A lot has changed in the technology industry in the last five years. From major developments in the Artificial Intelligence to robust smart devices, many new programming languages have been introduced for the development of modern technology. As per the recent stats, the development industry is falling short of developers and programmers. It is estimated that by the year 2020 the technology industry will fall short of nearly 1 million developers. The world calls for efficient programmers who can write a seamless amount of clean and optimized code in the given time-frame. For writing an optimized and error free code, it is very necessary for a programmer to choose among the best code editors.
So, if you are a programmer or a wannabe developer, you are one step closer to becoming a pro in this field. This is because in this post, we will be revealing the top 16 Code Editors that will help you write the most efficient code for your next project.
A good text editor helps in the increasing the efficiency of the developer along with providing an instant detailing of the code which further helps in avoiding some of the most common programming mistakes.
Only a programmer knows the scenario when a single “;” (semi-colon) missed in a code of thousand lines results in a failed program execution. Efficient code editors are those which notify the developer of such and other syntax based mistakes instantly.
So, here is the list containing the best text editors that will help a developer write highly optimized code.
16 Best Code Editors for Developers
Notepad++ is an advanced and feature-rich sibling of the Notepad text editor you find in Windows OS. There is a major interface difference between the two which you may notice immediately after starting Notepad++.
The application supports various programming languages, but it is typically known for being the best HTML editor. The application supports colored lines while writing the syntax of the language and further highlights the mistakes in the code immediately.
1. Being built for the Windows platform, it can also run on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X(using Wine).
2. It is a lightweight application and launches quickly.
3. Supports external plugins including macros.
4. Interface supports tabbed editing.
5. Add Bookmarks for future concerns
6. Drag and Drop Option for beginners.
7. Option to find and replace text
8. Full-Screen Mode
9. Minimize to tray window
10. Smart syntax highlighting
11. Auto indentation and auto complete
12. Code and text folding
13. Compiler Integration
14. FTP support
15. Spell check with file comparison
1. Remote file editing does not support HTTP, SSH or WebDav
2. Does not support large files
3. Third party program (wine) is needed to run the application on Mac OS X.
2) Sublime Text
Sublime text is another lightweight text editor. It is compact but powerful. It provides powerful IDE-like features along with Python Scripting and with an ability to customize the editor and letting the coders program with great speed and efficiency. There are many code editors which support the black background for enhanced view and Sublime Text is one of them.
1. Multi-Line select and editing
2. Offers a cross-platform support
3. Instant file switching
4. Beginner friendly interface
5. Black screen supports distraction free editing mode
6. Fully customizable
7. Support for TextMate and Windows Decoration themes
8. Haxe and OpenFL integration via plugin support
9. Syntax detection and highlighting the error
1. Poor Support for Linux
2. Opening big files takes time
3. Crashes Frequently
4. The much-used package manager is missing from the software
5. The code editor does not support the print option
6. No toolbar of its own
Price: Free for Trial/ $70 for continuous usage
Atom is the invention of GitHub’s greatest minds and looks very similar to the Sublime Text. The interface looks just like the clone of the latter text editor. Many programmers would feel more comfortable in using Atom as it has got a simple interface as compared to the Sublime Text.
1. Easy to navigate interface
2. Supports Command Palette
3. Special Developer Tools
4. Package Manager Integrated for Plugins support
5. Customizing UI is easier as compared to other code editors
6. The GitHub community is pretty active in getting any issues resolved if the developer is struck somewhere while programming
7. Fuzzy File Finder
1. Slow as compared to other text editors
2. CoffeeScript needed to write the packages.
3. No Corona Package
4. Difficulty in handling large files
So, here comes a Mac supported Text Editor for the flashy programmers who like speed and optimization in a single code editor. Coda supports OS X 10.7.5 and later versions of Mac and is one of the very few code editors that have been carefully designed for the Mac systems only.
The application has evolved much from its initial release in 2007 from a simple text editor to a previewer. It included every essential feature that you will need to power up your coding session including the syntax, reviewing and uploading your webs pages. The Transmit Turbo Engine supports the quick uploads from a remote location.
1. The core features are integrated compactly
2. Leopard GUI
3. Auto code completion
4. Block editing and syntax coloring
5. Drag and drop option
6. Terminal window support for MySQL queries
1. Best suited for programming in HTML and CSS
2. Supports Mac based systems only
3. Support for network drives causes to crash frequently
4. Expensive application as compared to other code editors
Price: 7 day Trial/ $99 for full version
TextMate is another Mac-based text editor. This text editor is mostly preferred for programming in Ruby and Ruby on Rails. It is a well-known Code-Editor for developers who code on a Mac system. The application is excellent for development in modern programming languages. Let’s us look at some of its pros and cons.
1. Search and Replace
2. Auto Indentation
3. Clipboard History
4. Column Selection and Column Typing
5. Auto Completion
6. Support for Foldable Code Blocks
7. Support for Perforce, Darcs, SVK and Subversion
8. Supports more than 50 programming languages
9. Syntax Highlight and coloring
10. Supports Xcode
11. FTP support
1. Outdated UI is the biggest drawback of this highly optimized Mac text editor.
2. No fullscreen support
3. Only available for Mac OSX.
TextWrangler is another iOS-based text editor program. It is one of the very few software platforms which supports only one primary language i.e. English. Although, this feature does not mean that TextWrangler is just another standard application. Being a plain text editor app, it is a very powerful text editor and one of the best tools for Unix and server administration.
2. Very few code editors support execution of big files and TextWrangler is one of them.
3. Plugin support and macros
4. Secure FTP to make transferring of data easier
5. SSH support for remote file editing
6. Compare two docs simultaneously
7. Syntax Highlighting
8. Code folding and Text folding
9. Auto Completion
10. Spell Checker
1. Does not support collaborative editing
2. No HTTP or WebDav support
3. Not compatible with Power Macintosh G4
Here comes the code editor for pro/experienced programmers only. jEdit is an open source platform developed using Java programming language. Java is one of the world’s most secure programming languages. The bytecode functionality of Java makes it tough to decipher and decode. The application supports hundreds of plugins and macros.
Let us learn more about this java based code editor:
1. Auto indentation
2. Code and text folding
3. It is the most powerful engine for implementing regular expressions
4. Spell checker, FTP support, compiler integration available using a third-party plugin
5. Multiple instances can be run at the same time
6. Integrated FTP browser
1. Being written in Java, it is a heavyweight application and thus takes time in loading
2. No collaborative editing
3. Can be buggy on Mac
4. Large files are not supported
5. SSH is not supported for remote file editing
Araneae is a Windows only text editor tool that enriches your coding and programming experience on a Windows based PC. Operating on “Windows Only” is very unique because every program that is available for Windows is also available for other platforms like Mac and Linux also, and Araneae is one of a kind in this regard. The tool includes multiple extensions and localizations which enable support for multiple programming languages like HTML, CSS, XHTML, PHP and Rails without any third party extension download.
Let’s look at some of its features to know more about the platform.
1. Syntax highlighting
2. Drag and drop option for faster implementation
3. Search and replace to perform multiple edits
4. Multiple instance support as in jEdit
1. No external plugins or macros support
Visual Studio Code is a Microsoft-powered platform for developers. The tool, however, is an open source platform and can be used on any major platform like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The biggest feature of this code editor is that it provides an enriching programming experience to developers without letting them download the massive Visual Studio editions file which is approximately 3GB in size. This saves both the time and bandwidth. The application is thus very lightweight and does not consume much of the RAM and promotes fast access and implementation.
1. Supports more than 30 programming languages including Microsoft’s core language ASP.NET, C#, etc.
2. The application installs in very less time due to its compact size.
3. Visual Studio Code also has a portable version to download in the supported devices.
4. Enables GitHub control and offers debugging features.
1. The software takes a huge time in updating on Linux systems.
2. Calls for an immediate improvement in the extension support.
Below are the points to throw some light on the powerful features packed in this tool.
1. Multi-Select option for editing a common code at once.
2. Code and syntax highlighting to notify any error in the code.
3. Integrated FTP for secure file transfer.
4. Column/Block Editing
5. File and data sorting
6. Integrated SSH
7. Good in handling large files
1. The tool is very expensive as compared to the other text editors in the same segment.
Price: $79.95 per year
CoffeeCup is a lightweight text editor which supports HTML/CSS programming. The tool comes with a proprietary license and supports all major platforms including Windows and Mac.
Let us look at the features offered by this lightweight platform.
1. Easy and quick startup
2. Syntax and code highlighting
3. Code Validation tools
4. FTP enabled
5. Option for Previewing the site
6. A splendid support for HTML designing and development
1. Involves adding other Coffeecup apps
2. Only HTML/CSS supported
3. Offers very basic features.
Here comes the ultra-fast code editor which supports a variety of markup languages. The tool is so fast that it loads a complete website within a second. The platform supports simultaneous operations and can easily operate between 500+ documents. This enables support for multiple projects running at a time. The tool is based on Perl Compatible regular expressions and supports all major operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, FreeBDS. Let us look at the full features list for an extended understanding of the tool.
1. Very lightweight application.
2. Supports multiple document execution and implementation
3. Offers a snippet sidebar
4. Supports full auto recovery in case of any mishandling
5. Full screen view for enhanced editing
6. Search and replace for multiple edits at a time
7. Remote files support using the gnome-vfs setup
1. Constant application crashes on Windows 7
2. Could have implemented extended features for new programming languages.
Brackets is an Adobe product and surprisingly, an open source text editor which is free to download. Adobe is known for offering the best products in the industry at a reasonable price. Some of its other products like the Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator are already being used for web designing and graphics creation.
The main feature that separates Brackets from rest of the code editors is its remarkable “Extract” feature. This feature allows you to grab colors, measurements, fonts, gradients, etc. from a PSD file into a ready-for-web CSS.
Let’s look at some more features of this remarkable tool:
1. Uses Inline editors for faster access to a particular part of the code and more rapid implementation.
2. Preview the code establishing a real-time connection.
4. Easily customizable being an open source platform.
5. Regularly updated with the latest features and bug fixes.
1. Split screen not supported
2. No full screen for comprehensive view
3. Third party plugins not allowed
4. Does not support auto-completion of code
ATPad if compared to the Notepad, is very similar regarding looks and the interface. It inevitably comes with some upgrades as compared to Notepad and you can get the tool in more than 11 regional languages. The important feature of ATPad is that it is not necessary to install it on the computer system, and you can open it virtually from any drive.
1. Supports cascading of Windows
2. Line numbering
3. Text Snippet support
4. Options to add bookmarks
5. Find and replace option for multiple edits.
1. No automatic spell-checker
2. Supports basic and lightweight languages
3. Cannot beat advanced code editors in features.
15) Komodo Edit
1. Syntax Highlighting and Code coloring
2. Code auto complete
3. Auto indentation
4. Extension support and macros
1. Spell Check not available
2. Cannot edit collaboratively
3. Large files not supported
4. The tool comes with a hefty fee of $295(without upgrades and support) and $382(with updates and support)
Price: $295(without updates and support) and $382(with updates and support)
Last but not the least, we have a tool for the non-programmers and newbies. KompoZer is a Mozilla powered Web Authoring System that combines the web file management to the WYSIWYG web page editing. The tool comes in 21 languages along with an integrated FTP.
Here are the features:
1. WYSIWYG editing
2. Enabled spell checker
3. Supports templates for better interface
4. FTP enabled
5. Portable version also available
6. Complete page preview option
7. Direct competition with Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage
1. No support for remote file-editing
2. Server-side scripting not supported
3. No collaborative editing
Programming and development is a hectic job, and we have tried our best to enhance the overall coding productivity by picking up the top 16 code editors for programmers and developers. We would love to know your take on this topic and would be glad if you want to contribute something through your comments below.