Text editor

You will need an editor for text to edit code and other things.

Your text editor will be your constant companion and you should chose carefully.

Your teachers use the vim text editor; this is very powerful but has a steep learning curve. The editors we recommend below are easier to use without practice, but less powerful.


We suggest Notepad++.

Go to the "Download" page; download and run the .exe installer.


export PATH=/c/Program\ Files/Notepad++:$PATH
alias edit='notepad++'


We suggest TextWrangler. Download the .dmg installer. Run the file to get the disk icon on the desktop like this:

TextWrangler DMG

Double click the disk icon to get something like this:

TextWrangler install

Drag the TextWrangler icon to the Applications folder icon to install.

Open TextWrangler by going to your Applications folder and double-clicking the TextWrangler icon.

Go to the TextWrangler menu and make sure you have installed the command line tools:

TextWrangler command line

Git setup

git is the standard version control software that allows us to keep a record of changes and to share changes with other people.

On Windows

Note: You will need to install version 1.8.4 (there's an error in 1.8.5 for Windows). You can find the 1.8.4 Windows executable here.

Follow the instructions here.

If you installed Notepad++ you will need to tell git to use Notepad++ as your editor when git needs text descriptions.

First open windows explorer to check where Notepad++ got installed. The program may be in C:/Program Files/Notepad++/notepad++.exe or in C:/Program Files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe. Check which.

Then double click the git bash icon:

git bash icon

From this web page, select and copy the command that matches where your Notepad++ was installed:

git config --global core.editor "'C:/Program Files/Notepad++/notepad++.exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin"


git config --global core.editor "'C:/Program Files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe' -multiInst -notabbar -nosession -noPlugin"

Select the top left corner of the git bash window to get the window menu, then find the 'Edit' menu 'Paste' option to paste the command into git bash:

git bash paste

When you've pasted, press return:

git bash configged

(These instructions are from stackoverflow)

You can check that your editor is properly configured by typing:

git config --global -e

in the git bash window. It should fire up Notepad++ with a text file with some settings for git. Don't change anything, close the file.


Download and run the installer for git on OSX.

If you installed TextWrangler you need to tell git to use it as your text editor.

  • make sure you installed the TextWrangler command line tools (see above).
  • Open Terminal (Command key and space, type 'Terminal' to find the Terminal app)
  • At the Terminal command line, type:

    git config --global core.editor "edit -w"

(These instructions are from stackoverflow)

You can check your editor is properly configure by typing:[

git config --global -e

in the Terminal window. It should fire up TextWranger with a text file with some settings for git. Don't change anything, close the file.

R statistical computing platform

Download and run the installer for R.