Code editors are the virtual canvas of digital artists/magicians; these tools help developers in their daily work. By providing a fluent interface that allows writing web code, these programs also gather all the data needed to start coding right away. 

In a production environment, abnormal conditions may affect our systems. Chaos engineering lets you cope with this problem in a safe way. Learn how it works on our blog post Chaos Engineering for Resilient Software

While it is possible to edit code in the default programs of different operating systems (as Notepad in Windows and TextEdit in macOS), they are insufficient to develop more complex tasks as web code editing. It would be exhausting to try, run, and re-try running code online to test it. Specialized code editor programs are vital for testing. They assist developers in localizing and clearing up mistakes, modify specific files, and keep every element together to make something work. Either it’s an app, a website, or a certain digital product, it’s almost always necessary to add some extra tools to make it brighter.

The most common situation is for a single person to write in different programming languages. The need for a working space comfortable enough to go from one project to another becomes essential. Having a versatile interface that works fast and fluent and all files close enough not to need to move to other screens makes a big difference in work productivity.

Our Top 5 Code Editors List

Nowadays, there are a million options on and offline. An important feature to consider is the level of customization of the tool. The more configuration capacity the editor offers, the more customizable it is. Keep in mind your company’s work methodology and yours too. Here are what we consider the top-5 best code editor programs:

Visual Studio Code

Developed by Microsoft, this open-source platform provides a complete programming experience, supporting more than 30 programming languages. Due to its compact size, it allows working fast while saving both time and bandwidth. 

It’s one of the most popular among developers, why? Its main features are:

  • Smart completions: based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules. 
  • Debug code right from the editor.
  • Git commands built-in.
  • Drag and drop options.
  • Multiple editing.
  • Multiple instance support.

The coolest: High stability and UI/UX tools.

Not so cool: Slow to start up (mostly in Linux)

Coda 2 

When coding for the web in MAC, the fast, clean and powerful interface of Coda’s second edition, is the way to go. It presents a pixel-perfect preview to write in HTML and CSS and has a huge variety of plugins available.

The editor, developed by Panic, has multiple useful functions as:

  • Auto-complete
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Symbol parsing
  • Vertical indentation customizable guides.
  • Local Indexing
  • CSS Overriding.

The coolest: Coda includes a built-in way to open and manage local and remote files, it’s FTP software free!

Not so cool: it only works for macOS, and it’s paid.

ATOM

An open-source software desktop editor app that has mature a lot since it first appears. It presents a friendly and high customizable interface that allows working fast.

It’s free and allows synchronization with GitHub, which makes it ideal for beginners who want to experiment with CSS/Less, HTML, and JavaScript. Main highlights are:

  • Cross-platform editing
  • Works in multiple operating systems. 
  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart autocompletion
  • Find and replace
  • Multiple panes interface
  • Packages
  • UI Themes

The coolest: free and easy to use!

Not so cool: it’s fast, but not so stable.

Sublime Text 3

One of the most complete code editors in the market, Sublime Text is open-source and extremely fast to markup and prose code while maintaining high stability. It supports an infinity of programming languages.

This sophisticated editor is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux with a paid license.  It’s widely extensible because it allows an enormous amount of plugins to install. Differentiator features are:

  • Themes
  • Code lint: a super quick bug-finder assistant.
  • Powerful Python API that allows plugins to augment built-in functionality.
  • Instant project switch
  • Cross-Platform
  • Multiple selections

The coolest: though it is paid, the same license can be used in multiple devices.

Not so cool: maybe too complicated at first.

Brackets

Specialized for web design, this is an open-source editor that works under an MIT license. It focuses on visual tools by allowing fluid movements between panels and real-time code execution preview for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Brackets is an Adobe product which has:

  • Multiplatform
  • Auto-complete
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Multiple plugins available
  • Dynamic preview
  • Find a replace
  • GitHub extensions

The coolest: free and complete!

Not so cool: not too many custom options.

Notepad++

Last but not least, we have the “Coda version of Windows.” Notepad++ follows the “triple F”: free source, free of charge, and flexible with languages. It’s the simplest work environment you can find for coding, yet much more powerful than the simple notepad. 

It works excellent for non-complex projects that don’t require advanced functions. Its main characteristics are:

  • Auto-complete
  • Multiple tabs and multiview.
  • Customizable vertical view
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Find and replace
  • Macros: recording sessions.
  • Plugins, plugins, and more plugins!

The coolest: free and super easy!

Not so cool: not useful for advanced projects.

How to Choose the Best Code Editor

Finding the best tool for your daily work takes time. There is a wide variety of options, whether it is paid or free. The most important thing to consider is which programming languages you use and what kind of projects you are involved in. Keep in mind that you need to feel comfortable and understand where you are at a glance.

When making the final decision, ask yourself:

  • What are the most relevant editor’s characteristics for me? Shortcuts? Appearance? Stability?
  • Which are the main functionalities I use? Shortcuts? Multiplatform? Open source? Syntax highlighting? Find and Replace?
  • What makes me feel more comfortable and productive?

Before making a choice, think of what do you need the code editor to make for you.

Try making a list of your priorities at the time you sit on your desk and start coding. Check the available configurations of the different editors, plugins, and other extensions. Learn what you can customize to ensure the best work experience, especially if you are paying for it. 

The code editor you choose will be your workmate every day, so the best advice is to try. Play first and pick the right one.

In a production environment, abnormal conditions may affect our systems. Chaos engineering lets you cope with this problem in a safe way. Learn how it works on our blog post Chaos Engineering for Resilient Software

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