The Evil Windows Environment Editor

I think that probably any computer user who has had to maintain a complex set of Windows Environment variables has banged his or her head against the horrible interface that Microsoft has bequeathed to us for managing these important values. The tiny single-line text fields that Windows provides are woefully inadequate for manipulating some of the lengthy values that wind up in Environment variables. To heap pain upon pain, not only is it annoying to do much editing with this interface, the smallest mistake in setting a value can lead to hidden and bad consequences that go undetected as Windows gives you no warning when your Path value contains syntax errors or non-existent paths.

For many years, I gritted my teeth and endured this shameful excuse for an interface. I occasionally compensated for its vices by copying and pasting values into VIM for a more accurate editing experience. Using this method, I find that the Path variable with its large size often requires me to globally replace semi-colons with line breaks before I do any editing so that I can actually get a good feel for all the directories in my path.

During these annoying times when I do battle with the Environment, I often think that surely someone has written a piece of software to fill this enormous hole in the dark landscape of Windows.  In the past, I occasionally Googled for such software, but never found any (probably due to a lack of diligence).

But tonight’s search on Google was not such a failure!

Indeed, rejoice ye users of Windows far and wide for if ye have ever endured the bitter sting of Environment Variable Hell, then your salvation draweth nigh! Go immediately and download the excellent Rapid Environment Editor and you will find the Environment editing Nirvana that you seek.