Top 15 Best Free Code Editors For Perfect Coding Experience

List and comparison of the Most Popular Online free Code Editor for Windows and Mac Users to Improve Your Coding Speed:

What is a Code Editor?

Code editors or source code editors are the software that is designed specifically to help developers in coding. These are actually the text editors with some additional functionalities to manage and edit code. It can be standalone or it can be a part of an IDE.

Using the best code editor can improve the speed of coding.

Code Editors

Code editors are programming language specific. Some editors support one or two programming languages whereas some support multiple programming languages. It can give suggestions and highlights only based on language support.

Structure editor is a type of coding editor or we can say that it is the functionality which is included in the editors. Structure editing is used for manipulating the structure of a code based on the syntax tree. The syntax tree is nothing but the structure of the code which is written in a programming language.

The code editors don’t compile the code. It just allows you to write and edit the source code.

Functions:

When developers write code using these editors, it takes care of syntax.

Code editors immediately warn for any syntax errors. Developers don’t have to worry about syntax. Auto indentation & auto-completion saves a lot of time. Some editors like sublime text and visual studio code have an integrated terminal.

Core Features:

Enlisted below are the various Features of these Editors:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto indentation
  • Auto-completion
  • Brace matching

How are Code Editors Different from IDE and Text Editors?

Code editors have more functionalities than the plain text editors. Plain text editors don’t offer features like syntax highlighting and auto indentations. Also, Code editors are not IDE.

IDE includes debugging functionalities, code generators, and many other complex functionalities to help the developers, whereas code editors help developers in coding. According to programming languages, it highlights keywords and syntax errors.

Pros and Cons of Using These Editors:

The code editors are helpful if you are writing the code from scratch. But if you have to edit the existing code which is written by someone else then IDE is the best option. IDE is helpful for understanding the code which is written by others as code editors cannot compile and debug the code.

Some features of these editors are better than IDE like theme selection and searches, which are important while writing the code. Meanwhile, instead of editing few lines and debugging constantly, with code editors you can concentrate more on coding.

Another reason for using these editors instead of IDE is that IDE uses more resources like CPU, memory, and disk space. The coding editors don’t use many resources, hence they are fast.

Points to consider while selecting the best editor for your project:

  • Supported languages
  • Supported operating systems or platform.
  • Features
  • Price

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Comparison of Top Source Code Editors

Tool NameProgramming LanguagesOperating SystemsBest FeaturesCostWritten In
AtomSupports many languages.Windows,Linux, Mac OSCross-platform editing.
Built-in package manager
FreeBuilt using web technologies
Sublime TextSupports many programming languages.Windows,Linux, Mac OSProvides instant switching between projects.
Cross platform support.
$ 80C++ & Python
Notepad++PHP
JavaScript
HTML
CSS
Windows,Linux, UNIX, Mac OS (Using third party tool)Syntax Highlighting
Auto indentation
Auto completion

FreeC++
And uses Win 32 API & STL
BracketsJavaScript
HTML
CSS
Windows,Linux, Mac OSLive Preview
Inline Editor
FreeJavaScript,
HTML
CSS
Visual Studio CodeSupports many languages like C++, Java, TypeScript, JSON and many more.Windows,Linux, Mac OSAuto-completion
Debugging with breakpoints.
FreeTypeScript
JavaScript
CSS
VimSupports many programming languages.Windows,Linux, UNIX, Mac OS, AndroidEditing of compressed files
Mouse interaction.
FreeC
Vim Script
BluefishHTML, C, C++, Go, Java, JSP, and many more languages.Cross-platformAuto-completion.
Code Navigation.
FreeC
TextMateSupports many languages.Mac OSAuto-paring for brackets. &
Can record Macros without programming.

Free-
Text WranglerANSI C, C++
Java,
Ruby,
PHP,
Python, Perl, and many more.
Mac OSCan split the editing windows.
Multiple undo.
Compares 2 text files.
$49.99-
UltraEditHTML,PHP
CSS
C++
SAS code
PL/SQL
UNIX Shell Scripts
Visual Basic
Windows,Linux, Mac OSIntegrated SSH, FTP, and Telnet.
Multi-caret editing.
Support editing in column mode also.
$79.95 per year-

Review of the Best Code Editors in 2019

Here is the list of the best code editors for programmers. The list includes online editors for Windows and Mac users.

#1) Atom

atom_1

Atom, text and source code editor is developed by GitHub. It is an open source tool and the user can use it as an IDE.

Features:

  • It has a built-in package manager.
  • It provides smart options for auto-completion.
  • You can open the tool in multiple panes for comparing.
  • It supports cross-platform editing.
  • It provides more features for finding & replacing text, and for searching files.

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • It provides some special developer tools.
  • Easy to customize UI.

Cons:

  • For writing packages, you will need a Coffee Script.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: Free

Official URL: Atom

Findings: Atom is an open source tool. It has very good community support. You can use Atom for basic and advanced programming. It can be used as an IDE.

#2) Sublime Text

SublimeText

The sublime text editor is for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Following is the list of supported languages:

ActionScriptAppleScriptASPCC++
PythonYAMLTCLPHPClojure
RXSLShell ScriptLuaCSS
RailsXMLObjective-CHTMLGo
ScalaSQLMakefileJavaScriptJava

Features:


  • It can detect and highlight syntax errors.
  • For the whole project, it can automatically create an index for class, method, and function.
  • Provides smart options for opening files, jumping to symbols etc.
  • It allows you to edit multiple lines simultaneously.
  • With the help of a JSON file, you can almost customize everything.

Cons:

  • No package manager.
  • Print option is not available

Pros:

  • You can select and edit multiple lines.
  • Easy to use for beginners.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: You have to buy the license for USD $80. A free trial is also available.

Official URL: Sublime Text

Findings: Sublime Text is the best coding editor for beginners. Especially it is best for HTML and PHP. Apart from that, it supports many other programming languages as well.

#3) Notepad++

notepad++

Notepad++ is a source code editor for Windows, Linux, and UNIX. It can also be used on Mac using a third party tool. Its latest available version is 7.5.8.

Features:

  • It supports Macros recording and playback.
  • For the ease of use, it provides many features like adding bookmarks, finding and replacing tasks, auto-completion, and syntax highlighting.
  • It supports Multi-View, and Tab interface for Multi-Document.

Pros:

  • Spelling check option is provided.
  • Easy to use for beginners as well.
  • Good community support from GitHub.

Cons:

  • Remote file editing is not available for HTTP, SSH, and WebDAV.
  • If you want to use Notepad++ on Mac, then you will have to use a third-party tool.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: Free

Official URL: notepad-plus-plus

Findings: Notepad++ is a free code editor. It is used for coding in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Its code highlighting functionality helps in writing the code without error.

#4) Brackets

brackets

Brackets is a text editor for web designing or web development. It is an open source tool. Its latest release is 1.13. It can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

Features:

  • It is Extensible.
  • It is lightweight and powerful.
  • Brackets provide the feature of ‘Live Preview’, with the help of which you will be able to see the changes made to your CSS or HTML in your browser instantly.
  • It provides Inline Editors.

Pros:

  • Provides new features and bug fixes through regular updates.
  • Easy to customize.
  • You can preview the code which is going to establish the connection.

Cons:

  • Auto-complete option is not available.
  • Third party plugins are not supported.
  • Full screen, split screen options are not supported.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: Free

Official URL: Brackets

Findings: It is an open source text editor for Mac. Brackets have good community support.

#5) Visual Studio Code

visual studio code

Visual Studio Code is an open source tool. It can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac and You can run it everywhere.

Visual Studio can be used for:

C#RObjective-CGo
CSSVisual BasicSQLSwift
F#Power shellRustJSON
XMLPHPJavaHTML
PythonJadeRazorTypeScript
LuaIniGroovyDockerfile
BatchSassLessCoffee Script
PerlClojureMakefileMarkdown

Features:

  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Auto-completion for variable types, function definitions, and imported modules.
  • Debugging with breakpoints, call stacks, and interactive console.
  • Visual studio Code is extensible and customizable.

Pros:

  • Lightweight tool.
  • It doesn’t take much space on RAM.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the system runs slow on Linux.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: Free

Official URL: Visual Studio

Findings: Visual Studio Code is a lightweight application and is mainly used for ASP.Net and C#.

#6) Vim

vim

Vim text editor provides support for hundreds of programming languages. In UNIX and Mac, it is known as vi. Its latest available version is 8.1.

Features:

  • Syntax highlighting.
  • It supports editing of compressed files.
  • It provides support for mouse interaction.
  • Spelling check.

Pros:

  • Recording macros.
  • It supports many programming languages.
  • Availability of search and replace functionality.

Cons:

  • It is difficult to learn.
  • It provides limited IDE features.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: Free

Official URL: Vim

Findings: Vim is a good text editor, however it has a steep learning curve.

#7) Bluefish

bluefish

Bluefish is a free text editor. It can be used on many operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Solaris. This easy to use system can be used for programming and websites developments.

Bluefish can be used for:

HTMLJavaScriptJavaColdFusionJSP
XHTMLC++Google GoPerlPython
CSSCValaSQLRuby
XMLPHPAdaDShell

Features:

  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Auto-completion & Code Folding.
  • Code Navigation.
  • Bookmarks.
  • Bluefish is an extensible system.

Pros:

  • It supports multiple encoding.
  • It has Unicode character browser.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the system gets slow.

Tool Cost/Plan Details: Free

Official URL: Bluefish

Findings: Bluefish supports many markup languages and it is well known for its high speed.

#8) TextMate

textmate

TextMate is a Mac text editor. You can use TextMate for more than 50 languages.

Features:

  • Search and replace functionality within a project.
  • Auto-paring for brackets.
  • You can record Macros without programming.
  • It provides some project management features.
  • You can select a theme for syntax highlighting.

Pros:

  • You can search and replace regular expressions.
  • It supports switching between the files within the project in just a few keystrokes.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t provide guided code completion facility.
  • It doesn’t have a built-in HTML validator.

Tool Cost/Plan Details: Free

Official URL: TextMate

Findings: TextMate is one of the best free text editors for Mac. The option of Smart switching between the files helps a lot.

#9) TextWrangler

textwrangler

TextWrangler is a text and code editor for Mac OS. It is now known as BBEdit. It has integrated support from Mac OS X’s Spelling service.

For syntax coloring and function navigation, it supports the following languages:

ANSI CC++FortranJavaMarkdown
Objective CPerlTclTexObject Pascal
PythonPHPRezRubyUnix Shell Scripts

Features:

  • It supports the comparison of text files.
  • It allows for multiple Undo.
  • It supports auto indentations.
  • You can split the editing windows.
  • Extensive FTP & SFTP support.

Pros:

  • It supports full-screen mode.
  • Powerful search and replace option.
  • It has rectangular text selection.

Cons:

  • It is available only for Mac OS.

Tool Cost/Plan Details: $49.99

Official URL: TextWrangler

Findings: TextWrangler is the text editor for Mac. It is not free but offers good features at a small price.

#10) UltraEdit

Ultraedit

UltraEdit is a text editor by IDE Computer Solutions. It can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It has features for developers and enterprises as well. One UltraEdit license can be used on three machines of any platform.

Features:

  • It has integrated SSH, FTP, and Telnet.
  • It supports file and data sorting.
  • It supports Macros and scripts.
  • It supports file encryption and decryption.
  • Multi-caret editing.

Pros:

  • UltraEdit can handle large files. It can work with the files of size 4GB and more.
  • You can select or set the theme as per your choice.
  • The smart search option which is provided can search any word or regular expression across files.

Cons:

  • It is expensive.

Tool Cost /Plan Details: $79.95 per year.

Official URL: UltraEdit

Findings: It is a little expensive solution but offers good features and it is worth the price.

Additional Editors to Consider

#11) Light Table: It can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is a lightweight open source application. It provides many features like inline evaluation, watches, malleable, and plugin manager.

Official URL: Light table

#12) Coda: Coda is a text editor for Mac OS. It provides you with a feature of opening and managing local and remote files.

It provides many features like touch bar, fast syntax highlighting, guidance in vertical indentation, plugins, and helps in syncing your sites and passwords. You can buy it for $99.

Official URL: panic- coda

#13) jEdit: jEdit can be used on Windows, Mac, UNIX, and VMS. For auto indentation and syntax highlighting it supports more than 200 languages. It is available for free. It has a plugin manager, for managing plugins.

Official URL: jedit

#14) gedit: gedit is an open source text editor. It can be used on Windows and Mac. It provides many features like editing from remote locations, auto indentation, undo, file reverting, and much more.

Official URL: Gedit

#15) CoffeeCup: CoffeeCup HTML editor is easy to use. You can start website designing from scratch or you can use it to edit the existing one. It will provide several features in a cost-effective way. It has two versions, one is free and you can buy another one for $49.

Official URL: CoffeeCup       

Conclusion

The Atom code editor is specially made for developers and is a good option for basic and advanced programming. Sublime text is good for HTML and PHP programming beginners. Notepad++ has good code highlighting functionalities.

Brackets is an inline text editor for web designing. With Brackets, you can view the changes instantly. Visual Studio Code is the best solution for ASP.Net and C#. Vim is a good text editor but the only problem with that is, it has a steep learning curve.

Bluefish is best known as a high-speed PHP editor. TextMate and TextWrangler are the text editors for Mac only. UltraEdit is good for handling large files.

Hope you enjoyed this informative article on Code Editors!!

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