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Using TextMate with Google Docs

The new Google Command Line opens up some interesting possibilities. One that I wanted to explore was using TextMate to edit basic Google Docs.

First, install Google’s Command Line tool. Details are on their wiki for each OS. There are lots of tips in the comments and even a packaged installer. (I used ports to install)

The next step is to create a symlink from the “mate” command to “mate_wait”. What this does is default the wait argument to true. This is needed for the Google script to detect changes to your document.

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/mate /usr/bin/mate_wait

You can now open a document in TextMate:

google docs edit --title "Ideas" --editor "mate_wait"

If you select a title for a document that doesn’t exist, it will be created. Once you close the file in TextMate, control returns to the shell and the document is updated on Google’s servers.

You are only able to edit in text only mode. So it works best on documents without any formatting.

To list your existing documents, try:

google docs list