Opening Files Together in a New BBEdit Text Window, Redux

Back in September, after BBEdit 8.0 shipped, I posted an AppleScript you could use to open a bunch of files together in a single new window, which was something you couldn’t do out-of-the-box with BBEdit’s new documents drawer. The choices in BBEdit 8.0 were to either open each document in its own window (i.e. the traditional multi-window behavior BBEdit has always offered), or you could always have documents open within the current frontmost window.

I use the script with Ranchero’s Big Cat Scripts plug-in, so that I can invoke it from the Finder’s contextual menu simply by Control-clicking on the files I wish to open together.

In my original script, I had to go through a few minor contortions to work around some of the limitations of BBEdit 8.0’s scripting support for the documents drawer. BBEdit 8.1 (released two days ago) makes this a lot easier, by adding an optional opening in parameter to the open command. Your choices for the opening in target are front_window, separate_windows, and the one we want: new_window.

Here’s the new version of the script:

on main(file_list)
   tell application "BBEdit"
      open file_list opening in new_window
      tell text window 1
         set show documents drawer to true
         set show navigation bar to true
      end tell
   end tell
end main

(The main handler is a Big Cat Scripts idiom; see the previous article for more details on using this with Big Cat.)

This script is not only more concise and intuitive than the version from September, but executes a bit quicker as well.


Chris Nandor has updated his Perl version of the same script, and also offers a bunch of tips for making use of the bbedit command-line tool.