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Use UltraEdit to keep to-do lists

Ben Schwenk
UI/UX Design

If you're a right-brained person like me, you just can't mentally keep track of everything you need to get done. And – again, if you're like me – you probably don't keep handwritten to-do lists because you misplace your list almost as soon as you complete it.

Well, right-brained or not, you can use UltraEdit for your to-do lists...that way it's impossible to lose them!

The best way to set up to-do lists in UltraEdit is through the powerful syntax highlighting engine. Create a plain text file consisting of the following single line:

/L16"to-do list" Line Comment = - String Chars = ! DisableMLS Block Comment On Alt = == File Extensions = list todo

Save the file as "todo.uew" into your wordfiles directory (which you can find in Advanced -> Configuration -> Editor Display -> Syntax Highlighting), and voilĂ ! You are ready to create and maintain to-do lists!

I usually create my list in the following format:

- todo item
- another todo item
- third todo item

...then save the file as "tasks.todo". The "todo" file extension will cause the to-do syntax highlighting to kick in. Once a task is complete, I change the leading dash (-) to an exclamation point (!), which allows me to see what tasks have been completed and what tasks still need to be done. With default coloring, your to-do list will likely look similar to the following:

Screenshot of to-do list in UltraEdit

I recommend changing the colors for your to-do list in syntax highlighting configuration (referenced above) so that there is more contrast between completed and uncompleted items. For instance, I use a dark color theme in UltraEdit, so here is what my to-do lists look like (normal text color set to neon green):

Screenshot of to-do list in UltraEdit

I know some of you already use UltraEdit for your to-do lists; please share in the comments what else you can do. Folding, function listing, etc... any further to-do list functionality beyond what I've described here?

Got a tip or trick you want to share? Let us know!

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Gary Smyrski
Guest post
To Do List not working
Reply #1 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 10:43:48
Did as explained, plus associated UE with .todo file types. Still does seem to work for me. I must be missing something...
IDM Computer Solutions
Posts: 2
RE: To Do List not working
Reply #2 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 10:53:53

Thanks for the comment. If you need assistance in enabling a new wordfile, the best thing to do is email us at support@ultraedit.com. However, there are a couple of things to check:

1. That you saved the todo wordfile in the directory shown in Advanced -> Configuration -> Editor Display -> Syntax Highlighting.

2. That your wordfile is in standard DOS and ASCII/ANSI format. You can check this by opening the wordfile in UltraEdit and looking in the status bar. It should say "DOS". If it says anything else (U8-DOS, UNIX, etc.), you'll need to re-save the file in standard DOS and ASCII/ANSI format.

3. Make sure you added the file extensions to the top of the wordfile.


Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 15:50:26 by idmadmin  
Guest post
To Do Lists
Reply #3 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 02:19:29
Hi Ben

I already use UE for my ToDo lists, and think your syntax highlighting idea great - took allof 2 minutes to add. The other thing I use is code-folding so I can group tasks relating to a particular job in a group and hide them when I want to. The lines to do it are:
/Open Fold Strings = "{"
/Close Fold Strings = "}"

Enable code folding in Config/Editor Display and in the ToDo list it looks like this

Pay Credit Card
Chase Accounts Payable
File Annual Accounts
File Sales Invoices
IDM Computer Solutions
Posts: 2
Re: To Do Lists
Reply #4 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 08:11:15
John, excellent suggestion! Thanks for sharing.


Guest post
Reply #5 on : Thu May 12, 2011, 02:41:47
So, in order to improve this idea little bit.. How do you make it to highlight lines with certain deadlines?
Would be nice to have something like this:

*RED* - (2011-05-11): try the suggested todo trick
*GREEN* - (2011-06-12): add more intelligent to the syntax highlighting
Guest post
To-Do List "Tool" for UE Mac
Reply #6 on : Fri May 13, 2011, 12:07:57
As soon as IDM releases a version of UE for OSX that supports User tools..... I will be releasing a free tool to support embedded "To-Do" lists within code files such as PHP, C++ etc. using the same methods that Visual Studio uses...
Guest post
Reply #7 on : Wed June 19, 2013, 16:30:13
Neat -- worked very well once I converted the file to DOS / ASCII.

I already always use UltraEdit for my ToDo lists, so highlighting them is an added bonus.


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