Open text files with TextWrangler, from the terminal (of-course Mac OSX)

You may choose one of the three approaches below.

As a one-time thing

open -a myfile.txt
open -b com.barebones.textwrangler myfile.txt # same thing by ID

To make TextWrangler the default:

  1. “Get Info” on a text file in the Finder.
  2. Change the “Open with:” program to TextWrangler, in the fifth information pane.
  3. Click the “Change All…” button at the bottom of the pane.
open myfile.txt

Install command-line tools

If you installed the MacApp store version, download the installer from and install.

If you downloaded from the BareBones Software site, there should be an “install command line tools” command in either the Application (TextWrangler) menu or the help menu. I think it’s in the Text Wrangler menu.

Once you have the TextWrangler command line tools installed, you can just type

edit my_text_file.txt

in the terminal and it should open.

Create a shell alias

This approach is also good if you don’t want to change your default editors.

$ alias tw='open -a /Applications/'
$ tw myfile.txt

To have the alias available in every shell you open, just add the line to .bashrc in your home directory. If you don’t have a .bashrc yet, just create it yourself and add the line.

Good Luck.