31 Jul 2013, 00:00


For a long while I’ve been a huge fan of Sublime Text 2, its easy to use and has a wealth of features that can be installed by the awesome package control system. I use it for all python development and any adhoc file work, infact I only abandon it for my scala work - where IntelliJ wins.

Sublime Text 3 (ST3) has been in beta for six months, and over that time its plugin ecosystem has matured. After experiencing some slow downs in Sublime Text 2 (ST2) I thought it was time to upgrade to an even more sublime experience.

5 step migration to Sublime Text 3

First off there is no risk in trying to upgrade, it has a different app name to ST2 and its configurations are in a different directory. In short you can have both installed and living happily.

1. Can I upgrade?

Goto the awesome Can I Switch To Sublime Text 3? website and check your packages. Its probably not a goer if your most used plugin doesn’t work in ST3, but do check out alternatives as many packages have already been updated and do now work with ST3. My results were as follows:

I had one fail but when looking at the package reposititory it suggested an ST3 alternative for a python code intel tool that would work (SublimeJEDI) - so I was good to go.

2. Install package control and packages

Its easy to install package control, just checkout the instructions. Once installed, open package control and install all the green packages mentioned on the can I switch website.

Don’t be tempted to use package control for the yellow packages - as it will install the ST2 versions which won’t work. Instead you will need to manually install - this usually is simple and only involves cloning the plugin repository into your packages directory and then checking out an ST3 compatible branch. Its no real hardship - so go for it.

3. Migrate settings

Once all the packages are installed, its time to get ST3 as comfy as you had ST2. To do this copy and paste your user settings from: Preferences -> Settings -> User.

Then copy any language specific settings and snippets you have from the User directory of ST2 into the User directory of ST3 eg:

cp ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/User/Python.sublime-settings ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 3/Packages/User/Python.sublime-settings

4. Update the subl helper:

Remove / rename any symlinked helpers then:

sudo ln -s "/Applications/Sublime Text.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin/subl" /usr/bin/subl

5. Profit!

Easy eh? You now have ST3 configured as you are used to and if anything is buggy (it is still in a beta) you can easily switch back to ST2.

My initial impressions are its much faster and I haven’t hit any bugs yet, so I’m a happy bunny. But if you need more convincing - heres some extra reasons to make the switch:

  • Speed. Startup time, file load time, and Replace All have all been significantly improved.

  • Improved Project and Pane management. Working with multiple panes is now more efficient, with commands to create and destroy panes, and quickly move files between panes. Also you can now have multiple workspaces per project.

  • Better Symbol Indexing. Allows goto definitions and goto symbol in a project, as well as new jump forward and jump back features.

Need some more reasons? Check out the original Sublime Text 3 announcement.

So if you are on Sublime Text 2 then download Sublime Text 3 and see if you can make the switch today.

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