Have you ever wondered which text editor you should use when programming Windows? Whether you are an expert or just starting out learning how to program, there is a wide variety of text editors to choose from. It can be pretty overwhelming.
The good news: you don’t have to worry about that anymore, because I’ve taken the time and tested tons of them.
Get the best text editor for programming windows. Do you want to learn about the various text editors, or the best free text editor, this post explains the best code editor 2020 that you can use in achieving your goals.
Sublime Text is a lightweight text editor with a sleek interface and some advanced features, all packed into one tidy package.
With the tab multi-select functionality, you can effortlessly split panes and navigate between code. This works with the sidebar, tab bar and other elements.
By holding the ⌘ key while clicking on a link, you get support via a definitions popup. You get to explore the full definition in a small popup.
Features of Sublime Text editor include:
- Utilize your GPU on Windows, Mac, and Linux when rendering the interface, which results in a fluid UI up to 8K resolution
- Enhanced file tabs to make split views effortless
- Autocomplete has been rewritten to provide intelligent auto completion based on existing code in a project
- Syntax highlighting, lazy embeds, and syntax inheritance
- Load times are faster, and memory usage has been reduced
TextMate is another powerful open source text editor for macOS that can be customized and supports various programming languages. TextMate also supports workflows and bundles for customization.
Features of TextMate text editor include:
- TextMate makes it easy to carry out multiple changes all at once
- Quickly jump between matches or preview desired replacements
- The file browser view allows you to see what files have changed
- The editor view allows you to see what lines have changed
- Turn the commonly used code elements into snippets with placeholders
- Use macros to eliminate repetitive work
With more than 4+ million users, UltraEdit is a secure and powerful text editor out there that can be used for many programming languages.
UltraEdit offers code-aware auto-complete suggestions and function tips for most programming languages. It works out of the box. You need not configure any third-party plugins.
UltraEdit’s live preview allows you to preview the rendered HTML and changes made to your files, all on the fly.
Done editing horizontally? Well, Column Mode is there for you! Just one of the many ways UltraEdit helps you edit code files or tabular data.
UltraEdit’s integrated FTP and SSH/Telnet capabilities make it easy to work with remote files and servers.
Get UltraEdit to look just the way you want it to by choosing one of the core themes. You could also modify your theme or create a new one from scratch and contribute it for the rest of the UltraEdit users to enjoy.
UltraEdit is a premium application. You can download the free trial version to check it out. To continue using it, you’ll need to purchase the application for a yearly subscription of $79.95.
Features of UltraEdit text editor include:
- Open and edit large files (4 GB and beyond) easily
- Multi-select and multi-caret editing
- Edit code in column (block) mode
- Powerful find and replace
- Syntax highlighting for any programming language
- Powerful XML handling
- Auto-closing tags (XML/HTML)
- Automatic and intelligent code completion
- Skin the entire app using editor themes
- Integrated FTP and SSH/telnet client (supports SFTP and FTPS)
- Filtered spell checker and supports Unicode/UTF-8
- Edit in split/duplicate window
Vim text editor is meant for more advanced developers and has a slight learning curve to familiarize yourself with the platform.
Vim can be used both as a command-line interface as well as a standalone application. Vim text editor can be configured to create and change any text efficiently.
Features of Vim text editor include:
- A free and open-source solution
- Vim provides an extensive plugin system
- Learn about extensions, tips, and tools via the online community
- Supports several file formats and programming languages
- Powerful search and replace feature
- Easy integration with several tools
- Works on Windows, Linux, and Mac
Last on our list is the hugely popular Visual Studio Code (VS Code) text editor that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Visual Studio Code text editor supports development operations such as debugging, version control, and more. It’s an ideal tool for developers to go about the coding and debug cycle quickly.
For more complex workflows, there’s always the Visual Studio IDE.
Using the IntelliSense feature, you can go beyond the usual syntax highlighting and autocomplete. Based on the variable types and function definition, IntelliSense provides intelligent completions.
You can debug the code right from your editor using breakpoints and an interactive console.
If you feel limited with the number of in-built features, you can install extensions to add new themes, languages, debuggers and additional services.
Features of Visual Studio Code text editor include:
- Open source text editor with access to an extensive collection of extensions
- Git commands are built-in and include other SCM providers
- Create, group, and manage multiple open terminals easily using tabs
- Intelligent completions using IntelliSense
- Debugging directly within the editor
- Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Browse and edit code without cloning repositories locally
Notepad++ is one of the most common editors that developers use to type a code in. There is nothing extraordinary to learn about and it’s an easy-to-use tool that can be used on Windows with its light footprint and interface. For those who need more specific features, you can easily install supporting plugins and extend the functionality to the maximum.
- Supports Syntax Folding and Syntax Highlighting;
- Auto-completion of words, functions and much more;
- Comes with WYSIWYG and multi-view support;
- Extensible using plugins;
Atom was created by the GitHub platform and is free of charge to be used. Being developed in 2014 it is the youngest code editor tool on our list and managed to secure a strong foothold among developers. Quite often, users compare Atom with Sublime Text, as well as choose Atom because of its command palette and easy-to-use negative interface.
It is supported by CoffeeScript language and everything is on GitHub in the open-source, so if this editor you like and you are familiar with CoffeScript, you can supplement it with their own ideas.
- Highly customizable with almost 2,000 theme variations
- Supports plugins to extend its functionality, with thousands of options available
- Includes a flexible autocompletion system
- Customizes how each language appears on your editor
- Available for Windows, Linux, and OS X operating systems
Sublime Text 3
Sublime Text 3 is a cross-platform text editor that supports most of the programming languages and has Syntax Highlighting. You can also install a plugin supporting Python programming language. The program is often used as a source code editor or HTML. Talking about the visual part, the editor contains various visual themes, with the possibility of downloading additional ones. There are several screen models, one of which is 1 to 4 panels when you can see 4 files on a screen.
- Quick Navigation; easy to use with excellent UI and UX
- Command Palette accessibility to snippets, setting, etc.
- Plugins API in Python
- Simultaneous editing (Split Editing)
- A high degree of customization (Customize Anything)
- Sublime text is easy to use with excellent UI and UX.
UltraEdit is a shareware text and HTML editor and hexadecimal HEX editor for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, created primarily for programmers, as well as ordinary users who are not satisfied with the modest functionality of Notepad++.
It has extremely many functions, although it is a text editor, not a processor.
- Provides plenty of customization options via themes
- Can handle massive files with ease
- Comes with some of the most powerful search functions in the market
- Includes a smart code completion feature that supports most languages
Coda 2 code editor supports Mac Text editor and it is created for the flashy programmer who loves speed and customization of code in a single line. This edition includes essential features like code session of your syntax, uploading and revealing your blog pages. Its Transmit Turbo Engine give you the power to upload code from remote location also.
- Core features are integrated into a compact format
- All-in-one code editor, uniting different web development tools under one
- Auto code completion
TextMate brings Apple’s approach to operating systems into the world of text editors that has become one of the most popular ones for this operation system. Includes ready-made libraries of macros and snippets of source code or text (snippets), suitable for reuse for many programming languages.
- CSS-like Selectors to Pinpoint the Scope of Actions and Settings
- Foldable Code Blocks
- Support for More Than 50 Languages
- Declarative Language Grammars for Graceful Mixing and Hacking
Gedit (for linux)
Gedit is full support for internationalized text, supporting syntax highlighting for various languages like C, C++, Java, HTML, XML, Python, Perl, and many others
- Editing files from remote locations
- File reverting
- Auto indentation
- Backup files
- Configurable fonts and colors
- A flexible plugin system which can be used to dynamically add new advanced features
Vim (ex Vi)
Vim is a free text editor created on the basis of the older Vi. Nowadays it is one of the most powerful text editors with complete freedom of customization and automation, possible due to extensions and add-ons. The user interface of Vim can work in pure text (console) mode. One of the main features of the editor is the use of two main, manually switched, input modes: command and text. Vim is not intuitive (except for “text” mode), so effective work with the editor requires preliminary training.
- Persistent, multi-level undo tree
- The extensive plugin system
- Support for hundreds of programming languages and file formats
- Powerful search and replace
- Integrates with many tools
- Completely keyboard based operations supported.
- Can be used in a remote development environment using a terminal over SSH.
- Vim can be customized to heart’s content using .vimrc dotfile and VimScript.
- Enhances productivity and performs great with large files.
Nano is a console text editor for Unix and Unix-like operating systems, based on the curses library and it is distributed freely. This code editor is known for its user-friendly interface.
- Autoconf support
- Goto-line# command with or flag
- Case sensitive search function
- Interactive search and replace
- Slang and curses support
- Autoindent ability
- Displayed tab width option
- Regular expression search and replace
- Toggles for cmd line flags via Meta keys
- Tab completion when reading/writing files
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
UltraEdit is a multi-platform text editor that has built-in FTP, SSH, and Telnet managers.
A host of themes are included with UltraEdit and it boasts multi-code select and advanced file searching. It supports large files too and the editor has been designed to work with high-resolution displays.
A 30-day free trial is available for UltraEdit. Once the trial has expired, it costs $79.95 per year.
CoffeeCup (FREE / $29)
CoffeeCup is a popular HTML editor for Windows that has a large components library and a built-in W3C markup validation tool.
A split-screen preview pane allows you to see what your HTML and CSS code will generate. There is also a tags tab that has references for (X)HTML, PHP, and CSS tags.
A free version of CoffeeCup is available with fewer features, with the full version retailing at $29.
Komodo Edit & Komodo IDE (FREE)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Komodo Edit is a free text editor that features auto-complete, skins and icon sets, and a change tracker.
Komodo IDE is a superior alternative from the same developers that have a visual debugger, version control, workflow management, syntax highlighting, and a host of add-ons to extend functionality.
Creators for Windows users, WeBuilder is a versatile code editing application that has syntax highlighting for many popular programming languages.
It features several themes, advanced search and replacements, macro recording, split editing, shortcuts for code snippets and code templates, a built-in file upload manager, and many code validation tools.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix
Despite its name, Spacemacs is not just for Apple users. It is a multi-platform text editing solution that brings Emacs and Vim tools together.
The application features graphical and command-line user interfaces and boasts key bindings. There are many community-created plugin extensions too that add functionality.
As Spacemacs is open source, it is free to download.
PhpStorm (FREE Trial / $199 Per Year)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
It works well with modern content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and Joomla, and offers features such as version control, remote deployment, command-line tools, and advanced debugging.
PhpStorm retails at $199 for the first year, $159 for the second year, and $119 for subsequent years. A 30-day free trial is available to help you test the application.
GNU Emacs (FREE)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
GNU Emacs is an open-source multi-platform text editor that offers syntax highlighting and a customizable graphical user-interface.
A large number of plugin packages are available that add additional functionality such as code snippets, custom themes, and HTML5 schemas.
You can download GNU Emacs free of charge.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Our final recommendation is Bluefish. This lightweight editor offers search and replaces, file uploads via FTP and SFTP, a snippets sidebar, and code block folding.
An unlimited amount of updos and redos are permitted and Bluefish will show any mistakes you have in your code.
Bluefish is an open-source application, so is free to download on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
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There are numerous options when it comes to the best text editors for programming. And rightly so; after all, you spend most of your time in front of the computer writing code. That’s why you need a good tool to make coding easier and more efficient.