Whether you are a newbie developer or a veteran code junkie, you need a code editor which is robust enough to handle everything you can throw at it. That might be an essential part of your toolset. Since this is an ongoing search for every developer in the field, I wanted to give out some of the best options, including free and premium.
What is Code Editor?
Code editors are softwares that are developed specifically to help developers with coding. The text editors with additional functionalities help developers to manage and edit code. It can be standalone, or it can be a part of an IDE.
Benefits of using the code editor
The main advantage of code editors is that they are enhanced programs that can help you debug, stage, version, and pip code. You can download a code editor with any space on your laptop or even use one embedded within a web browser and be on your way to writing code in no time.
You can also edit structure for manipulating a code’s structure based on the syntax tree.
5 Code Editors For Mac And Windows
Some code editors are better than others, and some are more popular than others.
These are the top 5 best code editors for Mac and Windows in 2023.
- Visual Studio Code
- Sublime Text
Let’s see deep-dive one by one.
1: Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code, or VS Code, has been my favorite editor for almost four years.
VS Code is a free and open-source editor.
Visual Studio Code (or VS Code) has quickly become the standard for software development since 2015.
Like most Microsoft products, VS Code is available on all the major platforms.
MacOS, Windows, and Linux developers can use this potent tool. Not quite an IDE (a separate product altogether), VS Code can take on most of the tasks of the IDE with the right configuration and plugin c.
The community support for the VS Code is incredibly passionate, which works to everyone’s benefit.
With the VS Code being open-source, that community works exceptionally hard to keep VS Code competitive with the rest of the field.
Written in Node.js and Electron, you can be sure the code will become outdated or lag behind any time soon.
Their support is tremendous; they release new features every month to keep the monthly feature workflow.
VS Code works great on every platform we’ve tried it on, and there hasn’t been a noticeable difference in performance between the three.
Even though VS Code has many packages you can download to customize the code editor to whatever you want it to be, you don’t have to.
It works well from the moment you first run it, and the integrated Git and debugger work. So you don’t have to fiddle with them to get them configured well.
- It is cross-platform.
- Command Palette.
- It’s built-in Git (including merge conflicts, diff checking, and modified file tracking from within the editor)
- You can get in-editor debugging.
- They have an extensive library of extensions and plugins
- It is compatible with nearly every programming language
- It is very lightweight in comparison to other, similarly robust editors
- It is fast and responsive.
- It has specific Linux distros for Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, Red Hat, and Debian
- IntelliSense highlighting and autocomplete work like a dream.
- INSTANT PROJECT SWITCH
- Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, Red Hat, and Debian in particular)
2: Sublime Text
Before the Visual Studio Code release, I used to work with Sublime Text.
Sublime text is not free.
Sublime Text is pretty close to the industry standard for text editors. There’s a reason for that. Being designed for code, markup, and prose is a big plus.
Sublime Text is a beautiful, feature-rich code editor. However, maybe the biggest draw is that it puts a premium on user experience.
The UX is probably the tightest of every entry on the list. This is because of features like distraction-free writing mode, quick shortcuts/searches, split editing, and much more.
The ridiculously intuitive keyboard shortcut system is one of the users’ most significant features.
The sublime purchase price is $80, but they offer an indefinite, never-ending trial.
You have to deal with upgrade prompts as you open the editor occasionally, but you can use it as long as you wish to evaluate it.
If you feel confident enough in their product that you’ll like it, you can pay them to support continued development.
Once you get used to Sublime’s and sublime keyboard shortcuts, you can never leave without them.
- Goto Definition.
- Multiple Selection.
- Goto Anything (lightning-fast search/shortcuts).
- Command Palette.
- Keyboard shortcuts make everything smoother.
- Split Editing.
- Highly customizable.
- Multiple selections.
- Distraction-free writing mode.
- Instant project switch.
There are many text editors; why should you spend time learning about and using Atom?
Editors like Sublime and TextMate offer convenience but only limited extensibility.
Emacs and Vim offer extreme flexibility on the other end of the spectrum, but they aren’t very approachable and can only be customized with special-purpose scripting languages.
First of all, the Atom editor is entirely free to use.
Atom, a project started by Github, has established itself as one of the premier code and text editors.
Again the best part is that Atom is free, open-source, and highly customizable.
It is built around a minimal core. Atom comes with multiple language-specific packages built-in. The library of community-written ones has exploded since the editor was first released.
Their goal is a zero-compromise combination of hackability and usability: an editor that will welcome an elementary school student on their first day learning to code, but also a tool they won’t outgrow as they develop into seasoned hackers.
As we’ve used Atom to build Atom, what began as an experiment has gradually matured into a tool we can’t live without.
On the surface, Atom is the modern desktop text editor you’ve come to expect. Pop the hood, however, and you’ll discover a system begging to be hacked.
- Code folding
- A clean preferences UI
- Import TextMate grammar and themes
- Highly extendable
- Highly theme-able
- File system browser
- Multiple cursors and selections
- Multiple panes
- Incredibly passionate community
- Fuzzy finder for quickly opening files
- Fast project-wide search and replace
Brackets is another free and open-source editor.
It is not merely a community-driven project; Adobe is behind this one. Yes, the Adobe. Of Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on. Because of that, expect polish and power.
Brackets are designed to be minimal yet powerful. It does, however, offer some unique and valuable features.
One feature is Extract, which allows you to extract information such as colors, fonts, gradients, and measurements directly from PSDs as clean CSS.
For front-end developers working in a design agency who have to recreate pixel-perfect sites from mock-ups, there may be no better tool for you.
- The constantly growing library of extensions
- Git integration
- W3C validation
- Massive extension library
- Inline editors
- Live preview
- Preprocessor report
- And a whole lot more
5: VIM editor
Vim is hardcore. Let’s be clear about that upfront. Where Sublime Text, Notepad++, Visual Studio Code, and some other editors on this list are newbie-friendly, Vim is unapologetic in its functional brutalism.
From the official website down to the software itself, Vim is a coder’s tool for coders by coders.
Once you get past the UI and the steep learning curve, you’ll see why the text editor is designed the way it is. It does roughly everything all the other best text editors can do.
But more than anything else, it’s designed for efficiency and function. Watching people code in Vim is like watching a concert pianist.
The UI is keystroke based, and if you thought the Sublime Text keyboard shortcuts were helpful, when and if you can get used to Vim, the experience is unreal.
If you try to go back to a visual GUI for a text editor, you will feel like you’re working in slow motion.
- Designed for coders and developers
- Brutalist UI
- Blurs the line between IDE and text editor, depending on how versed in it you are
- An incredibly passionate community for documentation, updates, and help
- Huge plugin system
- Secure Login
- The gamified learning process, if you choose
- Support for every programming language imaginable
From my perspective, Visual Studio Code is the best editor in the world right now for almost every programming language.
There are many premium IDEs, and I will cover future posts.
When making a list of the best code and text editors available, it’s impossible not to miss a few strong contenders.
Every writer, coder, and developer has a favorite set of tools, just like every carpenter has a famous hammer and an artist has an ideal set of brushes.