Yes, the file exists in /private/var/.... and I can edit it. After saving I then close that file (editor BBEdit). But when I check 'notes' it has not changed. Using 'TextEdit' it tells me: sh: TextEdit: command not found Error: EDITOR returned non-zero Then tried 'update books set notes=edit(notes,'nano') WHERE id=1;' which DID work. So it seems BBEdit is doing something wonky but at least I got it working. I had set Thanks to all for the suggestions.