Tools

10 Best Code Editors for Web Developers in 2019

In this post, we’re comparing free Atom, Brackets, Visual Studio Code, Notepad++++ and Vim text editors, as well as paid Sublime Text 3, BBEdit, Coda, NoteTab Pro, and Webstorm.

August 20, 2019

It is difficult for a developer to perform tasks without a high-quality text editor. It not only speeds up the process but also allows you to add a lot of functions that will simplify the work even with the most complex code.

There is a large number of text editors to choose from. Some of them are better, some are worse. We’ve put together a list of the best text editors for working with code, in our opinion, considering both paid and free services.

Best Free Text Editors

Atom

Atom is one of the most popular web development text editors. The program is open source, and the creators of the service are GitHub developers.

Atom has quite extensive functionality. In particular, the developers have provided the following features:

The creators have also provided support for GitHub. When you install Atom, the package manager is installed on your computer. Using the manager, the web developer has the ability to search for the GitHub package, or download their own, which will help to expand the service.

Atom supports the Teletype option (codeshare) so that multiple web developers can build the same project simultaneously. The Atom team also provided the option of extending the editor using the Atom IDE, which is a set of feature packages.

Brackets

Adobe, known for its solutions for web developers and designers, has also released its own text editor for code called Brackets. Experts from MIT were involved in the development. Brackets is well suited for front-end developers who prefer to work with languages such as Javascript, HTML, or CSS.

Brackets combines a set of standard features (code completion, syntax highlighting, quick editing) and unique options created by Adobe developers. These include:

In addition, Brackets offers front-end developers a good array of settings. Adobe provides adequate support to the programming text editor, regularly releasing a variety of packages. Add-ons are loaded through the Brackets registry.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is an official text editor for web development from Microsoft. According to Stack Overflow statistics, 55.6% of specialists choose this program. The service is supported not only on Microsoft OS but also on Linux and Mac. Visual Studio Code has a fairly large set of tools for creating and debugging code. 

Microsoft specialists have provided opportunities for integration with other services. The main advantage of the VS Code is Live Share. This creates the option of joint work between several experts on one code. This way, you don't have to pass code to multiple developers one at a time.

The VS Code functionality also offers auto-completion, GitHub integration, syntax highlighting, and many other useful features. In addition, there is a collection of add-ons that provide an additional set of options and allow you to customize the editor for everyone.

Notepad++

The Notepad++ code editor has become a classic for developers. The first version appeared in 2003 on Windows, and today it is available only for this platform. The program is time-tested and has won its large audience. According to Stack OverFlow research, 30.4% of developers use this service.

A distinctive feature of Notepad++ is its speed. It's really very fast. It works well with various programming languages “right out of the box.” However, this editor is most often used for HTML

Notepad++ supports editing in different tabs. In addition, it allows you to expand functionality using external extensions. For example, you can add syntax highlighting, macros, compiler integration, indentation, and more.

Vim

Vim is considered one of the most powerful console coding text editors available today. It is preinstalled on almost any UNIX. An interesting feature of the service is the ability to fully control it by only using the keyboard. Although, if you prefer to work with a mouse, then of course you can use that too.

Vim is a text editor for developers who have quite a lot of experience. However, if you manage to master it, you will open up new opportunities. You can solve problems with Vim in just a few minutes that would take hours in other programs.

Immediately after installation, Vim is unlikely to surprise you with any features. It will perfectly cope with the text, but for more complex tasks it has to be configured. Fortunately, the program provides a large number of various add-ons, plugins, and options, so the functionality of Vim can become the most extensive among all the services on the market. Another important advantage is the fact that Vim uses only a part of the system memory and loads instantly.

Best Paid Text Editors

Sublime Text 3

The first paid editor that deserves serious attention is Sublime Text 3. The program is available in both free and paid versions and is present in many top text editors ratings. Supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms. This is a very fast editor that will not take up much disk space and system resources.

In the trial mode, you can use the program for an unlimited amount of time. If you need more functionality, you can buy the full version, which costs $80. The free program offers standard editor features such as code folding, auto-completion, syntax highlighting. 

In paid mode, the updated version of Sublime 3.1 offers the user a lot of useful options, including:

Sublime Text 3 functionality is enhanced with Package Control. Here, the developer will find a lot of useful applications and add-ons. In particular, you can add debugging tools, additional themes, Intellisense support, and many other options.

BBEdit

When choosing a paid text editor for Mac, you need to pay attention to BBEdit. This is a very good service for developers who work primarily with HTML. BBEdit stands out for its very user-friendly and thoughtful interface. The editor allows you to quickly find and replace regular expressions, and it has a project management function.

BBEdit also has the ability to navigate functions. Syntax highlighting is supported not only for HTML but also for many other languages. Among the features of the editor are:

Bare Bones company, the developer of BBEdit, offers users four versions of the program with different functionality, including premium, which costs between $30–$50. There is also a trial period of 30 days.

Coda

Panic Inc, known for its applications for developers, has created its own text editor named Coda. This service is best suited for professionals who develop MacOS and iOS apps, web apps as well as websites.

Coda offers users a trial version that is valid for 7 days. After that you will be offered the opportunity to purchase the program with full functionality, which costs $99. However, in the case of Coda, there is really something worth paying for as the project is being developed and changed every day. It is a powerful and popular text editor, and its creators made sure that the work done with the program was as convenient as possible.

Coda has an intuitive interface and a fairly wide range of basic functions, including:

Another interesting feature of Coda is the function of opening and managing local and remote documents. The developers have also provided a quick access option. The creators of the service and the community actively support the editor, regularly adding new plugins to the library. Therefore, the functionality of Coda is easy to expand and adjust to perform your tasks.

NoteTab Pro

Fookes Software has been developing tools that make life much easier for developers for 20 years. The text editor NoteTab Pro is one of the best programs released by the company's specialists. The program is so well established that it is used by developers in NASA, FBU, VISA, CIA Hewlett Packard, and MIT.

First of all, NoteTab is focused on working with HTML and CSS. The service offers users the ability to edit scripts, macros, and web pages. NoteTab creators have developed and implemented their own system for finding errors in the code, and each file is opened in a separate panel, allowing you to work with multiple files at the same time. Included with the program is a set of templates.

The Pro version is paid and costs $29.95, but the developers also offer a trial period of 30 days and a free version called NoteTab Lite, which has limited functionality.

WebStorm

The text editor WebStorm from Jetbrains is a convenient and functional program that is suitable for both professionals and novices. First of all, the service is used to work with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, but it is also well suited to work with some other languages, including TypeScript, CoffeeScript, Dart, etc.

WebStorm has the functions of highlighting code, auto add-ons, and searching errors. It is possible to debug client-side, Node.js, and React directly in the editor. WebStorm integrates with GitHub, Git, Perforce, and several third-party code error checking services. Another interesting feature introduced by JetBrains specialists is the demonstration of short descriptions with MDN, as well as the presentation of information about the properties in different versions of browsers.

WebStorm offers a 30-day free trial. After that, you can buy the program. The license price varies depending on how long you use the service - the first year will cost $129, the second year is $103, and then the third and subsequent years cost is $77.

Conclusion

There are many text editors available for developers. Which you choose depends on the specific tasks at hand, the language used by the developer, and their personal preferences. There are also some online text editors on the market, if you don’t want to install anything on your PC.

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