Seeking the best Text Editor for Programming (2020)

Being a developer, you need to have the best text editor for programming. It is crucial because the text editors allow developers to write the codes in a lightweight environment.

The primary use of text editors by the programmers is to write code to develop websites and applications. The market today is filled with a lot of free and paid text editors.

It is a challenge for the coders to choose the best code editor which has every necessary feature they need to write, debug, and execute the codes. Features like auto-indentation, and syntax highlighting help programmers refine their coding skills.

To make it a little easier for every developer in choosing an editor, we have prepared a list of some of the best ones that are available either for free or at a subscription cost.



It is a customizable, extensible, self-documenting, real-time display editor. It is different from most of the editors as it is a visual one and gives you a representation of the entire document. You can move anywhere freely in the program and edit any part of the document requires changes.

The user interface of GNU Emacs allows users to combine the commands into macros. This helps automate the work. It works on Mac, Windows, and Linux and is thus a multi-platform text editor.

Although most of the editors these days are real-time, Emacs was one among the earliest to bring out this feature.

Price: Free



Designed and developed by GitHub, it is an open source text and code editor for programmers. It is a multi-platform text editor.

The editor has a built-in package manager, using which you can search for and install new packages. Within one window, you can open multiple projects at the same time.

When compared to most of the editors, it has got a convenient user interface, and that is the reason a lot of programmers prefer to use Atom to write codes.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

Price: Free



Despite being lightweight, it is a powerful source code editor that is mainly used by web developers. Licensed under the MIT License, it is written in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

With Brackets, programmers don’t have to jump between the file tabs. You can instead open a window into the code. Coders get a real-time connection with the browser when they use Brackets. This means that any php changes that they make to the source are reflected on the spot.

It has a quick edit user interface feature, which puts context-specific codes and tools inline. The built-in extension manager ensures fast & effective management.

Platforms: Linux, Windows, and Mac

Price: Free



Made entirely for the Windows platform, it uses pure win32 API. With Notepad++, you get a small program size and greater execution speeds.

A lot of developers prefer using it because it has built-in syntax highlighters for a number of programming languages.

The text editor is written in C++ and features a powerful editing component; Scintilla. The functionality of this editor can be extended by using hundreds of plugins that are available for free.

The best part about using this editor is that it uses relatively lesser CPU power, which in turn brings down power consumption of the device. This way, it helps in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions to the environment.

Platform: Windows

Price: Free



It’s a lightweight text editor for programmers and uses Scintilla and GTK+. Geany has some of the features of IDE as well. The editor supports quite a lot of programming languages and has auto-completion feature in it.

It supports many file types and allows you to navigate through the source code. The editor is extensible if you use the plugins. You can partially fold the code in this editor as well.

Like many other text editors, it supports multiple documents at the same time. You can open multiple files in a single window. This is known as tabbed editing.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac

Price: Free



NoteTab has a tabbed interface which handles a number of text files. On a user-configurable toolbar, there are over 90 commands which make it a highly customizable editor.

It is different from other editors because it has its own macro language “Clip.” The search and replace feature on NoteTab, compared to some other text editors, is a lot more powerful.

One of the most powerful features of NoteTab is the pasteboard. This can be used to search and reuse clippings from days or weeks ago.

Platforms: Mac, Linux, Windows


NoteTab Light- Free

NoteTab Pro- $30-40


Visual Studio Code

Yet another open source text editor, it is developed by the Microsoft. The editor offers support for JavaScipt, Node.js, and TypeScript. It supports more than 30 programming languages.

There’s more to Visual Code Studio than syntax highlighting and auto-complete. The feature is called IntelliSense, which provides smart completion based on imported modules, function definitions, and variable types.

For easier development, it offers Git version control and some other debugging tools. Portable versions of the editor are available as well.

You can install additional extensions to add even more themes, languages, and debuggers. The best part is that these extensions run in separate processes, which makes sure that the speed of the editor does not get affected.

Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac

Price: Free


Sublime Text

It’s an incredibly fast, feature packed, and completely customizable text editor. Although it is a lightweight editor, the efficiency and accuracy of the editor are just perfect.

It uses a custom user interface toolkit, which optimizes its beauty and speed. IDE has a great alternative, and it is the Sublime Text editor.

With Sublime Text code editor, you get the liberty to divide the screen into two documents at the same moment. With simple JSON files, almost everything is customizable in the Sublime Text editor.

It has a command palette to ensure easy accessibility to the snippets, setting, and more.

Platforms: Linux, Mac, and Windows

Price: $70



With the WebStorm text editor, you can debug the client side and Node.js apps. You are allowed to put breakpoints in the source code and explore the call stack and variables.

You get intelligent assistance for HTML, CSS, Node.js, and JavaScript. Take advantage of the test runners, REST client, linters, and build tools. If you need terminal at any time, it is available in an IDE tool window of the editor.

Platforms: Windows

Price: Free for the first 30 days and then $129 for the first year.



It is one of the oldest text editors in the industry and is popular among the programmers who need an entirely customizable text editor. It stands for “Vi Improved.”

The reason for its popularity is that it supports complete keyboard actions, which means that you do not have to use a mouse at all. One more reason for its popularity is that you can find it in almost every Unix-based machine.

One can use it in a remote development environment using a terminal over SSH as well. It also works great with larger files, thus enhancing the overall productivity.

The functionality of this text editor is not limited and can be extended with tons of plugins.

Platforms: Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac

Price: Free



Bluefish is an advanced text editor which has a number of tools to write dynamic websites. It supports programming in more than twenty languages and is available for multiple operating systems.

You can run it as standalone software and in integration with GNOME as well. It is neither a plain text editor nor is it a full IDE. Both programming and development of the sites are easy on Bluefish, as it is a relatively lightweight editor.

For its GUI widgets, Bluefish uses GKT+. The code editor is written in C language, but the API plugin in C is mainly used for separation of maintained and non-maintained parts.

Syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and code folding are among some of the common features that the Bluefish editor has. Bookmarks and code navigation are supported in the editor as well.

The overall functionality of the program can be extended by installing additional plugins and scripts.

Platforms: Solaris, Linux, Mac, and Windows

Price: Free



This one is a browser-based text editor for coders and programmers. This means that you can do everything in a single window of your web browser and see the differences on another tab of the window at the same time.

You get a flawless performance through ICEcoder both online and offline. All you need have to code in this editor is a web browser. This unique feature makes development and maintenance of the site a lot more convenient.

With the Adminer plugin, database management becomes a cake walk. It’s a better version of phpMyAdmin. Coding assistance features such as Emmet, close tag completion, tag wrappers are available as well.

Platforms: Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows

Browsers: Chrome, Mozilla, Safari, and Edge

Price: Free



Out of these options, the choice to pick up the best text editor for programming is entirely yours. It might be a little difficult to choose, but whatever you choose, you will enjoy writing code in it.

The options that you get help you determine your preferences. You need to select the best code editor based on your needs.

Being a beginner, you can opt for Notepad++ to get started. It is easy to use, but is highly flexible and expansive at the same time. You get every feature you need to develop a website conveniently.

You can also tell us about your choices and share your thoughts on the ones that you use.

1 Comment
  1. Good list, add komodo edit and codelobster

Leave a reply

Coders Eye - Web Dev Tutorials and How-To Guides for Beginners
Enable registration in settings - general