Publish Markdown Plugin

In our last tip, we went over how to manually order files and directories within the TKE sidebar. What we didn’t cover is why you would ever want to manually sort files in the sidebar in the first place. One such reason we would do this is to control the order that files are processed within a directory from something like a plugin. The Publish Markdown plugin is one plugin which uses the sidebar ordering of the files to collate Markdown files into a single file and then hand that single file to a Markdown processor for export. This allows you to split your Markdown document into separate files (say, a file per chapter or section) and then organize the files into a particular order to generate a single export document.

After the plugin is installed, it is accessible by right-clicking on a sidebar item. If the item is a directory, all files within the directory and all of its subdirectories will be traversed and organized, in order, into a single temporary Markdown file. After this is complete, the export window will be displayed.

Publish Markdown Export window

If you want to save the file, select “Publish To”, select a directory to save the file to, and click “Publish”.

If you want to export the file as HTML directly, select “Publish To”, select a directory to save the HTML file to, select the “Export As HTML” option, and click “Publish”.

If you want to send the resulting file to an external application, select “Open In”, choose the application from the dropdown list (more on this in a bit), and click “Publish”.

Plugin Options

The Publish Markdown plugin has several options to configure its behavior that are accessible from the Preferences window within the Plugin panel. Select the “publish_markdown” option from the pull-down menu to reveal the options.

Publish Markdown Preferences Panel

You can specify an alternative Markdown processor, select which file extensions will be considered for inclusion, select which file patterns can be used to ignore certain files and setup the external applications that can be accessed by this plugin.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Publish Markdown Plugin

Bird’s Eye View

Most of the time you want to keep your head down and stay focused on coding up the task at hand. However, every once in a while it’s nice to see where you have been and get a 10,000 foot view of your code. To that end, the TKE text editor comes with a built-in “Bird’s Eye View” panel that you can hide or show via the View / Bird’s Eye View menu option. This displays a high-level representation of the current editing buffer by displaying your file’s code (syntax highlighting included) on the right-hand side of the editing buffer.

Bird’s Eye Viewer (on right)


In addition to displaying a bird’s eye representation of the file, this pane can also be used for navigating to different points within the file. The following are few tips on using the Bird’s Eye View panel for navigating.

  1. Use the mouse scrollbar, while the cursor is within the panel, to scroll the view panel up and down. This won’t change the editing buffer view.
  2. Holding down the Control key while left/right-clicking in the panel will cause the bird’s eye view to scroll up/down by a screen at a time.
  3. When the cursor is within panel, a translucent background will be displayed to show you what the editing buffer is currently displaying.
  4. Left-click in the panel to jump the editing buffer view to that location within the file.
  5. Left-click and drag in the panel to cause the editing buffer view to change.

As you scroll the editing buffer, the bird’s eye view will automatically adjust itself to make sure that the current editing buffer content is displayed in the bird’s eye view panel.

You can control the font size and width of the Bird’s Eye View panel within Preferences by selecting the View pane. From here you can control whether the panel is always displayed when a file is opened by selecting the Show Bird’s Eye View checkbox. At the bottom of the View panel, you can change the font size of the text used in the panel with the Bird’s Eye View Font Size value selector, and you can change the pixel width of the panel using the Bird’s Eye View Width value selector.

Preference Window View Panel

Important note:
It is recommended that you not enable this feature by default within preferences as it can have a negative impact on the application’s performance. By using the menu option to enable the view, you only display the panel for the current editing buffer, which should keep things moving along nicely while you are using it.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Bird’s Eye View

The Sidebar Information Panel

Files and directories on your file system contain a lot of meta data associated with them. Sometimes, we need to get at that information for various reasons. This typically requires the use of your operating system’s file system viewer, the terminal and/or other 3rd party software. Jumping around to other pieces of software on your desktop can be disruptive to a good workflow and that’s where the new sidebar information panel in TKE (version 3.3) comes in handy.

This panel is displayed at the bottom of the sidebar and allows you to view information for any file that is displayed within the sidebar. To view file/directory information, either right-click on a file or directory within the sidebar and select the “Show Info” menu item or hold down the Control key while right-clicking on a file/directory. A representation of this panel is shown below.

Sidebar Information Panel

In this representation, we see that an image file’s information is being viewed, including a 64×64 thumbnail preview of the image, file name, image dimensions, syntax type, file size, modification date, file permissions, file owner, file group, current version control number, and the TKE favorited status of the file. The information displayed within this file will be customized depending on the item type selected (i.e., image file, text file, directory).

But wait, there’s more… In addition to this information, several other file/directory attributes can be optionally displayed by heading over to the Preferences window (Edit / Preferences / Edit User – Global), selecting the Sidebar panel and clicking on the Info Panel tab.

Sidebar Information Panel Preferences

Simply check/uncheck the file/directory attributes within this panel to control what information is displayed. By default, the panel will only be displayed when the sidebar has the current input focus. However, if you would prefer to keep it visible when the sidebar does not have keyboard focus, simply check the “Keep file information panel visible when sidebar doesn’t have focus” option.

Back in the information panel itself, there are a few other useful functions you can perform when the mouse cursor is within the panel.

  1. Clicking on the ‘x’ button will remove the panel from the sidebar.
  2. Clicking on the “refresh” button will refresh the information within the panel (by default, the information is refreshed if the user is editing the associated file and saves it).
  3. Clicking on the “eye” button will cause the associated file/directory to be displayed and selected within the sidebar.
  4. Clicking on the value of any attribute that is clickable will copy that information to the clipboard.

Finally, it is possible for future plugins to display additional information within this panel, making it extensible and infinitely more useful.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

The Sidebar Information Panel

Line Wrapping

To line wrap or to not line wrap, that is the question! For a long time, TKE did not provide the ability to wrap lines. Why? Well, first of all, line wrapped programming code can be a bit hard to read. Second, it is creating an editing view that may be inconsistent with other users of the file, leading to potential formatting issues (this is the same argument as to why TKE generally replaces TAB characters with spaces when editing). Third, adding a feature like line wrapping can lead to some tricky corner cases in code. Finally, and probably not least, there were other features that TKE’s developers wanted to get into the tool before it 🙂 However, the latest version of TKE (3.2 as of this writing) fully supports line wrapping, so let’s briefly go over how you can put it to work.

Line wrapping support is a feature which is enabled/disabled by each programming language syntax file. So a programming language like C++ will have line wrapping disabled by default while a writing language like Markdown will enable line wrapping by default. You can, at any time and with any language, temporarily override the default line wrapping behavior by toggling the state of the View / Line Wrapping menu option. When line wrapping is enabled, lines will wrap at the editing buffer ruler location (which is controllable in the Preferences window in the Editor panel).

If you want the line wrapping behavior to be remembered between invocations of TKE, you can do so in the Preferences window within the View panel. Here you can set how TKE should determine the line wrapping state using the Line Wrapping Default option menu at the bottom of the panel. The three option values are as follows:

  • syntax: Use the syntax-specified line wrapping indication to dictate if line wrapping should be enabled or disabled.
  • enable: Always enable line wrapping mode.
  • disable: Always disable line wrapping mode.

For Vim users, wrapped lines offer a few additional cursor motion commands which are as follows (note that logical lines share the same line number within the file but displayed lines are created due to wrapping):

  • g0: Moves the cursor to the first character of the currently displayed line.
  • g^: Moves the cursor to the first non-whitespace character of the currently displayed line.
  • g$: Moves the cursor to the last character of the currently displayed line.
  • gm: Moves the cursor to the middle-most character of the currently displayed line.

Once you have “wrapped” your mind around this feature, you can take your editing to new levels of Zen.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Line Wrapping

Default Open/Save Dialog Directory

Whenever you need to open or save a file/directory, the open/save dialog window will display the contents of a directory. Sometimes that directory is the one that you want, but other times you may find yourself constantly using the file system browser features in the dialog window to change the directory. This can get tiresome if you are doing this often, but TKE can offer some help by making the default directory smarter and more customizable.

To change the way TKE chooses the default directory in the open/save dialog windows, head on over to Preferences (Edit / Preferences / Edit User – Global menu option) and go to the General tab within the General panel.


The last option in the tab specifies “Set default open/save browsing directory to:” with a dropdown list containing four options:

  • Last accessed:  TKE will remember the last directory that was in use in an open/save dialog window and use that directory as the default directory the next time the open/save dialog window is used.
  • Current editing buffer directory:  The directory containing the file which is the current editing buffer will be used as the default directory.
  • Current working directory:  The current working directory will be used as the default directory. The current working directory is always displayed in the title bar of the main window and can be changed at any of the methods discussed in our Current Working Directory post.
  • Use directory:  When this option is selected, a directory selection window will be displayed. Use it to navigate to the directory that you want to use as the default directory for subsequent open/save dialogs. The selected directory name will be displayed in the preferences window.

You can change this preference option at any time and, like most TKE preference changes, its selected value will be immediately applied within TKE.

If you using TKE in Vim mode, you can also change this option without needing to open Preferences. Just use the :browsedir value (or :bsdir value) command option and in place of value, use the values of:

  • last: Same as “Last accessed”.
  • buffer: Same as “Current editing buffer directory”.
  • current: Same as “Current working directory”.
  • Or specify the absolute or relative pathname of the directory to use.

Note that changing the default directory using the Vim command will not be remembered when you quit TKE (the preferences value will be the one used upon application startup), so using this method is a terrific way to temporary override the current behavior.


To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Default Open/Save Dialog Directory

Sidebar Ordering and Keyboard Selection

A couple of quick sidebar tips for you.

Tip #1: File/Folder Ordering

Depending on your operating system and personal preferences, you may be more accustomed to having all of the folders grouped at the top of a folder’s listed contents while all files are listed below. Or perhaps you prefer to have your files and folders intermixed in alphabetical order. Whichever way you prefer to view files/folders in the sidebar, TKE has you covered.

To switch the sidebar file/folder ordering, head on over to preferences (Edit / Preferences / Edit User – Global menu option), select the Sidebar panel and make sure that the Behaviors tab is selected. Simply toggle the checkbutton labeled Show Folders at Top to cause the sidebar to display folders first or folders intermixed.


Tip #2: Keyboard Selection

If the sidebar has keyboard focus, you can quickly select a file or folder within the current folder by typing the name of the file. As long as you enter the successive characters within a second of each other (the default time), the characters will be appended to the current search string; otherwise, waiting beyond a second will cause the search string to clear out and entering another key will select the first file/folder matching the new search string.

If one second between characters is not enough or too much time, you can adjust the value within the same Sidebar / Behavior tab within preferences, by increasing/decreasing the Append characters to search string if entered within: value.

And since we are on the topic of using the keyboard within the sidebar, you can always select the parent folder by hitting the left arrow key and you can open the currently selected folder by hitting the right arrow key. This means that you can quickly change the selection of any file/folder within the sidebar using only the keyboard.

Your mouse or trackpad might get a bit lonelier with these tips.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Sidebar Ordering and Keyboard Selection

Deleting Vs. Trashing

The TKE sidebar is a powerful tool for managing your project’s file system, including the ability to quickly create, rename, duplicate and delete files and folders without leaving TKE. But the sidebar has a somewhat hidden trick which allows you to choose whether to delete an item or send that item to the trash.

What’s the difference between deleting and trashing? When you delete an item, that item is permanently removed and cannot be easily recovered. Because of its nature, TKE will always ask the user for confirmation before allowing a delete command to take place. When you trash a file, you are basically moving the file to a special directory on your computer which has the ability to remember where its contents came from, allowing you to quickly put the file/folder back where it came from. Trashes also have the ability to delete all of their contents with a single command and they generally make their content read-only. Because sending a file to the trash can be easily reversed, TKE will not bug you with a confirmation dialog when you send something to the trash.

So how do you choose between deleting and trashing within TKE? Head on over to preferences (Command-. on macOS or Control-. on Windows/Linux) and change the Show Move To Trash for local files/directories instead of Delete checkbox to the desired value.


It’s important to note that you cannot move remote files (i.e., any file system that was opened via FTP, SFTP or WebDAV) to the trash, you can only delete those files. If you have the preference setting to show the Move to Trash option in the sidebar menus and you show the sidebar menu for a remote file, the Delete option will automatically be displayed.


To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit

Deleting Vs. Trashing