Choosing a text editor is a big deal to many people, especially if you’re just getting started, and I think it’s good to try different editors out and see what works best for you. There are various reasons people use other editors. You have additional build-in features, Plugins look, style, keyboard shortcuts, workflow, and a ton of other factors that go into it.
I want to give you a list of the top 5 picks for free text editors. These are not IDEs or integrated development environments. IDEs are much more intricate with extensive debugging, testing compiling, and so on. These are strictly text-editors, which are what most web developers use.
5) Komodo Edit
The Komodo IDE has an integrated development environment, and it is free and much more robust. It is extremely simple, and it has a very minimal design.
It’s so overwhelming because there are so many little buttons, menu options and sidebars. It has a feature called focus mode, which will hide all the open windows and display the editor. This helps in limits distraction and lets you focus on exactly what you need to. There’s also a big go-to anything text box where you can search for files, install plugins, open menu items etc.
It also has a cursor history. You can redo and undo where your cursor goes. It also has built-in FTP connection capability so that you can connect remotely to servers and update files on your hosts. It also has a built-in browser preview which is always helpful. So rather than going outside of the editor and opening your HTML files or whatever you’re working on. You can preview it through the editor.
- Extremely Minimal Design
- Focus Mode
- Go to Anything
- Cursor History
- Connect Via FTP
- Browse Preview
Brackets is geared towards Web Designers and Front-End Developers. Like Komodo Edit, the interface is straightforward. The syntax is highlighting the colour-coded HTML tags and attributes. Brackets have the amazing Live Preview feature. Brackets use Localhost to open up your HTML files.
Any changes you make in your code and click on the save button, it Refreshes the browser and immediately shows your changes. There are different themes you can choose from.
The keyboard shortcuts are also beneficial, easy to use, and can make your work much quicker. No matter what editor you are using, I would highly suggest learning some helpful keyboard shortcuts.
- For Web Developers/Designers
- Simple Interface
- Great Syntax Highlighting
- Live Preview
- Custom Themes
- Tons of Keyboard Shortcuts
3) Sublime Text
Technically it isn’t available free. There is a Paid license, but the free version gives you all the capabilities of the commercial. Its performance its incredibly fast. It’s built from custom components.
There are some other features like the command palette. It holds infrequently-used functionality like sorting, changing the syntax, changing the indentation settings, and other things in just a few keystrokes. You can find what you want without navigation or through the menus.
There’s also a very robust API and package ecosystem. It uses the Python API that allows plugins to augment the built-in functions.
You can install Package control through the command palette, and you can install thousands of packages built by the community. It’s a potent tool, but I think many of the features are hidden. I think they can do a much better job of making sure things are more comfortable to use, including the whole command palette and the package control workflow.
- Super Fast & Responsive
- Very Powerful
- Goto Anything
- Command Palette
- Package Control
Atom is one of the easiest and the most intuitive text-editors. When it comes to the interface, everything is intelligible. Everything is available in the right place. Interface customization and all the settings are easy to navigate and change. Another feature is that it has a phenomenal package manager to extend Atom. Atom is one of the most excellent looking if not the most superior looking editor some of the themes are available are beautiful, so you have real-time collaboration.
It has built-in GitHub integration to increase your workflow when it comes to getting version control. The biggest downside to the Atom is its performance. It will work fine and excellent on a super machine with an i7 32 GB of RAM, but when you try using it on a less powerful laptop or something like that, it will lag.
It is essential that the Text Editor you’re using needs to be flawless, it needs to fly and Atom lagged.
- Intuitive & Easy to Use
- Great Package Manager
- Beautiful Custom Themes
- Real-Time Collab
- Github Integration
1) Visual Studio Code
It’s incredibly fast and intuitive. Its built-in terminal is fantastic, and it’s one of the best features because you can install terminal plugins. They’re wonky. The terminal in VS Code is just incredible.
You’ll always find an extension that does all that you need in terms of highlighting IntelliSense and Snippets. The keyboard shortcuts are amazing and easily customized. It makes for a speedy workflow. Emmit is a fantastic tool which allows you to use shortcuts to write HTML and CSS quickly and while Emmet is available for almost all text editors as some plugin or extension.