Independent software developer Chris Zurbrigg, creator of the Blue Pencil Sketchpad for Maya, has recently released Charcoal Editor, a plugin for Autodesk Maya that is designed to effectively replace the Script Editor in Maya.

Created to meet the production needs of Maya TDs and tools developers, Charcoal Editor is powerful, flexible and familiar. It includes the major functionality of Maya’s native script editor and adds the features professional developers depend on

If you do a lot of scripting FOR Maya, you probably don’t do it IN Maya, many people use whatever IDE (Integrated Development Environment) they prefer, and there are many including Cutter, bbEdit and jEdit to name a few.

Most of these are external edtitors to Maya, and this is the functional difference between them and the new Charcoal Editor for Maya. Charcoal Editor is a Maya plugin that is integrated into Maya using Qt and the Maya API, providing modern IDE features without having to leave Maya. This eliminates the need to install syntax and language add ons to be able to script for MEL, the Charcoal Editor Plugin installs easily and integrates seamlessly into Maya’s environment, and in addition, the Charcoal Editor is also cross platform having a Windows 64 and 32 bit version, as well as an OS X version with a Linux version in the works.

For more information on the Charcoal Editor Plugin for Maya, check out the page at Chris’ site Zurbrigg here. Charcoal Editor for Maya has a special introductory price of $39.00 CAD.

Charcoal Editor for Maya features

  • MEL & Python script execution
  • Multi-document (tab interface)
  • Syntax Highlighting (MEL & Python)
  • Split-screen editing
  • Movable tabs
  • Advanced find and replace
  • Document saving
  • File renaming
  • Auto-save on execute


  • Smart indenting
  • Auto-completion
  • Matching word highlighting
  • Matching brace highlighting
  • Multi-level undo/redo
  • Display hidden characters (tabs and spaces)
  • Convert tabs to spaces
  • Save script to shelf
  • Drag-and-drop script to/from shelf
  • Selected code execution
  • Single line execution


  • Tabbed code window
  • Output window with highlighting (errors, warning and results)
  • Outline view for quick navigation to classes, methods, and procs
  • Open document and buffer views
  • Configurable project tree view


  • User configurable layouts
  • Customizable syntax highlighting
  • Customizable font settings


  • Cross-platform (Windows and OSX)
  • Native C++ plugin
  • Easy installation (no 3rd-party libraries)


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