As anyone who has used the Arduino IDE over time will tell you, this crappy piece of software has barely changed since the Arduino first surfaced. It has no autocompletion, looks crap and is an embarrassing part of the Arduino architecture.
There are a few alternative IDE’s for Arduno out there. You can of course use Atmel’s excellent Studio 6 and there is a nice fork of CodeBlocks for Arduino. However today I discovered one i’ve not come across before that looks really nice and has some great features. It is also cross platform which is a huge bonus for me.
The IDE comprises the text editor Sublime Text (currently in version 2 with a version 3 in beta) with an Arduino plugin called Stino. Sublime Text 2 may be downloaded and evaluated for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use. There is currently no enforced time limit for the evaluation.
Once you have installed Sublime Text, the easiest way to install the Stino plug is with the manual method:
1. Download Stino from Github as a zip file and extract it: (https://github.com/Robot-Will/Stino)
2. In Sublime click the menu `Preferences`->`Browse Packages…`.
3. Copy the extracted Stino folder to the Packages folder.
4. Set Arduino Install Location: Click the menu `Preferences`->`Show Arduino Menu`, Arduino Menu will appear.
5. Click the menu `Arduino`->`Preferences`->`Select Arduino Folder`.
6. Select your `Arduino Application Folder` in the quick panel. This is the location where Arduino.app is installed.
Once you’ve set Sublime up as above you will have a new menu at the top called Arduino which is almost identical to the menu in the Arduino IDE allowing you to create a new sketch, open examples, import libraries choose the Arduino board type and so on.
You can change colour schemes by going to Preferences->Color Scheme.
You now have a way better IDE for using with your Arduino than the bog standard one. The colour coding alone makes it worthwhile but there are also great features such as autocompletion, rename all variables quickly with Multiple Selections, Split Editing for editing two files side by side and so on.
Another nice feature in Stino is the ability to show the Serial Monitor in either Text, Ascii or Hex modes. You can also save the output in the serial monitor window to a file.
Sublime Text is not just for Arduino either, it can be used as your editor for Python, C++, Ruby, Java and so on.
Check out the Sublime Text website for further information about the features and read the documentation that comes with the Stino plugin for further details about that too.