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What are the best open source programming text editors?

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The Best 1 of 31 Options Why?

Best open source programming text editorsPricePlatformsLicense
91

Vim

Linux, macOS, WindowsGPL
89

Neovim

Linux, Windows, macOS, *nix, AndroidApache
87

Visual Studio Code

FreeWindows; macOS; LinuxMIT
87

Spacemacs

Windows, MacOS, LinuxGPLv3
85

Emacs

Unix-like, WindowsGPL
See Full List

91

Excellent

Vim

My Recommendation for Vim

My Recommendation for Vim

Add Video or Image
All

49

Experiences

1

Pros

34

Cons

13

Specs

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Enables effective keyboard-driven editing due to its modal nature

Interaction with Vim is centered around several modes. Each mode has a different purpose and switching between them changes behaviour and keybindings. There are 12 modes in total (6 basic modes and 6 variations on basic modes) and 4 of them are used commonly. Insert mode is for entering text. This mode most resembles traditional text entry in most editors. Normal mode (the default) is entered by hitting ESC and converts all keybindings to center around movement within the file, search, pane selection, etc. Command mode is entered by hitting ":" in Normal mode and allows you to execute vim commands and scripts similar in fashion to a shell. Visual mode is for selecting lines, blocks, and characters of code. Modes allow separating concerns between various tasks and reusing keys for different kinds of functionality. As a result, the workflow becomes more efficient. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Difficult to write extensions for

Vim uses a custom scripting language, VimL, that is somewhat difficult to read and write. As part of data analysis on GitHub commit messages, vimL was found to have the highest percentage of commit messages with expressions of Anger. Almost double of that of the language that had the second highest precentage of expressions of Anger. See More

dyln mc
dyln mc’s Experience

very stable, very efficient once you get the hang of it, strong help community for beginners or experts on freenode/#vim See More

Specs
Platforms:Linux, macOS, Windows
License:GPL
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Works in terminal over SSH 

Unlike other editors such as Sublime Text, Vim is a command line editor and hence can be used in remote development environments such as Chromebooks via SSH. See More

William Clyde
Endi Sukaj
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Poor package management out of the box

Out of the box package management in vim is (to put it lightly) bad. With the user being forced to download files and spread them out in folders inside their .vim folder. But this can be easily fixed through the use of third-party package managers such as Vundle or Pathogen. Update: Vim 8.0 has package management See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Ubiquity and portability 

Vi/vim exists on almost all Unix-like platforms, it is the de-facto Unix editor, and is easily installed on Windows. All you need to make it work is a text-based connection, so it works well for remote machines with slow connections, or when you’re too lazy to set up a VNC/Remote Desktop connection. See More

GenerousBelobog
Top Con

•••

Consume brain energy for editing that should be used for logic

Text editing in vim is awesome, but it requires thinking about combination of commands. In other editors, you don’t have to think about how to delete this part of code. You just think about how to implement a feature, what is a good design for this code. Even after you get used to using vim, it still requires your brain for editing. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Allows keeping fingers in home row 

All vim commands can be accessed without the fingers having to stray far away from the home row. Hand position doesn’t have to be changed since access to arrow keys or ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdn is not needed. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Doesn’t play nice with the system cut/paste mechanisms

This can be worked around if you disable mouse for insert mode. You can then right-click your terminal and use paste like you would anywhere else in a terminal. See More

He Chong
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Amazing extensibility

Vim uses a custom scripting language called VimL (or vimscript). It provides a rich scripting functionality to build upon the core of vim. When combined with, for example, a plugin management system, it becomes easy to add support for syntax, debugging, build systems, git, and more. Vim has thousands of plugins made by the community covering a wide range of languages, integrations and productivity enhancements. Moreover, vim and neovim provide api with various popular programming language. This broadend its extensibility even further. See More

gilch
Top Con

•••

High effort to customize

See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Macros are highly predictable 

Macros are sequences of instructions usually used to simplify common, repetitive tasks and increase productivity. Many text editors have programmable macros, but since vim is keyboard based, its programmed macros are usually far more predictable and easier to understand. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Is not multithreaded

Vim is not capable of utilizing multiple CPU cores to perform better. This can cause issues when working with large files. See More

JM80
Endi Sukaj
Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Amazing productivity features

Vim’s support of :s and :g commands helps users make complex changes to large files in seconds instead of hours. Vim’s keyset is mainly restricted to the alphanumeric keys and the escape key. This is an enduring relic of its teletype heritage, but has the effect of making most of Vim’s functionality accessible without frequent awkward finger reaches. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Con

•••

Difficult learning curve

You’ll spend a lot of time learning all the commands and modes supported in Vim. You’ll then spend more time tuning settings to your needs. Although once it’s tuned to your needs, you can take your .vimrc to any machine you need and have the same experience across all your computers. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Vimtutor teaches the basics Vim in 30 minutes 

Vimtutor is an excellent interactive tutorial for people with no prior experience in Vim. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. See More

Who is a good Dalek?
Top Con

•••

Foreign keyboards have a hard time on Vim out of the box

A lot of frequently-used keybinds are way harder to access on foreign keyboards because they use different layouts. For example, Germans use the QWERTZ layout, while French use the AZERTY. See More

Nox Ωmega
Top Pro

•••

Out of the box autocompletion

See More

FerventSandas
Top Con

•••

Difficult to copy, paste, and delete

See More

Vitaly Zdanevich
Top Pro

•••

Lightweight and fast

When compared to modern graphical editors like Atom and Brackets (which have underlying HTML5 engines, browsers, Node, etc.), Vim uses a sliver of the system’s memory and it loads instantly, all the while delivering the same features. Vim is also faster than Emacs. See More

SpiritedVidarr
Top Con

•••

Poor feature discoverability

Though basic features like syntax checking, autocompletion, and file management are all available out of the box or with minimal configuration, this is not obvious to new users, who might get intimidated or assume they need to install complex plugins just so they can have this functionality. Other features new users might expect to find embedded in Vim, such as debugging, instead follow a UNIX-style model where they are called as external programs, the output of which might then be parsed by Vim so it can display results. Users not familiar with this paradigm will likely fault Vim for lacking those features as well. See More

Vitaly Zdanevich
Top Pro

•••

Free and open-source software

Vim is open-source, GPL-compatible charityware. See More

gevis
Top Con

•••

Cursor has the same shape in command and insert mode

Unlike gvim, in vim cursor has the same shape in command and insert modes. See More

Kamil Renczewski
Top Pro

•••

Automatically installed on most Linux distributions

Most distributions have this automatically installed – this is especially useful when creating and using a lot of virtual machines (via ssh). See More

gilch
Top Con

•••

Unintuitive mode switching

See More

Kamil Renczewski
Top Pro

•••

Easy to find help

A lot of people are using Vim so it is very easy to find help. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Works poorly out of the box with RTL

See More

Vitaly Zdanevich
Top Pro

•••

Extremely portable

Vi/vim exists on almost all Unix-like platforms. It’s the de-facto Unix editor and is easily installed on Windows. All you need to make it work is a text-based connection, so it works well for remote machines with slow connections, or when you’re too lazy to set up a VNC/Remote Desktop connection. See More

dyln mc
Top Pro

•••

If you can use Vim you can also use vi

See More

dyln mc
Top Pro

•••

Vim encourages discipline

If you use Vim long enough, it will rewire your brain to be more efficient. See More

dyln mc
Top Pro

•••

Once learned, it’s very hard to forget

Vim’s somewhat steep learning curve is more than made up for once you’ve mastered a few basic concepts and learned the tricks that allow you to program faster with fewer cut/paste mistakes. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Can set up keymapping

See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Excellent performance

As it loads the whole file into RAM, replacing all string occurrences in 100 MB+ files is quick and easy. Every other editor has sort of died during that. It is extremely fast even for cold start. Vim is light-weight and very compact. In terminal, it only uses a small amount of memory and anytime you invoke Vim, it’s extremely fast. It’s immediate, so much so you can’t even notice any time lag. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Has multiple distinct editing modes

Interaction with Vim is centered around several "modes", where purpose and keybindings differ in each. Insert mode is for entering text. This mode most resembles traditional text entry in most editors. Normal mode (the default) is entered by hitting ESC and converts all keybindings to center around movement within the file, search, pane selection, etc. Command mode is entered by hitting ":" in Normal mode and allows you to execute Vim commands and scripts similar in fashion to a shell. Visual mode is for selecting lines, blocks, and characters of code. Those are the major modes, and several more exist depending on what one defines as a "mode" in Vim. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Productivity enhancing modal paradigm

As with all vi-like editors, Vim provides a modal paradigm for text editing and processing that provides a rich syntax and semantic model for composing succinct, powerful commands. While this requires some initial investment in learning how it works in order to take full advantage of its capabilities, it rewards the user well in the long run. This modal interface paradigm also lends itself surprisingly well to many other types of applications that can be controlled by vi-like keybindings, such as browsers, image viewers, media players, network clients (for email and other communication media), and window managers. Even shells (including zsh, tcsh, mksh, and bash, among others) come with vi-like keybinding features that can greatly enhance user comfort and efficiency when the user is familiar with the vi modal editing paradigm. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Tons of plugins/add-ons

This makes Vim the definitive resource for every environment (Ruby/Rails, Python, C, etc.), or simply just provides more information in your view. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Has been supported for a long time and will be supported for many years to come

See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Everything is mnemonic

No need to memorize different key combinations for things like deleting the text inside of a block or deleting the text inside of a pair of quotes. It’s just a series of actions, or nouns and verbs, or however you prefer to think about it. If you want to delete, you select "d"; if you want it to happen inside something, you select "i"; and if you want the surrounding double-quotes, just select ". But if you were changing the text, or copying it, or anything else, you’d still use the same "i" and ". This makes it very easy to remember a large number of different extremely useful commands, without the effort it takes to remember all of the Emacs "magic incantations", for example. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Asynchronous I/O support

Since Vim 8, Vim can exchange characters with background processes asynchronously. This avoids the problem of the text editor getting stuck when a plugin that had to communicate with a server was running. Now plugins can send and receive data from external scripts without forcing Vim to freeze. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Can never outgrow it

The fact that very few, if any, people claim to be a "Vim Master" is a testament to the breadth and depth of Vim. There is always something new to learn – a new, perhaps more efficient, way to use it. This prevents Vim from ever feeling stale. It’s always fresh. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Built-in package management

Starting with Vim 8, a package manager has been built into Vim. The package manager helps keep track of installed plugins, their versions and also only loads the needed plugins on startup depending on the file type. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Flexible feature-set

Vim allows users to include many features found in IDEs and competing editors, but does not force them all on the user. This not only helps keep it lighter in weight than a lot of other options, but it also helps ensure that some unused features will not get in the way. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Donations and support to Vim.org helps children in Uganda through ICCF Holland

See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

By default in Linux

See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Vimtutor

Vimtutor is an excellent interactive tutorial for people with no prior experience of Vim. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Keyboard-based, mouse-free interface, and trackpad support

There’s no need to reach for the mouse or the Ctrl/Alt buttons again. Everything is a mere key press or two away with almost 200 functions specifically for text editing. Vim does support the mouse, but it’s designed so you don’t have to use it for greater efficiency. Versions of Vim, like gVim or MacVim, still allow you to use the mouse and familiar platform shortcuts. That can help ease the learning curve and you’ll probably find you won’t want to (or need to) use the mouse after a while. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Macros increase productivity

Many text editors have programmable macros, but since Vim is keyboard-based, your programmed macros are usually far more predictable and easier to understand. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Pro

•••

Usable from a Terminal or with a GUI (GVim, MacVim)

If you happen to be logged into SSH, you can use Vim in a terminal. It can also run with a GUI too. See More

Hide See All

30 Other Options Considered

89

Neovim

My Recommendation for Neovim

My Recommendation for Neovim

Add Video or Image
All

26

Experiences

3

Pros

17

Cons

5

Specs

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Modern Codebase

As a refactor over vim, neovim has greately improved its codebase. For example, some functionality is handled by libuv, tha same codebase that powers node.js. See More

Federico Pasqua (eisterman)
Top Con

•••

No graphical editor yet

At the time of writing this, no equivalents to gVim exist. See More

dyln mc
dyln mc’s Experience

Once it becomes as stable and feature-full as vim, I may switch. Currently very unstable. I appreciate the competition between neovim and vim, but can’t switch to an instable vim. See More

Specs
Platforms:Linux, Windows, macOS, *nix, Android
License:Apache
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Powerful plugin model 

Vim plugins have always been useful, but tied to specific languages. Neovim’s architecture provides better separation between plugins and the core product, so that plugins are completely flexible and can be written in any language. See More

JM80
dyln mc
Top Con

•••

Seg faults + minor instabilities

Once in a while, you get a segmentation fault. Highest version (currently) is v0.2.2 Dated: March, 2019 See More

cosmo
cosmo’s Experience

So much better than Vim and Vi! See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Still Vim but with upgraded features and some issues fixed

NeoVim was a complete rewrite of Vim, with new features added and underlying issues resolved thanks to the Vim code base. The keybindings and configuration are the same as Vim, so the switch can be pretty simple. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

No stable release yet

Neovim is as of yet in an unstable point in it’s development. There is no stable release and using neovim for the moment should be done with caution as many features may change in the future. See More

Lucifer Morningstar
Lucifer Morningstar’s Experience

Updated Frequently and easy installation See More

Yilin
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Built-in terminal emulator

Users have full access to the terminal from inside neovim, and can use it in conjunction with neovim’s features. Terminal sessions can be launched in splits, pasted-to, yanked-from (in visual mode, linewise visual mode, or visual block mode), or incorporated into macros. See More

Federico Pasqua (eisterman)
Top Con

•••

Ambiguity in extensive documentation

See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Better integration with external tools

The core text editor is "headless", ie detached from the user-interface, so other programs can hook into it. This enables better integration with IDEs and browsers, where "Vim mode" has typically been a poor substitute because it was a partial rewrite, or a partial port at best. One of the advantages of Vim has always been ubiquity and Neovim makes it even more ubiquitous. See More

Goldie Lin
Top Con

•••

Limited cross platform support

Neovim is not available for many legacy platforms. The Windows version is currently considered experimental. See More

Paolo
Lucifer Morningstar
Top Pro

•••

Easy installation

Just grab the nvim.image 64-bit and place it anywhere and run ./nvim.image and to run from anywhere, make an alias, alias nvim=’/path/to/image/nvim.image’ simple and easy as that. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

UI Agnostic 

The core functionality is handled apart from the UI, meaning that neovim can be embedded into any other gui system, such as Atom. See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Comes with some good configurations out of the box

Some typical configurations most of VIM users make are default in Neovim. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Fixes some of vim’s issues

For example, neovim has a better way to integrate it’s clipboard with the underlying OS. See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Opens a 3Gig Text File in a few seconds

Not many editors can open such a large text file so quickly. See More

Paolo
WhiteLilac
Lucifer Morningstar
Top Pro

•••

Frequent updates

It is on github and unlike vim it is updated frequently for better performance and modern looks. See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Async plugin execution

See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Active development community

See More

JM80
Travis Rigg
Top Pro

•••

Tab completion of commands improved over vim

It’s a small detail, but very appreciated. See More

cosmo
Top Pro

•••

Terminal mode is very convenient for testing code in a split window.

See More

Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Fast and light on memory usage

New neovim editor instance starts instantly and you can have multiple editors open at the same time, because id does not require a lot of memory to run. See More

Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Work in TUI (Tex User Interface)

Neovim can work on terminal, on a remote server over ssh. See More

Hide See All

87

Visual Studio Code

My Recommendation for Visual Studio Code

My Recommendation for Visual Studio Code

Add Video or Image
All

48

Experiences

6

Pros

33

Cons

8

Specs

Paolo
Belle
DevDad
Top Pro

•••

Stable and responsive

The default installation is very stable and responsive, while also very feature complete (most users will need few, if any, extensions). It does seem to run best when there are no major memory constraints. Be careful when installing extensions; test with many small files, and some very large files after installing new extensions to avoid major performance penalties. See More

DevDad
Seth Petersen
Top Con

•••

Slow compared to native applications

Although pretty fast and stable (comparable to Atom), VSCode is still slower than traditional editors (compiled). Especially when launching. See More

GraciousNohochacyum
GraciousNohochacyum’s Experience

VScode comes with lots of loaded feature for JavaScript and typescript however it’s damn slow when you import medium size object. Think about real large scale app. This experience with an average enterprise laptop. I5, 8gb ram and windows 7 See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; macOS; Linux
License:MIT
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

DevDad
Jan Bartůněk
Top Pro

•••

Extensions

Integrated extension manager with very responsive searching and notifies you of extention updates. Extentions for many languages and frameworks with excellent intellisense/integration. Still lacking many feature based extentions that larger extention repositories have such as those from Atom, or Sublime. See More

SupportiveTisiphone
Top Con

•••

Intellisense plugins don’t work for many languages

While there is great support for C# and JavaScript, many other intellisense plugins, such as the ones for Python, do not work out of the box. See More

Thanaen
Thanaen’s Experience

It’s just great. Really fast, with a lot of extensions. See More

Stuart Kearney
Nathaniel Blackburn
Top Pro

•••

Intellisense

Enriched code completion is available for some languages bridging the gap between an editor and IDE. See More

JM80
Jinseop Kim
Top Con

•••

Memory hog

Allegedly, VS Code is "lightweight". Yet, running multiple instances of it at once, you may get many "out of memory" messages from Windows despite 16 GB RAM. (While of course also running other things. The point is the comparison with some other IDEs/editors where running them alongside the same number of other applications doesn’t cause Windows to run out of memory). See More

CaringQuiritis
CaringQuiritis’s Experience

Visual Studio Code is Open Source, enormously powerful, and has thousands of useful extensions for almost any kind of programming that you could want to do. See More

Stuart Kearney
Phùng Đức Nhật
DevDad
Top Pro

•••

Crossplatform

It supports Windows, Linux (Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Redhat, …), MacOS See More

Endi Sukaj
DevDad
Top Con

•••

Plugins can cause VSCode to hang

Plugins can cause major hangs. Fortunately VSCode retains edits, so if this should happen, there is little (if any) loss in work following a force quit. Make sure to check performance in large files after installing new plugins, to identify trouble plugins before they cause issues. See More

Yang Junhai
Yang Junhai’s Experience

very fast, easy to use, great UI, lots of plugins and extensions See More

DevDad
Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Great UX/UI

Easily accessible views for the integrated explorer, search/replace, debugger, plugin manager, git. Sublime/Atom like command pallet. Very intuitive and easy to use settings interface (easy for most, powerful for pros). Responsive UI. On the whole, certainly geared towards experienced coders (not green coders), but all that is really assumed is familiarity with JSON (to realize it’s potential). See More

GraciousNohochacyum
Top Con

•••

Very bad auto import

See More

Natta Wang
Natta Wang’s Experience

Because it’s open source and update frequently, so you can contribute and help in improvement. See More

DevDad
Nathaniel Blackburn
Top Pro

•••

Debugger

Debugging support is available for several languages. Conditional breakponits (and hit counts). Inline values. Column breakpoints (great for minified code, or inline closures). See More

GenerousBelobog
Top Con

•••

Emmet plugin often fails on even simple p tags

See More

Lucifer Morningstar
Lucifer Morningstar’s Experience

Used it just recently many updates but pointless, and it’s sluggish. See More

Salah Eddin Alshaal
Top Pro

•••

Integrated Git tools

See More

GenerousBelobog
Top Con

•••

The autocomplete and code check is not as powerful as the one on WebStorm

Sometimes it doesn’t tell you if you made a typo in a method name or if a method is not used and several other important features. See More

DevDad
Endi Sukaj
Phùng Đức Nhật
Top Pro

•••

Integrated terminal

Convenient quick integrated terminal at project directory. Easy to customize. (even on windows e.g.: cmd, git-for-windows, wsl (bash-on-ubuntu-on-windows), powershell, etc.) See More

Monika
DevDad
Top Con

•••

Extentions ecosystem not yet flourished

While most languages have supporting extensions and there are many other utilities and enhancing extensions, it still lags far behind the like of Sublime or Atom (however it seems to have come farther faster than Atom did, so keep a close eye). See More

DevDad
Top Pro

•••

Hackable

Like atom, it is built on Electron (Chromium + Node.js). Ultimately it’s the moden web platform. A platform many feel comfortable hacking on. See More

Abdullah Hilson
Top Pro

•••

Great performance

For a ‘wrapped’ web-based application, Visual Studio Code performs very well. See More

DevDad
Nathaniel Blackburn
Top Pro

•••

Fast, for being built on HTML5 (electron)

Used to be much faster than Atom despite being built on the same technologies (Atom has since caught up). The main factor affecting speed, will likely be the plugins you opt to install. See More

Laura Kyle
DevDad
Top Pro

•••

“Peek” (Inline Code Edit)

Like Adobe Bracket Editor’s ability to edit css from html files by providing an inline embedded editor, VSCode expands on the concept with peek-ing. See More

DevDad
Endi Sukaj
Phùng Đức Nhật
Top Pro

•••

Common GUI keybindings

Familiar keybinds (Ctrl+C/V/S). Also has plugins for adopting default keybinds from Atom, Sublime, Vim, etc. Configured in json with intuitive UX help for new coders or pros. (Mouse combination binds do not appear to be configurable as of Q1 2017). See More

Federico Pasqua (eisterman)
Top Pro

•••

Best and more updated Rust support

With two plugins and the RLS is the best editor/IDE with Rust support See More

Abdullah Hilson
Top Pro

•••

Updated frequently

There’s a new release of Visual Studio Code every month. If you are one of the insiders then releases are daily. See More

DevDad
Top Pro

•••

Fast Project Search

Feels just as fast as grep-ing! See More

GenerousBelobog
Top Pro

•••

Active development

It’s really nice to see how the code editor evolves. Every month there is a new version with great communication of new features and changes. See More

Abdullah Hilson
Top Pro

•••

Libre/open source

Released under the MIT License. See More

DevDad
Top Pro

•••

Good column editing, and multicursor support.

Alt+Click to place multiple cursors Shift+Alt+Drag to column select Sadly it appreas that these cannot be customized yet, though there is an open issue (as of 2017-06-18 you can now customize the multi cursor placement (mouse) bind somewhat, so there does seem to be some attention here. See More

Илья Цветков
Top Pro

•••

TypeScript integration

There is very solid TypeScript integration in Visual Studio Code. Both are developed by Microsoft and VSC itself is written in TypeScript. See More

Kaleb McKinney
Top Pro

•••

Ready to use out of the box

You don’t need to configure and add plugins before being productive. However, you can add plugins if needed but for the basics you’re well covered. See More

DevDad
Endi Sukaj
Phùng Đức Nhật
Top Pro

•••

JSDoc integration

Now can auto generate much of a JSDoc comment. See More

Federico Pasqua (eisterman)
Top Pro

•••

Python support

Excellent Python plugin, originally created by Don Jayamanne, now hired by Microsoft to extend and maintain the extension. See More

Abdullah Hilson
Top Pro

•••

Support RTL languages

It supports pretty web rtl languages like arabic languages when most of other editors don’t support it. See More

Eugene A. Simonenko
Top Pro

•••

Integrated task runners

Task runners display lists of available tasks and performing these tasks is as simple as a click of the mouse. See More

Natta Wang
Top Pro

•••

Fast and powerful

VS-Code has the speed of Sublime and the power of WebStorm. Perhaps this is the best software that Microsoft has ever created. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

High fidelity C# plugin

The Omnisharp plugin is very powerful providing full sln, csproj, and project.json support. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

It has gotten really good

All it takes is one stop for all the features many people need. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

Custom snippets support

Snippets are templates that will insert text for you and adapt it to their context, and in VSC they are highly customizable. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

Extensions (aka plugins) are written in JavaScript

Extensions are written in either Typescript or JavaScript. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

Embedded Git control

Visual Studio Code has integrated Git control, guaranteeing speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

Extendable through plug-ins

Visual Studio Code comes fairly complete out of the box, but there are many plug-ins available to extend its functionality. See More

PerceptiveBritomartis
Top Pro

•••

Huge community behind it

The ease of getting assistance and finding tutorials is increasing as the community grows. See More

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87

Spacemacs

My Recommendation for Spacemacs

My Recommendation for Spacemacs

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All

24

Experiences

1

Pros

19

Cons

3

Specs

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Combines the best parts of Vim and Emacs 

Spacemacs combines the Emacs platform and Vim UI in the same box. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Slow startup time

Although configuration is heavily lazy loaded, the starting time of Spacemacs is usually between two and five seconds. It can be considered a disadvantage but it has to be noted that Emacs can be run as a daemon which basically reduces the clients startup time to a few milliseconds. See More

TruthfulAequitas
TruthfulAequitas’s Experience

Indeed the best parts of Vim and Emacs compiled together See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows, MacOS, Linux
License:GPLv3
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Community-driven configuration 

Spacemacs is the biggest community-driven Emacs starter-kit. See More

Endi Sukaj
Travis Rigg
Top Con

•••

Even though has vim keybindings it will still feel unfamiliar to vim users

See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Cross-platform 

Emacs runs on Gnu/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. See More

Kamil Renczewski
Top Con

•••

Not preinstalled on most Linux distributions

Spacemacs is not preinstalled on Linux distributions. This makes it poor choice for working with a lot of Virtual Machines spawned very often. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Use SPACE bar as leader

Spacemacs got its name from the fact that it is using by default the space bar as a leader key. The key was chosen because it is easy to press and to hopefully lower the risk of RSI. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Above average documentation quality 

Documentation is mandatory for each new configuration layers and can be accessed directly within the editor in Org format. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Mnemonic and consistent key bindings

Key bindings are organized in mnemonic namespaces, for instance buffer actions are under b, file actions under f, project actions under p, search actions under s etc… Key bindings are consistent across the whole distribution thanks to a set of conventions. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Configuration Layer Architecture 

At the heart of Spacemacs, the configuration layers group packages configuration into semantic units that can be toggled on and off. The architecture is simple but powerful allowing to easily manage configuration dependencies between hundreds of packages. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Great support

The community is very active and there is a welcoming gitter chat to ask for questions. See More

Endi Sukaj
Rogerio “Testa” Senna
Top Pro

•••

Org-Mode

Org-mode is an extremely powerful emacs mode which is primarily used to take notes or as a TODO list. It can be used for much more than that though, with a lot of users practically planning their life in org-mode. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Fast-paced development 

New functionalities and fixes are added every day and release cycles are short. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Gradual learning curve 

Evil package is a first class citizen, Spacemacs embraces it from day one. Evil package allows VIm users to be productive very quickly while still allowing regular Emacs users to use Spacemacs. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Great support from the community

The community surrounding Spacemacs is very active and there is a welcoming gitter chat for users to ask questions. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Can be controlled fully with the keyboard

There’s no need to reach for the mouse again since Spacemacs can be fully controlled with keyboard. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Remote file editing

Files can be edited in Spacemacs remotely. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Can work in terminal mode

Sometimes you only have terminal access, over ssh or something. See More

tekgruv
Top Pro

•••

Great note-taking and agenda “app” built-in

Allows for great organization applications that can be saved in future-proof format, plain text, can be integrated with LaTeX, markdown, HTML, Literate Programming and be committed to source control. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Manage many code bases easily

See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Offers a number of practical features

Spacemacs has some great features for taking notes, tracking to-do lists, and tracking time. See More

Christer Rosenquist
Top Pro

•••

Completely configured out of the box

Stuff like version control, file management, good default theme are all configured out of the box. See More

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85

Emacs

My Recommendation for Emacs

My Recommendation for Emacs

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28

Experiences

1

Pros

23

Cons

3

Specs

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

It’s also an IDE 

You can debug, compile, manage files, integrate with version control systems, etc. All through the various plugins that can be installed. See More

Broadwell
gilch
Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Learning curve is steep

While it’s better than it used to be, with most functions being possible through the menu, Emacs is still quite a bit different from your standard editor. You’ll need to learn new keyboard shortcuts. See More

Phil Morton
Phil Morton’s Experience

I was a developer and worked a body of about 1 millions lines of C code. It was very helpful to be able to open multiple files, and to compile and go through compilation errors directly out of the buffer produced by the make process. I would get in to work, fire up emacs and stay in it for the whole day. Email, debugging, writing documentation, everything was integrated. See More

Specs
Platforms:Unix-like, Windows
License:GPL
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Total customizability 

Customizations can be made to a wide range of Emacs’ functions through a Lisp dialect. A robust list of existing Lisp extensions include the practical (git integration, syntax highlighting, etc) to the utilitarian (calculators, calendars) to the sublime (chess, Eliza). See More

Eugene A. Simonenko
Top Con

•••

Chorded keyboard combinations can be baffling

For example, for navigation it uses the b, n, p, l keys. Which for some people may seem strange. But don’t worry, you can change it. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Self documenting

Emacs has extensive help support built-in as well as a tutorial accessed with C-h t. See More

Kamil Renczewski
Top Con

•••

Not preinstalled on most Linux distributions

Emacs is not preinstalled on Linux distributions. This makes it poor choice for working with a lot of Virtual Machines spawned very often. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Keyboard-focused, mouse-free editing 

Emacs can be controlled entirely with the keyboard. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Works in terminal

You can use Emacs’ command line interface or graphical user interface. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Great documentation

With 30+ years of use the Emacs documentation is very thorough. There are also a lot of tutorials and guides written by third parties. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Ubiquity

Fully compliant GNU-emacs is available on many platforms, and they all understand .emacs configuration files. See More

Laura Kyle
Szymon Wygnański
Top Pro

•••

Has stood the test of time

If you learn it you will never have to change your editor. Emacs is in use since mid 1970s. See More

dessm
Top Pro

•••

Free

Licensed under GNU GPL. See More

TolerantNuwa
Top Pro

•••

Org-mode

See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Evil mode

Evil mode emulates vim behaviors within Emacs. It enables Vi users to move inside the Emacs universe. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Rectangular cut and paste

Emacs can select rectangularly. See More

BrightPholus
Top Pro

•••

Works in terminal or as a GUI application

You can use Emacs’ command line interface or graphical user interface. See More

BrightPholus
Top Pro

•••

Has been widely used for a long time

See More

Yoshiyuki
Phil Morton
Top Pro

•••

Many customizations available in the public domain

Customizations for html, css, java, python, pearl etc, etc, etc. See More

tekgruv
Top Pro

•••

Cross-platform

Works on Linux, Windows, Macintosh, BSD, and others. See More

tekgruv
Top Pro

•••

Vi keybindings through Evil mode

Evil mode emulates vim behaviors within Emacs. It enables Vi users to move inside the Emacs universe. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

dabbrev-expand (Alt-/)

Dynamic word completion. See More

BrightPholus
Top Pro

•••

(Almost) everything is implemented in Emacs Lisp. You are the limit.

See More

BrightPholus
Top Pro

•••

Support multi-line editing, multiple frame, powerful paren, crazy jumping style

Review the "Emacs Rocks" video. See More

BrightPholus
Top Pro

•••

Lisp customizations

With lisp customization, any behavior of Emacs can be changed. Update with pre-release patch can be also applied without recompiling the whole Emacs. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Mini buffer

You can pass complicated arguments in the mini buffer. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Visual selection and text objects with Evil

Evil is an extensible vi layer for Emacs. It provides Vim features like Visual selection and text objects. See More

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81

Atom

My Recommendation for Atom

My Recommendation for Atom

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All

28

Experiences

3

Pros

15

Cons

9

Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Hackable

Due to its modular design almost any aspect of the editor can be changed. Even seemingly core packages like the one’s taking care of search and replace functionality can be forked on GitHub, changed and replaced in the editor. The Documentation for creating new plugins is also great and thus it’s easier for developers ti jump in and create plugins for Atom. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Slow

Atom is not a native application. As such performance is subpar and the lag is especially noticeable on larger projects. It also opens a surprising amount of sub-processes and leaks a considerable amount of memory. See More

OptimisticRohe
OptimisticRohe’s Experience

great!!!!!!!!!!! See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux
License:MIT
Bracket Matching:Yes (plugin)
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Lots of packages

Atom has a built-in package manager and an extensive list of packages. Packages are written in CoffeeScript. See More

timlyo
Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Slow to open large files

It’s almost impossible to open large files with Atom. It has a 2MB limit and even files smaller than the limit but still considerably large take forever to load. See More

Lucifer Morningstar
Lucifer Morningstar’s Experience

Although this is github’s official Text Editor, it has a long way to go. Use sublime/gedit/nano/vim instead of this thing. Please make the right decision and support the right project. Atom won’t be on my good side until a bleeding edge update appears. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Embedded Git control

Will highlight folders, files and lines that have any uncommitted edits made. It also integrates really well with GitHub. See More

DedicatedBathala
Top Con

•••

Slows down exponentially with plugins

Extending it needs sacrificing responsiveness See More

MotivatedEunostus
MotivatedEunostus’s Experience

Hackable and free. This it’s the alternative (clon) of Sublime Text. Maybe should add more plugins default. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Multi-line select and edit

Multiple cursors & column selection allow versatile ways of editing. ctrl + d will select the current word and each time the command is repeated add the next occurence of the word to the selection. ctrl + click or middle-mouse click will place another cursor in the place that’s clicked. Cursors can then be controlled together. This also allows selecting vertically. See More

DedicatedBathala
Top Con

•••

Has difficulty with large text files

Tends to crash or hang with large >(10MB) text files, making it less useful as a general text editor. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Multiplatform

Runs on Mac, Windows, Linux. See More

DedicatedBathala
Top Con

•••

High memory usage

Atom has a relatively high memory usage, especially when compared to some other text editors not based on Electron. For those who develop on the go, this also tends to mean shorter battery life. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Command Palette

The Command Palette allows fuzzy searching all available functions, settings, snippets, etc. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Missing polish

As Atom is still relatively new, it’s missing nice little touches that other text editors have implemented over the years. From simple ease of use things like middle-mouse button multi-cursor select to the ways pasted information from a spreadsheet is interpreted in multi-select situations. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Built in package management

Atom was built from the ground up with the community in mind, and package management is a first class feature. See More

Endi Sukaj
Kamil Renczewski
Top Con

•••

Does not work in the terminal

Because it does not work in the terminal, it can’t be used via ssh. When working with Virtual Machines for example, you need to use a terminal-based editor. See More

Helder S Ribeiro
Top Pro

•••

Good-looking out of the box

See More

Monika
LivelyHu
Top Con

•••

Memory hog

Consumes a lot of memory for each instance. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Command line integration out of the box

Installing Atom adds two command line commands – atom and apm. The first one runs the application itself and the second one is the Atom Package Manager that’s used to add and remove various components from the package listing. While these features can be set up with other editors as well, Atom takes care of them out of the box. See More

Tiago Dall'Oca
Top Con

•••

Web platform focused

See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Node.js integration

The editor is built on top of Node. As such anything that can be done in Node can be done in the editor. See More

LogicalWanamangura
Top Pro

•••

Free and open source

Atom is free, open source, and written in C++, LESS, and CoffeeScript. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Instant file switching

Ctrl or Command + T and using fuzzy search you can look for a file in your project. See More

DedicatedBathala
Top Pro

•••

Beginner friendly

One of the goals of Atom is to be a text editor for both experienced and beginner programmers. You can add keyboard shortcuts, change themes, install plugins, and change core settings by clicking through a GUI, or by manually editing config files the old-fashioned way. It has the added advantage of being built using the same engine that powers Google Chrome, so actions like opening and closing tabs feel familiar, even to new or non-programmers. See More

LogicalWanamangura
Top Pro

•••

Modern feel and very customizable and extendable

See More

LogicalWanamangura
Top Pro

•••

Themes

You can theme and customize Atom to your liking. See More

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Geany

My Recommendation for Geany

My Recommendation for Geany

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8

Pros

6

Cons

1

Specs

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Simple to use

See More

Mots
Top Con

•••

No Windows portable bundle available

But only an installer. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; OSX; *nix
License:GPL
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

Alexey Strokach
Top Pro

•••

Fast

See More

GregariousCeto
Top Pro

•••

Plugins

See More

GregariousCeto
Top Pro

•••

Embedded terminal

See More

GregariousCeto
Top Pro

•••

Active development

See More

GregariousCeto
Top Pro

•••

Themes

See More

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69

Notepad++

My Recommendation for Notepad++

My Recommendation for Notepad++

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All

18

Experiences

1

Pros

13

Cons

3

Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Light and fast

Notepad++ is a very light program that starts almost instantly. Making for a great text editor for users that want something that will start the second the open it. See More

Alex Lowe
Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Windows only

You can’t use it cross platform. Although it does work with wine, many features don’t work or function imperfectly on other platforms. See More

Herb Martin
Herb Martin’s Experience

The best there is for Windows in GENERAL — everything else has some one or a few specifics where they shine. Small and easy to install, plus easy to use as a ‘portable app’ or just copy either settings or the entire app to another machine. The worst cons people can invent for this is that it has an ‘old UI’ when in truth this means they don’t keep MOVING your UI elements around once you have trained your eyes, hands and brain to use it automatically. Or that it might be slow on files larger than 64 MB — not even sure that is true because even though I use this every day, all day, on a dozen machines I never edit anything nearly that big, and the few times I’ve loaded giant log files or something it did just fine. Do YOU edit 64MB files? Give me a break, people just trying to invent a ‘CON’. It’s Windows only, if that is a disadvantage to YOU then it’s an issue. Pretty much the only one. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows
License:GPL
Bracket Matching:Yes
Auto Complete:Yes

See All Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Syntax highlighting for a wide variety of languages

Notepad++ has built in support for syntax highlight for a wide selection of programming languages. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Dated UI

Very old fashioned user interface. With a modern GUI, Notepad++ could be way more popular. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Extendable via plugins

A list of hundreds of plugins is maintained. See More

thermoplastics
k3b
Top Con

•••

Performance problems with huge textfiles (>64MB)

When you have to analyze big server log files, the app becomes slow. See More

Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Available on Windows

Vim and Emacs are not easily available on Windows. This is a great editor when stuck in that environment. See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Regex replace in selection, active tab, or all tabs

In Notepad++, the user can utilise regular expressions to quickly modify text across multiple files. See More

gilch
Top Pro

•••

Displays nonprinting characters clearly

Console-oriented editors like Emacs and Vim would just show you confusing mojibake based on printing characters. N++ gives you dedicated little icons for them. See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Free under GPL

Notepad++ is licensed under GPL, which means it is free/open source software that you can use freely. See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Portable

You can get a portable version of N++ and put it on a flash drive or your dropbox account and have your editor, configured the way you like, at any computer that you are on. See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Split screen

The user can open and edit files in multiple screens within the editor window. See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Persistent documents, even after exiting the application

If you close Notepad++ (npp), your documents remain even if you haven’t saved. See More

Ray
Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

With autosave and session history there is literally no reason to save until you are finished with a feature

Notepad++ sessions can just be left there without worrying about saving when work is interrupted. If the machine crashes or gets reboot then the exact state of open apps and all changes are "just there" when it’s restarted (except the Undo feature). See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

User defined language syntax support

You can define your own custom syntax highlighting rules (or add support for others) . See More

Herb Martin
Top Pro

•••

Multi-line editing

While it is disabled by default, when enabled, it is possible to edit more than one line at a time. This is helpful in many situations. See More

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micro

My Recommendation for micro

My Recommendation for micro

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5

Pros

4

Specs

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Syntax highlighting for many languages

See More

Specs
Platforms:Linux, MacOS, BSD, Windows, ARM Linux
License:MIT
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Supports split windows

See More

Endi Sukaj
Denis Yurashku
Top Pro

•••

Runs in the terminal

See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Build in plugin manager

See More

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Kate

My Recommendation for Kate

My Recommendation for Kate

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10

Pros

8

Cons

1

Specs

echopy
Top Pro

•••

By far one of the best and lightest text editors.

Notepads alternative. (for the windows users) See More

Alex Lowe
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Hard to install on Windows or OS X

Kate can be a little hard to install and configure, especially for beginners. On Linux or BSD, it can be easily installed from your distribution’s repositories. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; OSX; *nix
License:GPL
Supported remote file editing protocols:FTP; HTTP; SSH; WebDAV
Collaborative editing:No

See All Specs

Laura Kyle
Alex Lowe
Top Pro

•••

Syntax highlighting

Kate supports syntax highlighting for over 180 languages, from Assembler to Zsh See More

Laura Kyle
Alex Lowe
Top Pro

•••

Project mode

Kate allows you to make projects to simplify the organisation of your code. This brings in additional organization of an IDE without the overhead. See More

Laura Kyle
Alex Lowe
Top Pro

•••

Edit over FTP, SSH, or other protocols

Kate uses KDE’s input and output libraries to read and write files, allowing seamless integration with FTP, SMB, SFTP, and many other protocols. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Fast and minimaistic 

Kate is pretty fast and lightweight. This helps it with it’s start up speed. See More

Laura Kyle
Alex Lowe
Top Pro

•••

Integrated terminal

Has a terminal that can sync to the location of your document, letting you compile or run your program quickly or run quick commands, all without leaving the editor. See More

Laura Kyle
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Vi entry mode 

Kate has a vi entry mode. See More

Laura Kyle
Alex Lowe
Top Pro

•••

Thriving plugin ecosystem

Lots of plugins allow Kate to expand or shrink based on your needs. It includes GDB integration, XML completion, and symbol viewing to speed up programming. See More

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Oni editor

My Recommendation for Oni editor

My Recommendation for Oni editor

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7

Pros

4

Cons

2

Specs

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Embedded neovim

See More

Hikky
Top Con

•••

Very new and untested

See More

Specs
Platforms:Linux, Windows, MacOS
GUI:Yes

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Multi-platform

Supports Windows, MacOS, Linux. See More

Yoshiyuki
Khanh Nguyen
Top Con

•••

Limited programs autocomplete

Lots of the elements attributes show up but will not get added. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Command palette

Common commands can be found and executed in the command palette. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Built-in file explorer

See More

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Kakoune

My Recommendation for Kakoune

My Recommendation for Kakoune

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7

Pros

5

Cons

2
Monika
Top Pro

•••

Very expressive

Kakoune provides a very expressive set of commands, including various objects selection (paragraph, blocks, words), alignment support, conditional selection filtering… This set of command is expressive enough to implement all the provided auto indentation logic. See More

Who is a good Dalek?
Top Con

•••

Small community

See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Good UNIX citizen

It follows the UNIX philosophy by doing one thing well (text editing) and interfaces nicely with other CLI tools. See More

schlaumeier
Top Con

•••

Written in C++

See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Actively developed and supported

See More

Monika
Top Pro

•••

Will be familiar to vim users

Kakoune first started as a rewrite from scratch of vim, but then ended up being another text editor altogether. So it’s inspired in a lot of ways from vim. See More

Monika
Top Pro

•••

Text selection mechanism

Kakoune works on selections, which are oriented, inclusive range of characters, selections have an anchor and a cursor character. Most commands move both of them, except when extending selection where the anchor character stays fixed and the cursor one moves around. See More

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Brackets

My Recommendation for Brackets

My Recommendation for Brackets

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12

Pros

8

Cons

3

Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Actively developed

Brackets is being actively maintained and developed. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Con

•••

Still missing some elementary text editor commands

Some gaps have to be filled by plugins, while these features should be built in. For example: Jump to matching brace (bracket / parenthesis); Gutter selection of lines; Recall previous searches / replacements; Autofill of search field with text under caret (text has to be selected); Show whitespace / end of lines / indentation guides / right margin; Selection to upper / lower case; and some more. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; macOS; Linux
License:MIT
Supported remote file editing protocols:FTP (plug-in)
Collaborative editing:No

See All Specs

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Built-in extension manager

Functionality of Brackets can be extended via a simple to use extension manager. The extension manager also has a considerable number of extensions and themes. See More

Paolo
ProductiveFlins
Top Con

•••

Made using Javascript and HTML

Compared to making a program in a lower-level language, creating one as you would create a website does make it easier. When installed however, it requires running its own web browser in the background, using many more resources and making it slower to start. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Can be hacked by any front-end developer

The editor is built using html, css and javascript making it extendable by any front-end developer. See More

smithy
Alireza Acrm
Top Con

•••

Imperfect nodejs code intellisense compared to atom ternjs

See More

CommunicativeMacCecht
Top Pro

•••

Free, open source and cross-platform

Brackets is entirely free and open source. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Support for Adobe PSD content

Default extension allows extraction of PSD resources, such as images and styles. Good integration for placing extracted resources into source. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Built-in browser live-updating

Brackets will automatically refresh the browser and load the latest saved version of a file open in the browser. Works with php as well. Editing a css will even highlight the tag that’s currently worked on. It only works with Chrome though. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Popup previews

Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images. See More

Laura Kyle
Top Pro

•••

Can style a tag without switching over to the stylesheet

A feature called quick edit allows selecting a tag in, for example, an html file and edit the associated style without switching over to the css document. It also supports SASS and LESS pre-processors. See More

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Howl

My Recommendation for Howl

My Recommendation for Howl

All

16

Pros

15

Specs

Jake Russo
Top Pro

•••

Easily customizable

Customize Howl with the easy-to-use language, Lua (or the fancier MoonScript). The API covers nearly the entirety of the editor. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; OSX; *nix
License:MIT
Bracket Matching:Yes
Cross Platform:Yes

See All Specs

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Works on OpenBSD

See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

UI Focused on editting

Non distracted icons, toolbars, pannels, extra spacing, etc. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Command line palette

Search for your commands in an easy way and see in the list which key-strokes are mapped to which commands See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Open source

Howl is an open source project and is actively developed on GitHub(howl-editor/howl). It has a MIT license. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Keyboard driven

You don’t need the mouse to use Howl. Everything can be accomplished with commands and shortcuts. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Easy to use 

Howl is very intuitive and easy to use. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Starts quickly 

It’s extremely lightweight and this makes it start pretty quickly. See More

Chloe Montanez
TactfulErsa
Top Pro

•••

Extremely clean Sublime-like UI

Very similar to Sublime but with an added benefit of using only 30 MB RAM instead of 900MB for the same files and session open. And it is also very fast. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Fast startup

It’s extremely lightweight, making it start up pretty quickly. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Supports split windows

See More

Alex
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Plugin support

Plugins can be written in Lua or Moonscript. See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Supports flexible split screen

See More

schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Supports snippets via plugin

See More

Belle
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Built in plugin manager

See More

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Cudatext

My Recommendation for Cudatext

My Recommendation for Cudatext

Add Video or Image
All

10

Pros

9

Specs

Belle
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Support for many programming languages

Supports approximately 180 languages either built-in or to be easily installed with add-on manager. See More

Specs
Platforms:macOS, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Linux-arm
License:MPL 2.0
Bracket Matching:Yes
Price:Free

Belle
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Lightweight

See More

Belle
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Add-ons can be written in Python

See More

Belle
schlaumeier
Top Pro

•••

Built in add-on manager

See More

hatschek
Top Pro

•••

Minimap plugin available

See More

hatschek
Top Pro

•••

Addons can be developed in Python

See More

hatschek
Top Pro

•••

Many programming languages supported for syntax highlighting

About ~180 programming languages supported at the time of writing either built-in or can be added easily with the addon manager. See More

hatschek
Top Pro

•••

Package for Linux ARM available

See More

hatschek
Top Pro

•••

Addon manager

Useful built-in addon manager. See More

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GVim

My Recommendation for GVim

My Recommendation for GVim

Add Video or Image
All

7

Pros

6

Cons

1
Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Vim without a shell

When opening files from the file manager, it is still nice to have vim. See More

gilch
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

GVim, like Vim, has a difficult learning curve

A lot of time is needed to learn all the commands and modes supported. A lot of time will also be spent tuning all the settings to the user’s preference. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Excellent performance 

Because it loads the whole file into RAM, replacing all string occurences in 100MB+ files is quick and easy. Every other editor sort of died during that. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Works on all platforms

Whether its your windows machine, a Linux, Unix or a Mac Vim would work everywhere. You can even build it from its source on your favorite linux environment. See More

JM80
gevis
Top Pro

•••

Has different cursor shape in command and insert modes

Unlike vim, gvim has different cursor shape in command and insert mode, which is very convenient. See More

Endi Sukaj
Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Supports all vim features and settings

All vim features, custom settings, and plugins are automatically available. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Compatible with cmdline vim macros 

There is no diff. in macros and scripts for Vim and GVim. Both functiom almost exactly the same way, GVim just add some menus and Windows Explorer int. (on windows only, obviously). See More

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Gedit

My Recommendation for Gedit

My Recommendation for Gedit

Add Video or Image
All

7

Experiences

1

Pros

4

Cons

1

Specs

Sebastian J. Bronner
Top Pro

•••

Editing on remote file systems

Files on SFTP, SSHFS, FTP, SMB, NFS mounts can be edited and saved back just like local files. See More

Travis Rigg
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Con

•••

Not a lot of features

Gedit is a text editor. Simple and fast and it misses a lot of features. Most notably auto-complete for several languages. Also worth noting the GNOME development team has actually removed features over time See More

Lucifer Morningstar
Lucifer Morningstar’s Experience

Best for Quick Edits involving GUI. See More

Specs
Platforms:Windows; OSX; *nix
License:GPL
Supported remote file editing protocols:FTP; HTTP; SSH; WebDAV
Collaborative editing:plug-in

See All Specs

Lucifer Morningstar
Top Pro

•••

Fast and Simple

It is best for Quick Edits and is fairly simple to navigate. Not modern but minimal so highly usable. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Great UX

The UI is lean and minimal. Everything feels quite fast and it is easy to add custom shortcuts for doing things like compiling, deploying or testing. See More

thermoplastics
eldorico eldorico
Top Pro

•••

The external tools allows you to create/launch shell scripts

See More

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Notepadqq

My Recommendation for Notepadqq

My Recommendation for Notepadqq

Add Video or Image
All

3

Pros

3
Endi Sukaj
ShoGuevara
Top Pro

•••

Simple to use

See More

Endi Sukaj
Top Pro

•••

Very fast

See More

ShoGuevara
Top Pro

•••

Plugin support

See More

Hide See All

Eclipse Che

My Recommendation for Eclipse Che

My Recommendation for Eclipse Che

Add Video or Image
All

10

Pros

9

Specs

Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

SSH + terminal

Built-in terminal with root access so I can make changes to my running machines and they sync back to the project files – critical for interpreted languages. Although I don’t use it often being able to SSH into the workspace so I can use a desktop IDE is handy. See More

Specs
Platforms:Browser-Based
Cross Platform:Yes
Auto Complete:Yes
Multi Language Support:Yes

See All Specs

Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Shareable and portable workspaces

The workspace in Che includes project sources, IDE and the runtime. So if you hand your Che workspace definition to another user and they execute it they will get everything they need to build, run and debug the project. Also the runtime is in a Docker container so it will work even if the second user is on a different OS than the original user who shared their workspace with them. See More

thermoplastics
Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

It’s an IDE

A clean and lightweight IDE much like an editor. Includes syntax highlighting for >50 languages and autocomplete / intellisense for Java and JS with other languages in the works. See More

Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Open source

Open sourced under the Eclipse Foundation (licensed EPL 1.0). See More

Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

GIT and SVN VCS support

Projects can be easily imported from any Git or Svn repository hosting service. See More

Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Out of the box and custom (Docker) runtimes

You can choose from pre-configured environments for Java, Javascript, C++, PHP, C#, etc… or you can define your own by dropping in a Dockerfile – makes it easy for simple and complex projects. See More

thermoplastics
Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Application previews

Che does a nice job to automatically map the service:port running in a Docker container (e.g. tomcat on 8080) to the Docker port it actually uses (something in the ephemeral range). The user never needs to figure that out – it’s just made available to them when they run their server. See More

thermoplastics
Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Custom commands

Another IDE features is the ability for me to create custom commands with a wizard interface. These are saved in workspace, but you can also share them with everyone else. See More

thermoplastics
Brad Micklea
Top Pro

•••

Merge tool for git

There’s a built-in visual diff and ability to do selective merges. You also can use the git menu or just execute git commands from the terminal. See More

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Yi

My Recommendation for Yi

My Recommendation for Yi

Add Video or Image
All

7

Pros

4

Cons

3
Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Combines and improves upon the best text-editing features from your favorite editors

Yi has default configurations for Vim, Emacs, as well as CUA. It also makes several improvements that includes Sublime-like (multiple) cursors. See More

Rehno Lindeque
Top Con

•••

Very few plugins available

Even though Yi is a general purpose text editor similar to Vim and Emacs, almost all of the plugins that have been written for Yi so far focus on supporting Haskell as a programming environment. See More

Rehno Lindeque
Top Pro

•••

More performant than Vim

Vim can be rather slow due the age of its code base. In particular, running large macros in Vim can be rather painful. Since Yi is being built from scratch it has been engineered for performance and with the benefit of hindsight. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Rehno Lindeque
Top Con

•••

No way to reuse your existing customizations and keybindings

If you have spent years crafting your .vimrc or .emacs, there’s no way to reuse it in Yi. You have to start from scratch. See More

Rehno Lindeque
Top Pro

•••

Extensible and modular editing features

As far as extensibility goes, Yi easily outstrips any other open-source text editor. Motions can be built from parser combinators, making them simultaneously flexible and modular – an open source hacker’s dream. See More

Rehno Lindeque
Top Con

•••

Requires Haskell to compile and configure

GHC + Haskell packages makes for a rather large installation, which is a big ask for a relatively obscure terminal editor. See More

Andris Pelcbergs
Top Pro

•••

Plugins work together 

Packages work together because they compile together. See More

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Five Best Text Editors

Alan Henry

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Whether you’re a developer or a writer, a good text editor is a must-have on any computer, in any operating system. The humble text editor is great for managing code, writing down quick notes, or just as a distraction-free writing tool. This week, we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations.

Earlier this week we asked you for your favorite text editors , and while you suggested far more than we can highlight here, there were a few that earned more nominations than the others. Here are the tools you liked the best:

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Sublime Text

Cross-platform and feature packed, Sublime Text was a crowd favorite in the call for contenders thread, partially because of its amazing feature-set. Plug-ins and add-ons are available for specific programming languages and uses in Sublime Text, the app features extremely powerful search and go-to features, tons of keyboard commands to help you never have to take your hands off the keyboard while you use it, a distraction-free mode that lets you focus right on your work—whatever that work may happen to be, and much much more. Sublime Text has a tabbed interface so you can have multiple documents open at the same time, and a 10,000ft view on the right so you can see where in your document you are at any time. You can select multiple rows to make simultaneous changes, customize shortcuts to suit your own needs, and even chain shortcuts together to perform complex—but fast—operations. It’s remarkably powerful.

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Sublime Text is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. It’s distributed as evaluation software (meaning it’s free to try, but there’s no time limit on how long you can use it for free) and a full license will cost you $70. A full license is per user, so you can use it on as many computers as you like once you have one. In the call for contenders thread, those of you who nominated Sublime praised its impressive feature-set, developer-friendly plug-ins and API, side-by-side file comparisons, and much more. Read all about it in the nomination thread here and here .


Notepad++

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Notepad++ has been around for a long time, and many users have only ever used Notepad++ when they’re ready to upgrade from Notepad or Wordpad. It’s stil under development though, and combines the simple interface of Notepad or Wordpad with advanced features that will make writers and developers happy. Some of them include a customizable interface that you can make as minimal or toolbar-rich as you choose, a document map so you can see where you are in your work at any time, a tabbed interface so you can work in multiple documents, auto-completion and text shortening, macro recording so you can customize shortcuts, and more. You also get customizable syntax highlighting, text folding and collapsable parts of the document (to make things easier to read,) and options you can use to launch the app under certain parameters, just to make your work easier.

Notepad++ is free (free as in free speech and free beer) and available for Windows only. You can grab it as an installable app, or a portable app to run from a flash drive or cloud storage service like Dropbox. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for in a text editor, it’s a good place to start, especially because it’s free. You can donate to the project though, and if you enjoy it, you should . The code is available too, so if you’d rather contribute, you can do that as well. Those of you who nominated it praised its simplicity, wealth of plug-ins for just about every type of user, and of course, its price tag. Read all about it in the nomination thread here .


Vim (and Its Iterations)

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Oh boy, Vim. Designed to bring the simplicity of Vi to every platform and person who needed a configurable but not-too-heavy text editor, Vim is one banner of the Holy Text Editor Grail Wars to march under. It’s not without good reason—Vim is cross-platform, free, and while it’s aimed squarely at programmers who want an interface they can tweak to their liking and really get some work done in, you don’t have to be a programmer to get the most use out of it. Instead, you just have to take the time to configure it so it works the way you prefer. It won’t hold your hand (although its extensive help is useful for beginners), but once you remember its keyboard shortcuts and commands, download tons of user scripts to apply to it to streamline your work, and learn your way around, it quickly becomes an essential tool. It supports dozens of languages, keeps a history of your actions so you can easily repeat or undo them, supports macro recording, automatically recognizes file types, and lives—once installed—at your command line.

Vim—and most of its iterations, which include editors that add a GUI to the app so you can launch it without resorting to the command line—are free (GPL licensed). It’s available for any operating system with a command line of just about any type, and it’s charityware, meaning instead of paying for the app, the team behind it suggests you donate to children in Uganda who could use the support via the ICCF . Those of you who praised Vim noted that it takes some commitment to learn, but once you’re familiar with it, the sky’s the limit. Read more in the nomination thread here .


Atom

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Calling itself a text editor “for the 21st century,” Atom earned a lot of praise in the nominations round for being a text editor designed for the needs of today’s developers. It’s built by the team at GitHub, and incorporates some of the lessons the team there learned by managing so much code on a regular basis. It’s flexible, customizable, themeable, and even though it’s relatively new, it already has a large following and tons of plugins, thanks to its open API. It operates like a native application, and even the application package is customizable so you only get the modules you need. It packs a tabbed interface, multi-paned layout, easy file browser, and easy learning curve so you can get up and running with it quickly. There’s also solid documentation to help you get started if you need it. Only downside though: Atom is currently in private beta, and you’ll have to sign up for an invite and cross your fingers if you want to give it a try.

Atom is currently OS X only (10.8+), although Windows and Linux versions are on the roadmap. It’s also free to use while it’s in beta, but when it’s finished and released, the team behind it says it’ll be “competitively priced.” Those of you who nominated it praised its customizability and available plugins, and pointed to the tool’s potential to become one of the best and most powerful text editors we’ve seen in many many years. You can read more about it in the nominations thread here .

Update 07/2015: Atom has released its first stable, 1.0 version, along with fully supported versions for Windows and Linux! You can check out the details here .

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Emacs (and Its Iterations)

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If you’ve used an operating system with a command line interface, you’ve had Emacs available to you. It’s been around for decades (since Richard Stallman and Guy Steele wrote it in 1976), and its the other major text editor to stand behind in the Holy Text Editor Grail Wars. It’s not the easiest tool, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. It has a steep learning curve, but it’s always there, ready for use. It’s had a long and storied history, but the version that most people wind up using is GNU Emacs, linked above. It’s richly featured, too—Emacs can handle almost any type of text that you throw at it, handle simple documents or complex code, or be customized with startup scripts that add features or tweak the interface and shortcuts to match your project or preference. Similarly, Emacs supports macro recording, tons of shortcuts (that you’ll have to learn to get really familiar with it), and has a ton of modules created by third parties to leverage the app for completely non-programming purposes, like project planning, calendaring, news reading, and word processing. When we say it’s powerful, we’re not kidding. In large part, its power comes from the fact that anyone can play with it and mold it into something new and useful for everyone.

Emacs is completely cross platform, with versions and derivatives available for Windows, OS X, Linux, and just about every other operating system on the planet. It’s free, as in both free speech and free beer, and comes with detailed help, tutorials, and guides to help you get started using it if you’re new to using Emacs. Those of you who praised it in the call for contenders thread highlighted its flexibility and power, complete customizability, and the fact that you can play Tetris in it, which is admittedly a nice bonus. You can read all about it in its nominations thread here .


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the Lifehacker community favorite.

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Honorable mentions this week go out to TextWrangler (OS X) and UltraEdit (Windows/OS X/Linux). TextWrangler, as BBEdit ’s lighter brother, works equally well as a writing tool as it does a development tool, although it’s designed to be the latter. It’s a great general-purpose text editor with an auto-saving cache that keeps all of your data and documents intact even if you don’t save them to disk between launching the application and closing it. UltraEdit on the other hand, is another crowd-favorite and sports a customizable layout, built-in FTP, find and replace that supports regular expressions, syntax highlighting, and more. Plus, it’s cross-platform. They’re both great options that just missed the top five if you want something more than the top five offers.

We really can’t say how many amazing nominees we got in the call for contenders thread this week. If you’re wondering where your favorite editor is, odds are it was nominated back in that thread, so make sure to go check it out. Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week . Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

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The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at [email protected] !

Title photo by Darrell Nash .

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