10 Essential Text Editors for Developers to Use in 2023

August 1, 2023

10 Essential Text Editors for Developers to Use in 2023

Text is the backbone of the programming world, providing the building blocks for computer programming. It plays a vital role in business websites, computer programs, and mobile applications, constantly evolving through updates and edits.

To tackle these challenges, text editor software comes to the rescue!

Developers, programmers, and coders are always on the hunt for innovative text editors that streamline these tasks, fueling their passion for code.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the 10 top text editors for developers and coders to use in 2023.

What is a Text Editor?

At its core, text editors are used by developers to create and edit code.

Sometimes called code editors, these applications or software are designed to work across multiple frameworks for editing programming languages, codes, and web content. They allow users to input, modify, and save text changes. They can edit programming languages like Java, HTML, C++, Python, Ruby on Rails, and others.

Text editors also have features that simplify and streamline the editing process for programmers, web developers, and source code editors, enhancing coding accuracy and speed.

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Why are Text Editors Important to Developers?

It’s essential to have a reliable text editor to support the development process. Developers need an intuitive user interface that offers syntax highlighting, shortcuts, plugins, customization options, and other helpful features.

  • Text editors facilitate effective coding
  • Text editors provide various customization options that enable developers to tailor their workspace to their liking.
  • Text editors can be enhanced with plugins that empower developers to create a more powerful coding environment

It’s also important to keep up with advancements in technology when it comes to text editors. Finding the right editor for your development project can make a big difference in terms of time, accuracy, and quality.

A Checklist of What to Look for in a Text Editor

When searching for a top-notch text editor, developers should keep these considerations in mind:

  • Syntax Highlighting: This feature improves code readability by highlighting different elements in distinct colors.
  • Customizability and Preferences: A good text editor should offer flexible customization options, allowing you to tailor your workspace to your liking.
  • Support for Multiple Languages: The software should support multiple programming languages, making it versatile for various tasks.
  • Auto-Complete Feature: An essential tool that helps speed up coding and reduce errors by suggesting the rest of a word or line as you type.
  • Plugin Availability: The ability to extend the software’s functionality with plugins can make your coding environment even more powerful.
  • Find and Replace Function: This function can save time by allowing you to find and replace text across multiple files or the entire project.
  • Version Control: This feature provides a safety net for developers, allowing them to track changes and go back to a previous version if needed.

These qualities may vary depending on the requirements of your project, so it’s important to carefully consider each editor before making a decision.

10 Best Text Editors in 2023

Whether you’re a beginner coder or an experienced developer, text editors will provide an efficient and powerful environment for any coding project.

In 2023, the following are the top 10 text editors to try out:

1. Sublime Text

Sublime Text sets the gold standard for text editors. This code editor boasts many tools and a visually appealing interface. Plus, it offers quick shortcuts, seamless search functionality, a distraction-free writing mode, and split editing for optimal productivity.

But that’s not all! Shortcuts come to the rescue when you need to display or hide the sidebar, duplicate lines effortlessly, select specific line numbers, check for misspelled words, and much more.

Like Vim, it’s lightweight and ready to edit your file instantly upon command. Its remarkable responsiveness makes it the top text editor of its kind. However, installing additional plugins is necessary to maximize Sublime Text’s potential.

Features we like:

  • Allows simultaneous editing of multiple files
  • High level of extensibility
  • Split editing capabilities
  • Robust API and package ecosystem
  • Automatic indentation

2. Brackets

Brackets, the text editor from Adobe, provides a modern, open-source solution developed specifically for web designers and front-end developers. It offers visual tools for previewing work and allows front-end developers to examine changes. Writing code is the main focus, with the help of inline editors, live previews, and organized files.

Brackets has integration with Photoshop, generating code from PSD files for your project. It’s open source, has a supportive community, and runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows.

The interface is simplistic, yet the editor offers many advanced features too. Developers can upload extensions via GitHub, which is easily accessible on the website.

Features we like:

  • Users can extract colors, gradients, fonts, and measurements in the same format as CSS
  • Clutter-free working environment
  • Enables split-screen editing for improved productivity
  • Provides code-specific syntax highlighting for better code readability

3. Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VS Code)

Developers have been flocking to Visual Studio Code (VS Code) ever since it arrived in 2015, thanks to it being a Microsoft product. Despite being a relative newcomer, VS Code has made remarkable strides in building a vibrant community and catering to users’ needs. The dedication is evident as the plugin library expands by leaps and bounds.

Not only that, but the cherry on top is it’s an open-source project, available for free download on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Its speed and Zen Mode feature stand out among older editors, providing a decluttered workspace for enhanced productivity.

What sets Visual Studio Code apart is its built-in terminal, syntax checking, and seamless integration with various source control technologies. And here’s the best part: it proposes completions and reveals documentation for classes and methods on-the-fly, making it an absolute gem for Python coders.

Features we like:

  • Supports various programming languages and frameworks, ranging from familiar ones like C and C++ to modern options like Go and Rust
  • Integrated debugger
  • Streamlined Git and various other SCM provider support
  • Intelligent detection of incomplete code snippets

4. Notepad++

Notepad++ is the go-to choice for developers across the globe. Licensed under GNU GPL, this free text editor is a powerful and popular source code editor. It is based on Scintilla, a code editing component.

The simplicity, lack of unnecessary features, and open-source nature make Notepad++ a favorite. With this text editor, code examination becomes a breeze, pasting from FTP clients is a snap, and you can dive right in without waiting for the development environment to load.

With a user-friendly interface, support for macros and plugins, and an autosave tool, it is no wonder that Notepad++ is more commonly used compared to Atom and Sublime Text. However, it has limited other file formats and format support, an outdated interface, and lacks certain capabilities.

Features we like:

  • Auto-completion with word and function suggestions
  • Support for multiple programming languages
  • Lightweight application with fast launch times
  • Tabbed editing and collaborative editing capabilities

5. Atom

Developers created Atom for developers, so you know it’s designed with your needs in mind. It’s a relatively new open-source, free text editor that works seamlessly on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.

This ‘hackable’ text editor empowers new programmers to create their own editor without extensive programming knowledge. With a built-in package manager, it enables adding new features and functionality. It offers a file system browser, search & replace, smart auto-completion, and seamless integration with Git and GitHub.

What’s great about Atom is that it’s highly customizable, and a team of dedicated developers supports it. You’ll have easy access to dozens of plugins and themes. Plus, there are eight dark and light themes to choose from!

Features we like:

  • Regular updates of fresh themes and packages
  • Smooth functionality across major operating systems
  • Real-time collaborative editing and creation capabilities
  • Multiple panes for side-by-side code comparison and editing

6. Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit is a really powerful yet super user-friendly text editor. The cool thing about Komodo Edit is that it’s designed to be feature-rich but also simple enough for beginners to use.

If you’re not looking for a high-end text editor and just want to get smaller projects done, Komodo is a perfect choice. But, if you need more advanced tools like unit testing and code profiling, Komodo IDE (Integrated Development Environment) does the trick. This upgrade supports all the languages and frameworks, which makes it ideal for web development.

Features we like:

  • Dual versions for both light and advanced users
  • Real-time code collaboration feature (available in Komodo IDE)
  • Multi-language editor with customizable skin and icon sets
  • Track changes and perform multiple selections effortlessly
  • Integrations to Gulp, Grunt, Yarn, and Vagrant (Komodo IDE)

7. Vim

For old-school programmers and keyboard enthusiasts, Vim is a go-to text editor. It originated from the Vi editor in 1976 and continues to receive upgrades today.

Vim is entirely keyboard-based, which makes it faster and more efficient. However, mastering its operation requires effort. If you invest time and patience in the learning curve of Vim, it can significantly boost your coding productivity.

Whether you’re a Windows, Linux, or Mac user, you can take advantage of the popular tools in Vim. You can use it from the command-line interface (CLI) or as a standalone application in a graphical user interface (GUI). It’s got you covered, no matter how you prefer to work!

Features we like:

  • Multi-file editing capabilities
  • Wide range of programming languages and file format support
  • Robust search and replace functionality
  • Extensive plug-in support with numerous options
  • Minimal memory usage for efficient performance

8. BBEdit

When it comes to text editors for Mac, BBEdit definitely takes the crown for being one of the oldest. It’s exclusively for Mac users and offers a wide range of cutting-edge features. But here’s the interesting part: BBEdit tries to keep things simple, just like its acronym suggests.

Designed for editing, searching, transforming, and manipulating text, it offers efficient text editing. With features like syntax highlighting, fast lookups, and customizable editing windows, it offers a seamless editing experience.

BBEdit is a favorite because it has a really intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it super easy to browse, edit files, and work on projects. Plus, it supports a whopping 44 programming languages, including HTML, Python, VBScript, JavaScript, Perl, and more!

Features we like:

  • Auto indentation for clean code formatting
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Tools for advanced searching
  • Text file comparison support
  • Seamless integration into existing workflows

9. CoffeeCup

CoffeeCup’s HTML Editor offers advanced text editing for coding and web design management. It is a powerful and robust tool, with both freemium and premium versions available.

If you’re looking to create HTML pages, CoffeeCup is a great choice. It’s also a handy tool if you’re interested in learning about HTML or PHP, as it can save you a lot of time.

Note: With this purchase, you’ll receive just one license. So, if you have a whole team needing the text editor, you’ll need to grab multiple licenses.

Features we like:

  • Free version with affordable premium option and free trial available
  • Comes with appealing themes
  • FTP connection enables easy website deployment to chosen servers or web hosts
  • Provides a visual split-screen view and live frontend preview

10. TextMate

TextMate is a top-notch source text editor exclusively developed for Mac OS. It’s like your trusty companion when you embark on your text-editing journey on macOS.

It may seem simple at first, but it’s packed with a ton of built-in functionality. You’ll find features like find, search, replace, completion, and board management that are commonly included in text editors.

While TextMate supports every programming language, it also has a separate utility designed specifically for Xcode applications. This super cool and versatile text editor comes with a unique and innovative feature set. TextMate includes ready-made libraries of text snippets that you can reuse for almost every programming language.

TextMate has ready-made libraries of text snippets that you can reuse for every programming language out there. But you know what’s even cooler? It has a special utility just for Xcode applications. This allows editing code within the Xcode environment, making it much easier and more efficient.

Features we like:

  • Simple clipboard management
  • Auto-indentation for common actions
  • Visual bookmarks for quick navigation within files
  • Time-saving Macros to automate repetitive tasks
  • Foldable code blocks for improved organization
a developer using a text editor

Let StarTechUP Build Your App Project!

Using a text editor in 2023 is a great way to get started on your development projects. But for mission-critical projects, you need more than just a powerful text editor—you need professional guidance and help from experts.

That’s why the team at StarTechUP is here!

We specialize in web development, mobile app development, custom software development, and more. You can rely on our expertise to take your projects from concept to reality. With our experience in the latest technologies and collaborative style, we can help you bring your dream project to life.

Get in touch with us today and let’s chat about your project! We can’t wait to hear from you.

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin