Many people use Microsoft Word to write essays, create formal documents, write academic papers, and so on. Moreover, it allows them to format documents, add footnotes, change fonts, add images, et cetera. However, if you want to perform any complex task, such as coding, Microsoft Word would not be an appropriate choice. It is only used to create documents that humans can read. You need a text editor.
For advanced and complex tasks, you must choose a text editor that offers splendid features. For example, content creators, programmers, technical editors, etc., use modern-day code editors to develop blogs and websites that serve their coding language needs. In addition, many text editors come with syntax highlighting, built-in tools for debugging, and many other features, helping programmers build a comprehensive website hassle-free.
What is a Text Editor?
As suggested by the name, a text editor enables users to write and edit text. The text could be anything. It may be a college essay or code to develop a program or a website. In the context of web developers, text editors help them write, read, and edit programming codes. Today, desktops and laptops come with a built-in text editor with basic features. For example, Notepad is the built-in text editor for desktops and laptops running Windows. Similarly, for macOS devices, the Notes app serves the purpose.
How to Choose the Best Text Editor?
Several text editors designed for different purposes are available today. We know that every coin has two different sides. Similarly, every text editor has something good and bad. Choosing the correct and best text editor is very important. Below are some features that you must consider while picking a text editor for any purpose:
The primary feature to consider while selecting a code editor is speed. Choose a text editor that allows you to edit quickly. However, if you have a modern-day device, there are strong chances that any text editor will run speedily. Old hardware finds it difficult to support modern-day text editors.
If any device is ergonomic, then it is designed to boost efficiency and reduce discomfort considerably. For instance, if a keyboard is ergonomic, you can use it for a long time without any stress on your hands. An ergonomic text editor is one that is easy to use. It should reduce the challenges involved with writing code.
Another significant feature a text editor must include is extensibility. A text editor must support extensions so that you can leverage additional functions. For instance, you may need extensions specific to the chosen programming language while using a text editor.
Best Text Editors for Windows, Linux, and macOS
1. Visual Studio Code
Developed by Microsoft, Visual Studio Code, also referred to as VSCode, is one of the most popular text editors for developers. Some even consider it as the best text editor for programming. VSCode’s IntelliSense offers many useful features, such as smart code completion based on variable types and syntax highlighting. VSCode allows you to debug your code from the editor itself.
Therefore, there is no need to write a print statement for debugging. Furthermore, it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems. In addition, you can pair VSCode with other apps and start debugging with call stacks, breakpoints, and more. Additionally, the free text editor supports Microsoft Azure to deploy different websites built using Vue, Python, React, Angular , etc. It allows you to store document-based and relational data. The source control feature of VSCode allows users to view all changes made to the project.
VSCode’s Zen Mode feature helps users clear out all the clutter and remove all items that do not require the editor. It has built-in Git commands. VSCode supports various extensions to add new debuggers, languages, and themes. It is among the best text editors for customization, debugging, and language support.
2. Sublime Text
Sublime Text is one of the most comprehensive and widely-used text editors. The best advantage of using Sublime Text is that it is extremely lightweight. Despite that, it offers many advanced features. Sublime Text is compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows. Its Tab Multi-Select feature allows you to split the interface into multiple tabs. This feature makes navigation easy.
The popular code editor has an auto-complete feature that offers smart code completion depending on the project’s existing code. It has a refreshed UI, where themes and color schemes support switching to the dark mode automatically. Moreover, you can get customized title bars with the Adaptive theme on Windows and Linux systems. The text editor supports various modern programming languages.
It has an enhanced syntax highlighting feature that incorporates many modern features, such as multiline constructs, non-deterministic grammars, syntax inheritance, and lazy embeds.
Pricing: You can install Sublime Text for free. However, you need to buy a license to use it. There are two types of licenses, namely Personal and Bundles. The Personal license costs $99, and the Bundles license costs $168.
When you make modifications to your HTML and CSS code, the changes get displayed immediately on the screen. In addition, Brackets supports various extensions, like file icons, Emmet, Indent Guides, Autoprefixer, and W3C Validation. The Quick Edit feature of Brackets supports editing of the CSS file directly from the HTML file. Therefore, there is no need to leave the HTML file that you are working on. In addition, the Split View feature divides the main screen into two parts. The screen can be divided vertically or horizontally. With this feature, users can work on two different files simultaneously.
Brackets supports more than 38 different programming languages, including C++, Java, HTML, Ruby, Perl, Python, BCScript, and C.
Atom is another free-to-use and open-source text editor. It is developed with LESS and CoffeeScript. However, many elements of Atom are now transformed into Java. It is compatible to work with macOS, Linux, and Windows. Atom runs on Electron. It is that uses web technologies for developing cross-platform applications. The code editor was solely designed for web developers. It is the best for creating websites, as it provides a set of collaboration tools, organization tools, and a sleek editor to keep track of all ongoing projects. Moreover, you can share the desired projects with remote team members. It also offers a split view and auto-completion features.
Furthermore, the built-in package manager enables users to search for the desired package and install it instantly. Moreover, you can create your own package as per your needs. These packages make the text editor a more advanced program. In addition, you can make your own package from scratch and add it to Atom. The file system browser feature allows you to browse and open a complete project, a single file, or multiple projects in a single window. In addition, there are eight built-in syntax and UI themes. Users can even customize the look of Atom’s UI using LESS and CSS.
Espresso is a comprehensive text editor of macOS. It is ideal for people who design and develop innovative and delightful websites. This text editor enables users to write a simple document, code a program , and design and publish an intuitive website, all with ease. With Espresso, you can change the CSS code for the current live project and watch the changes in real-time in the browser. It supports Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. In addition, the Zen Shortcuts feature of Espresso enables users to expand and merge abbreviations based on custom snippets and tags.
Pricing: The license for Espresso comes at $99. However, for educational purposes, students and teachers can get a 50% discount. In addition, it offers a 10% discount on 5 or more licenses and a 20% discount on 10 or more licenses.
Vim stands for Vi iMproved. It is a unified text editor and clone program, especially for the Unix operating system. Vim can be used as both a graphical user interface and a command-line interface. It supports various operating systems, such as Haiku, Windows NT, macOS, iOS, Android, Unix, MorphOS, and AmigaOS. It is one of the oldest text editors used by web designers and developers to create scripts using a set of commands. Vim offers various plugins to extend its functionality. In addition, you can learn and become aware of new scripts, extensions, tools, etc., via the Vim online community.
Vim also receives regular updates to stay with the current trends. Another greatest advantage of using Vim is that it supports a plethora of programming languages. Vim has undergone many enhancements since it was developed. These enhancements involve merging files, support for GUI and plug-ins, multi-language support, syntax highlighting, undo and redo history, cursor position, and search histories.
Another robust and open-source text editor used widely is Notepad++. It comes with powerful editing features. It is based on a GNU General Public License, meaning anyone can use it freely and instantly after downloading it. Notepad++ is a Windows text editor, i.e., it is a dedicated text editor for Microsoft Windows. It has an editing component called Scintilla and is written in C++. Notepad++ uses STL and Win32 API, allowing it to run fastly and quickly. It is available in more than 90 different languages.
Therefore, people across the world and from different regions can use it. Syntax highlighting and folding features of Notepad++ makes it more manageable for developers and content creators to write and edit the code. In addition, developers can use customization tools to develop and design a powerful website with it. The auto-completion feature helps users to cut code-writing efforts. Moreover, Notepad++ provides a set of advanced plugins, allowing seamless integration with other software. Using Notepad++ as a text editor for beginners is one of the best choices, as it has a simple interface.
One of the world’s best text editors is UltraEdit. It is not an open-source text editor compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux. UltraEdit is an all-in-one solution for programmers. It offers case folding, macros, syntax highlighting, regular expressions, project management, remote file editing and conversion, and more. UltraEdit is especially popular due to its customization capabilities, adorable and impressive themes, and performance. More than 4 million people use and trust UltraEdit due to its advanced features. The most significant feature of UltraEdit is that it quickly replaces and finds files and allows rapid code editing.
Furthermore, it allows you to cut, paste, and delete anything by selecting using the cursor. UltraEdit supports HTML Live Preview, enabling users to observe the result instantly when the changes are made to the code. Moreover, it allows users to edit large files. Many free text editors crash when large files are edited or customized, but UltraEdit does not.
Pricing: UltraEdit offers a free trial period of 30 days. It requires a subscription of $79.95 annually for use thereafter.
BBEdit is a text editor developed by Bare Bones Software. Initially, it was designed for the Macintosh System Software 6. It also supports macOS. The BBEdit text editor is specially developed for web designers and software developers. It possesses advanced functionalities, such as auto-completion and Git integration. Additionally, BBEdit offers syntax highlighting and Quick Search features. Moreover, it supports validation of HTML markup, offers prototypes of HTML constructs, and supports previewing. BBEdit can work with various programming languages and supports syntax checking for various scripts.
Pricing: The individual license for BBEdit costs $49.99.
Coda is another text editor for macOS users that has a user-friendly interface developed by Panic Inc. It allows users to edit remote and local files with a built-in terminal. To edit remote files, it supports multiple technologies, such as WebDAV, SFTP, Amazon S3 servers, and FTP. The Coda text editor has been available for macOS users for the last decade and is ideal for web developers.
The new version of Coda is available now, called Coda2 or Nova. The new version incorporates more advanced features, such as find and replace, project-wide autocompletes, automatic tag closing, syntax highlighting, and quicker shifting of code. It is super-fast and flexible to use. One of the most advanced characteristics of Coda2 is that it supports touch-bars on MacBook Pro devices. Moreover, it supports CSS overriding, symbol parsing, case folding, indexing of local files, et cetera. Nova has a built-in WebKit Preview, including a profiler, debugger, and web inspector. Coda2 involves a wide variety of plugins, allowing users to extend its feature set.
Pricing: Coda2 is available at $99.
Allan Odgaard developed a general-purpose editor for macOS systems called TextMate. It is a graphical user interface text editor that incorporates advanced features, such as folding sections, declarative customizations, shell integration, snippets, and recordable macros. TextMate is a customizable text editor and supports a wide variety of programming languages. In addition, TextMate’s multiple insertion points allow you to swap multiple code pieces and make multiple changes at one time. The file search has made it easier just by selecting what you wish to search.
The version control feature of TextMate enables users to see what changes files have undergone in the file browser view. Moreover, users can view what lines have changed in the editor view. TextMate supports macros for eliminating repetitive tasks. You can either record a macro from scratch and use it for immediate replay or save it for repeated use. Bundles in TextMate allow customization. In addition, Bundles support various markup systems, languages, workflows, and more. With TextMate, you can convert any piece of code into a snippet using transformations, placeholders, etc.
The most significant advantage of using this text editor is its support for user-defined commands. The folding code sections feature allows you to hide the part of code that is not currently being edited. In addition, the search and replace feature is based on the Oniguruma regular expression library that accelerates text manipulations.
With the Sites pack, you can design and develop a fantastic website. It comes with two additional apps dedicated to SEO and for controlling metrics. Next is the Email pack that ensures better communication with impressive email designs. It allows users to develop mobile-friendly newsletters, sales notices, and emails that can get displayed across various email clients. Finally, the Forms pack of CoffeeCup enables you to create customized and appealing data entry forms. In addition, all four packs include an HTML editor, enabling you to develop landing pages.
Pricing: The Developers pack is available at $199. Sites, Emails, and Forms are available at $129.
Pricing: The Pro package of CodePen offers great features, allowing developers to build and write code faster and quicker. The pricing of this package starts from $8 per month.
In addition, the code intelligence feature offers code completion and code suggestions. Another significant benefit of using WeBuilder is that it is fully customizable. You can rearrange or adjust toolbars, shortcut keys, menus, and all other elements as per your choices and requirements. Moreover, WeBuilder is the best choice for beginners, as it is simple and easy to learn.
Pricing: You can download WeBuilder freely. You can, however, purchase it with a one-time payment of $59.95 to access the advanced features.
15. Komodo Edit
Another open-source and straightforward yet powerful text editor for dynamic programming languages is Komodo Edit. It is an ideal text editor for professional web developers and beginners. It is compatible with working on Windows and macOS machines. In addition, it also supports all major platforms and frameworks. Komodo Edit comes in two editions - Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE. Komodo Edit is ideal for beginners who require basic text editor features. On the other hand, Komodo IDE is suitable for web developers to build and design a website or a web page. Both these versions are open-source and free-to-use.
Komodo IDE is a powerful IDE that offers advanced features. It allows you to collaborate and share your work in real-time with other team members. It supports three interactive shells, namely Ruby, Perl, and Python. In addition, Komodo IDE supports seamless integration with multiple tools, like Vagrant, Grunt, Yarn, and Gulp. Additionally, Komodo Edit supports live previewing, where users can view live results of any changes made in the HTML code. It allows you to make multiple selections and keep track of changes made.
A text editor is a feature-rich tool that enables anyone to write and edit documents, academic peppers, and code. It is essential to select the right text editor according to your needs and requirements. If you just want a text editor, modern-day desktops and laptops have built-in text editors.
However, if you are a web developer or a system coder, the text editors mentioned above will help you perform your tasks. The above list includes the best and most widely-used text editors. We have mentioned 15 top text editors with their features and prices to help you pick the best one.
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