollbar would free up—and it if didn't then U/E had locked up altogether or crashed! For me, the solution was always the venerable 30+-year-old VEDIT to the rescue, as it would have no trouble with 2GB text files.
That's changed somewhat for the better with U/E v20 onward. I tried U/E 21 on an old mbox (Eudora/MBX) mail file of about 740MB, which is essentially a super-sized text file, and U/E 21 loaded it comparatively quickly and without fault, which is a considerable improvement over earlier versions before v20 (they would have had great difficulty with a file of that size). However, even though U/E loads the file it is almost impossible to slide the scrollbar through such a large file with reasonable granularity/fineness—ergonomically it's hopeless to use and the problem needs to be fixed in future versions.
In summary, for most users use Notepad++--it's free! For diehards and those with special requirements, use UltraEdit—but before you commit to it, I'd strongly recommend you try VEDIT. http://vedit.com/index.html
VEDIT is far from the classiest of editors but it's a true heavy-duty tractor of an editor with a long solid lineage (VEDIT pro64 will even edit 100GB+ file!!!), and it's a similar price to UltraEdit. Moreover, it's not encumbered with that activation nonsense (or it wasn't when I bought my last copy—v 6.1, the current latest version being now v6.23).
Reviewing 20.00.1037 (Sep 5, 2013)
I'm still using 16.20 even though I too have a lifetime license (16.20 was about the last version that wasn't overly bloated). UltraEdit has gone from a must-have-at-any-cost editor to one that's passé. It's slow, buggy and overly convoluted. And most of the other resent criticisms from posters I'd generally agree with.
I too use Notepad++ for many jobs, it's come a long way, and it's free, and you can put it on as many machines as you like. Unless you've a very specific editing requirement such as the need to use a particular u/e wordfile then I'd recommend just using Notepad++.
Eaves I have to agree with you. I'm still using 11.20b and it's fast! The search option to list lines containing text which opens a separate window is one of my favorite features! But seriously, ten seconds to load on a 3GHz machine?!?
Is this thing written in Java?