Sublime Forum

Do you recommend ST4 upgrade, or should I keep ST3?


I’ve been a huge fan of Sublime Text for almost 10 years now. It’s my most frequently used program every week. I’ve bought ST3 and SM licenses, and I’ve been meaning to support the project further by buying a new Sublime Text 4 license and upgrading. But just a quick glance at this forum makes me worried that upgrading will come with lots of small inconveniences. I already really like ST3, and I’m afraid that I’ll end up losing hours of productivity just getting it to run as smoothly and fixing quirks.

In your opinion, are you happy with upgrading to ST4? If so, what makes you like it more than ST3?



A fair amount of the mixed reviews come from the idea that the automatic upgrade moved people to a version requiring them to upgrade their license to continue (legally) using Sublime without any warning being provided that it was going to happen.

What’s considered an inconvenience is up to interpretation in general though; the two main “issues” that seem to be causing the most problems for people would be:

  1. If you have (ill advised) overrides on the Default packages, upgrading to ST4 will be problematic for you because a lot of default functionality is housed there, and the overrides mask it. See questions like some system key bindings changing (pressing enter to select items in panels for example) that stop things from working. Moving the package away is an easy fix for this, though. If you made the overrides on purpose, you can always update them to include only the changes you intended to make as well.

  2. If you rely on the autocomplete system cycling through all possible completions without opening the panel, that behaviour has changed. The new AC system is much more powerful than it used to be previously in general, but this could be considered a breaking change for some (and maybe it will return?)

All that aside though, the best thing to do would be to take it for a test drive and see what you think. You can have a copy of ST4 installed in parallel with ST3.

ST4 will re-use the configuration area for ST3, so just installing it and starting it will allow you to start using it with your current configuration.

Optionally, before you do so you can use ST3’s Browse Packages command to open the Packages folder, navigate up the hierarchy until you see Sublime Text 3, then duplicate that folder and rename it to just Sublime Text; if that is present, ST4 will use it, allowing you to run that version with a separate config that starts off mirroring your ST3 config but keeping things separate. (You could also just create that folder to start with a clean config).

Portable versions are also an option for testing, if you’re on Linux or Windows.



You can keep using it.

yes. I prefer it over ST3 since the performance is better on files and plugins.

You can use both side by side. instead of upgrading. install ST4. See for yourself.



I’ve been using ST4 for a while now and feel that it’s completely worth upgrading to the latest version.

The price for ST is worth it, especially considering that I’m supporting a fellow Aussie business, and you still get far better value than that of other IDEs like JetBrains series for example, while providing the performance and consistency you expect from ST.

Upgrading was pretty simple, had zero issues at all.

I also started using the TabNine plugin with it as well, which adds some extra completion features (including machine learning predictions).

They’re worth the very little amount of money Sublime (and TabNine) charge for their products; I have no problems supporting them, they do a fantastic job.

The key thing for me is the performance and stability; I’ve tried a lot of editors, Sublime is the one I’ve always used aside from playing with the other ones on occasion, just to see what else is out there and all.

Sublime has come a long way, their work speaks for itself, and the packages make Sublime even more powerful.

All being said, give it a go for yourself, free of charge before you decide to commit.

Have an awesome day!




Real question. I seen people getting excited and wary over Github Co-pilot. TabNine seems to be the same thing but was available for much longer. Is it really that great of an investment? I am asking out of plain curiosity. The subscription price seems to be equal to a full year of using Netflix HD plan.



For me, upgrading was seamless. I really don’t notice any difference. I have not changed any default packages, but I have changed themes etc. and had no problems with that

I say, just do it. There are no quirks. You probably won’t even notice the difference. Like you, I have used ST for many years

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The only people complaining are the ones: using an unmaintained or abandon plugin not working in the latest version, the ones that irrationally leave unsaved files open, complain when they are not there anymore after closing Sublime Text and the ones that simply are too cheap to pay for a great tool.



ST team have put a lot of effort into making the switch to the new major seamless, and it was like that for me as well, but your mileage may vary. That being said it is a new major, so there are changes, that’s the point. Also occasional bugs here and there that you may or may not stumble upon. If your job depends on it, do it on the weekend, don’t just click on upgrade buttons in the middle of your workflow, it’s common sense.

What makes me like ST4 more than ST3? - Support.

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Sometimes the blinking cursor stops in one position. When I click on some other character, I can tell the cursor moves there, but the visual indication remains stuck in that previous position.

Also, I hated the new bar on Linux and had to do research to change it. Also, ST crashed when I was using OpenGL. Also, I’ve had some microstutters when using Opengl. Also, the suggestions are actually significantly worse than I got used to in ST3.

That’s right, I’m complaining. Is there a plugin that I can update, or maybe I should save some more files, or maybe I should pay more than I’m paying right now and get a second license?



This is the place for you. Enjoy.



2K issues? Wow the problem with abandoned plugins is very serious



As a matter of fact, I’m interested in hearing both good reviews along with the bad. I would appreciate it if you’d stop gatekeeping the responses on the thread that I started… where I specifically asked for people’s candid personal experiences with ST4.

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Nobody is gatekeeping. I already gave you my answer about the experience of ST4.

Make your own mind. Don’t let people decide for you. The best way to do that is to try both ST3 and ST4. That’s it.

Wait till you see how many issues VS Code has.

Wow the problem with abandoned plugins is very serious

that’s on the plugin author. Not Sublime Text. Plugins are not an official part of the text editor.



Yes, popular plugins being dropped by their developers is a common issue in open source projects. Also noted Kodi team to struggle with many complaints about no longer working plugins due to required change to python3 in Kodi 19.

But on the other hand, plugin ecosystem is what makes open products such as ST great - especially if a small team of devs is unable to provide least required features for all kinds of languages and syntaxes out in the wild.

ST is just nothing but a dump text editor without its plugins. So many even popular ones being dropped is a serious issue which in its extend shows the state of the whole projects reputation. It at least proves how many devs find it worth putting work/effort/time in that project.

It’s a pitty though as it is a great tool, I don’t want to miss. But I can’t decline setting up producivity environments for certain usecases to be much more tedious then with competitive products. ST is just not an editor for a DAU (dumpest assumable user) and requires quite some time to get involved enough to be able to master all its personality.

I personally use ST4 as of first internal alpha release which was built 4050 and I never looked back a second. Sure, some behavior changed but thoughsands of small issues have been fixed and improved. It just appears improvement is accepted/expected silently, while even smallest changes in things users got used to cause heavy complaints.

I never used snippets too much, so am not effected negatively by those changes. Some others might be as it appears from all those forum topics and issues.



yeah, I wish people understood this more instead of blaming everything on the main program.

Indeed. That is the reason I use mpv and Sublime Text. If you haven’t used mpv yet, I highly recommend it. There is a loyal community just like there is with Sublime Text,

I think that is just a false expectations from users coming from an IDE or using VS Code, which is blurs the lines between text editor and IDE. Even before Sublime Text, there were and still are less popular text editors with extension support. Newer and older devs are using IDEs today more for working on projects. So the expectation of having something work out of the box is there.

That is pretty normal of users. You can leave the text editor the same without changes and they will complain about Sublime Text stagnating. If you do make changes, like ST did, they will complain about having to deal with changes.



That was sarcasm. The point is that 2K issues cannot all be explained by outdated plugins or people complaining about unsaved files. It would seem there are actual real problems with ST4 that you want to ignore. (This is not sarcasm)



Don’t worry about the number too much. Most of those issues are simply user error, feature request, duplicates, not reproducible or simply not related to the core part of Sublime Text. SublimeHQ tackles the real issues that are a serious problem and the ones they can handle at the moment.



That is the reason I use mpv and Sublime Text

Out of curiosity, what is mpv ?



Every piece of software have bugs and issues with its ecosystem, especially on the scale of Sublime Text. Are the Sublime’s issues bigger than its competitors? We don’t know, but there are not that many competitors left in this landscape and in future there will be even less. Besides the ‘free’ ones and the IDE’s that have been developed for decades and have to be payed for continual use.

On the editor side of things now we have a ‘free’ alternative tailored for web developers mainly, that I’m sure have plenty of bugs and issues, but it’s ‘free’ (for us) and so we can kind of forgive them.

I think we will keep seeing those types of questions reappearing, and that’s ok, but for me the strangest thing is the fallacy that a lot of people seems to fall into, the concept that:

  1. Either ST3 was the perfect piece of software that it didn’t need any further updates
  2. Or the fact that the team behind it could support it forever with the license money from 7 years ago for example

And the correct answers to those are:

  1. The only software that is done is the dead one
  2. In order to support a piece of software you need funding (hint: MS pays their employees to develop VSCode)

Hope that helps. Also end of offtopic …

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pretty off-topic but its a foss media player. The thing is that it is modular and less bloated than VLC or MPC. To me its the Sublime Text of video players.