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Sublime Text Editor for PHP - a love story

Mike Peters, 01-24-2013
Sublime Text is a fast, sophisticated text editor for code.

Over the years we've tested numerous text editors, including Notepad, Notepad++, PHPStorm, Eclipse, jEdit, NetBeans, phpDesigner and PHPEdit...

Up until recently, PHPStorm and Notepad++ were our two favorites.

PHPStorm has a very extensive feature-set: syntax highlighting, autocomplete, refactoring, html wysiwyg mode, a built-in debugger and file indexing. But it's heavy. Slow. Bloated.

Notepad++ is fast, but it's missing a lot of the goodies found in PHPStorm.

Introducing Sublime Text

Sublime Text 2 combines the best of both worlds:

* Blazing fast
* Sexy
* Syntax Highlighting
* Code completion
* Multi-select and multi-edit
* Goto Anything
* Find and Replace in files
* Customizable via extensive plugin library



Step 1

Download the latest version of Sublime Text 2 here

Windows, Mac OS and Linux binaries are available.

Step 2

Install the Sublime Package Control, by launching the Sublime editor, selecting "View" - "Show Console" from the menu, then pasting this code directly into the console:

import urllib2
,os; pf='Package Control.sublime-package'; ipp=sublime.installed_packages_path(); os.makedirs(ipp) if not os.path.exists(ipp) else None; urllib2.install_opener(urllib2.build_opener(urllib2.ProxyHandler())); open(os.path.join(ipp,pf),'wb').write(urllib2.urlopen(''+pf.replace(' ','%20')).read()); print('Please restart Sublime Text to finish installation')

Package Control is now installed. Close Sublime text editor and restart it for changes to take effect.

Step 3

Open Sublime text editor, click Ctrl-Shift-P and type "Install Package"

Search and install these packages, one by one. Simply type the package name and click it to install.

* SublimeCodeIntel
* SublimeLinter
* WordHighlight
* jQuery
* Prefixr
* Clipboard History

One other thing you're going to want to turn-on is the "Auto save" feature. Off by default, you can turn it on, by opening the "Preferences" - "Default" and setting save_on_focus_lost to true:

"save_on_focus_lost": true,

Step 4

Sublime PHP linter relies on PHP being installed on your machine.

If you haven't installed PHP earlier, grab it from

You'll want to get the Thread-safe ZIP version. Extract the ZIP file to a new "C:\Program files\php" folder.

Open Sublime editor Preferences menu, select the SublimeLinter Settings under "Preferences" - "Package Settings", locate the "sublimelinter_executable_map" block and enter the full path where PHP is installed.

For example:
"php" : "C:\\program files\\php\\php.exe"

Step 5

Install Soda-Theme to give Sublime a sexy dark look

Once installed, update your default theme under "Preferences" - "Settings" with:

"theme": "Soda Light.sublime-theme",
"soda_classic_tabs": true

Restart Sublime editor and you're good to go

Sublime Cheat Sheet

Open Folder: Opens list of all files on a left pane
Ctrl-P: Quickly find any file under your project
Ctrl-F: Find
Ctrl-H: Find/Replace in current file
Ctrl-Shift-F: Find/Replace in files
Ctrl-M: Jump to closing bracket
Ctrl-Shift-M: Select all content of current bracket
Ctrl-Z: Undo
Ctrl-Y: Redo
Ctrl-G: Goto line
Ctrl-S: Save current file
Ctrl-R: Goto symbol / function definition
Ctrl-Shift-D: Duplicate line
Alt-Shift-2: Split to two panes (shift-1 back to one)
Ctrl-2: Jump to pane 2 (Ctrl-1 jump to pane 1)
Ctrl-Shift-L: Multi select
Alt-F3: Select all occurrences of current word for multi edit

Mike Peters, 01-30-2013
Update: Sublime Text 3 Beta is available here

Instant load times, built-in "Go to function definition", Improved multi-view panes and lots more goodies.

Only available to Registered (paid) users at the point of this writing.

Note: None of the plugins are compatible yet. But on the other hand, "Goto function definition" is now a built-in feature.
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