Text editors are used by programmers and developers for manipulating plain text source code, editing configuration files or viewing error logs. Text editors are scaled-down from the full functionality of an integrated development environment (IDE), but may have plugins that blur the lines between the two. Here’s our pick of the best text editors.
You can download Sublime Text for free, however, officially it is not. After the evaluation period, you are supposed to get a license for continued use. There is also a portable version that can be easily run from a USB stick.
Sublime Text is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Sublime Text uses a custom UI toolkit, optimized for speed and beauty, while taking advantage of native functionality on each platform.
Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window.
Based on a powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size.
Visual Studio Code is a streamlined code editor with support for development operations like debugging, task running and version control. It aims to provide just the tools a developer needs for a quick code-build-debug cycle and leaves more complex workflows to fuller featured IDEs.
Atom is a text editor that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core—a tool you can customize to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file.
Atom works across operating systems. You can use it on OS X, Windows, or Linux.
Brackets is a lightweight, yet powerful, modern text editor. We blend visual tools into the editor so you get the right amount of help when you want it without getting in the way of your creative process.
GNU Emacs is the most popular and most ported Emacs text editor. It was created by GNU Project founder Richard Stallman.
Emacs runs on several operating systems regardless of the machine type. The main ones are: GNU, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, MS Windows and Solaris. It supports content-aware editing modes, including syntax coloring, for many file types.
An entire ecosystem of functionality beyond text editing, including a project planner, mail and news reader, debugger interface, calendar, and more.