The 11 Best Code Editors Available in 2018

Posted on February 27, 2015 by in Resources | 123 comments

The 11 Best Code Editors Available in 2018

Whether you’re a new web developer or a veteran code junkie, you need a code editor robust enough to handle everything you can throw at it. In fact, that might just be the most important part of your toolset. Since this is an ongoing search for most everyone the field, we wanted to give lay out some of the best options — both free and premium — for you to integrate into your workflow.

The 11 Best Code Editors Available in 2018

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We haven’t placed the editors below in any ranking order. A developer’s code editor is a personal choice, and we are not trying to create a dustup about whose personal favorite is being snubbed. Our only goal is to present the field of contenders as we see them and allow everyone to come to their own conclusions based on their personal needs and preferences.

So let’s get started!

Free Code Editors

1. Atom

Atom, a project started by Github, has established itself as one of the premiere code and text editors out there. The best part is that Atom is totally free, open source, and highly customizable. Built around a minimal core, Atom comes with multiple language-specific packages built in, and the library of community-written ones has exploded over the years since the editor was first released. Atom is as robust as you need it to be – if the editor doesn’t do something you need, you can create that feature yourself.

Key Features (out of the box):

  • File system browser
  • Fuzzy finder for quickly opening files
  • Fast project-wide search and replace
  • Multiple cursors and selections
  • Multiple panes
  • Snippets
  • Code folding
  • A clean preferences UI
  • Import TextMate grammars and themes
  • Highly extendable
  • Highly theme-able


  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Linux

Atom is for you if…

…you’re the kind of person who likes to have your software be exactly what they want it to be and do exactly what you want it to do. With the growing library of mods and add-ons, Atom is one of the most customizable code editors out there. It works great out of the box, but its real power comes from the open source community around it and the almost infinite customizations you can add to it yourself.

Price: FREE | More Information

2. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is pretty close to the industry standard for text editors. There’s a reason for that. Being designed for code, markup, and prose is a big plus. They haven’t put the same consideration into their prose workflows as say, Scrivener or Final Draft, but you have the option of doing everything within one editor. Like Atom, Sublime Text has as an incredibly active package repository that extends its features far beyond the initial download.

Sublime Text is a beautiful, feature-rich code editor. Maybe the biggest draw is that it puts a premium on user experience. The UX is probably the tightest of every entry on the list. This us because of features like distraction-free writing mode, quick shortcuts/search, split editing, and much more. One of the biggest features users flaunt is the ridiculously intuitive keyboard shortcut system.

While there is an $80 price tag attached to Sublime, they offer an indefinite, never-ending trial. You have to deal with upgrade prompts as you open the editor occasionally, but you can use it as long as you wish to evaluate it. This is done on the honor system as the developers feel confident enough in their product that you’ll like it enough to pay to support continued development.

And once you get used to Sublime’s, well, sublime keyboard shortcuts, you’ll wonder how you ever wrote a word without them.

Key Features:

  • Goto Anything (lightning fast search/shortcuts)
  • Command Palette
  • Split Editing
  • Highly customizable
  • Multiple selections
  • Distraction free writing mode
  • Instant project switch
  • Plugin API
  • And more


  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux

Sublime Text is for you if…

…you prefer a good user experience over everything else. That’s not saying Sublime Text doesn’t have the features you need for almost every project (it does), and that’s not saying that Sublime Text isn’t a workhorse that can’t handle major projects (it is and it can). It’s just that just using Sublime Text is the most memorable part of the whole package. And there’s a lot in the package.

Price: FREE (technically it’s an indefinite, never-ending trial of the $80 upgrade) | More Information

3. Notepad++

Notepad++ is an extremely popular text editor. That is in part because it’s free and GPL-licensed open source. Even more than that, though, the reason it’s one of the best text editors around is that it’s simple. Beginners and veterans can get everything they need out of it. Coders and developers often recommend this one as a great option for someone just getting into code editing and might be overwhelmed by the environment offered up by Sublime or Atom. Notepad++ is a wonderful, simple option not just for beginners, but developers at any level. A lot of professional devs use Notepad++ as their daily driver because it’s light, effective, and does what it needs to do.

The downside: the software is Windows-only. Many devs are on Mac or Linux, but for those living in Microsoft’s turf, this is a great option to try out since it’s free. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Key Features:

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Syntax Folding
  • Search/Replace
  • Highly customizable
  • Auto-completion
  • Multi-document tab interface
  • Zoom in and out
  • Multi-language environment supported
  • And more


  • Windows

Notepad++ is for you if…

…you are new to code editors and want to ease your way in. Additionally, if you want a resource-light option, Notepad++ is it. Because of how simple and easy the developers have made it, you’re not going to bog down your system as you work. That means you might not be loading gigabytes of information at once, but for most people’s web development tasks and so on, Notepad++ is more than enough.

Price: FREE | More Information

4. Bluefish

Bluefish is more of an IDE than a real text editor, which means it may be a little advanced for brand new users. It’s free, supports pretty much every language because it’s open-source, and comes with a wide variety of useful features for use across many platforms. It’s constantly updated by the community that’s built itself around the editor and can handle some pretty complex code bases. You can edit in full-screen or wrap the text as you want, and the powerful search-and-replace tool keeps things tidy. The IDE also supports a lot of secure connections, so you won’t have to worry about a separate FTP client, as you can work on your sites and repos remotely from within Bluefish itself.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Integrated Development Environment
  • Multiple document interface
  • Project support
  • FTP/SFTP/HTTP/HTTPS/and more
  • Snippets sidebar
  • Unlimited undo/redo
  • Auto-recovery
  • Full-screen editing
  • Powerful search and replace
  • Customizable programming language support
  • And much more


  • Linux
  • BSD
  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Solaris

Bluefish is for you if…

…you want to learn all the nuance and power of a full IDE. This might not be the best option for brand-new coders because working in an integrated development environment can be overwhelming at first, but if you’re willing to put in the effort to learn how the environment works, you will have a fantastic tool. With Bluefish, you can do a lot if you want to put in a bit of effort learning how to make it sing.

Price: FREE | More Information

5. Brackets

Brackets is another free and open-source editor. This time, it’s not simply a community-driven project: Adobe itself is behind this one. Yes, the Adobe. Of Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on. Because of that, expect polish and power.

Brackets is designed to be minimal-yet-powerful. It does, however, offer some unique and useful features. One of those features being Extract, a tool which allows you to extract information such as colors, fonts, gradients, measurements, directly from PSDs as clean CSS. For front-end developers working in a design agency who have to recreate pixel-perfect sites from mock-ups, there may be no better tool for you.

Key Features:

  • Extract
  • Constantly growing library of extensions
  • JavaScript refactoring
  • Git integration
  • W3C validation
  • Massive extension library
  • Inline editors
  • Live preview
  • Preprocessor report
  • And a whole lot more


  • Widows
  • Linux
  • MacOS

Brackets is for you if…

…you’ve already bought into the Adobe ecosystem. You will feel right at home if you’ve ever used any Adobe product regularly. Brackets feels like it is a part of Creative Cloud, even though it’s not. The UIs are similar, and it feels very natural if you’re coming from Photoshop or InDesign. Additionally, the Extract tool makes Brackets a near must-have for front-end devs who work with designers’ PDFs.

Price: FREE | More Information

6. VIM

Vim is hardcore. Let’s be clear about that upfront. Where Sublime Text, Notepad++, and some of the other editors on this list are newbie friendly, Vim is unapologetic in its utilitarian brutalism. From the official website down to the software itself, Vim is a coder’s tool for coders by coders.

Once you get past the UI and the steep learning curve, you’ll see why the text editor is designed the way it is. It does roughly everything all the other best text editors can do. But more than maybe anything else on the list, it’s designed for efficiency and function. Watching people code in Vim is like watching a concert pianist. The UI is keystroke based, and if you thought the Sublime Text keyboard shortcuts were helpful, when and if you can get used to Vim, the experience is unreal. If you try to go back to a visual GUI for a text editor, you will feel like you’re working in slow motion.

Because Vim can be so intense to learn, they created a game for you to play to learn how it works. Not a tutorial, really, but a way not to overwhelm you with everything that makes Vim, Vim. It’s pretty fun.

Key Features:

  • Designed for coders and developers
  • Brutalist UI
  • Blurs the line between IDE and text editor, depending on how versed in it you are
  • Incredibly passionate community for documentation, updates, and help
  • Unix-based
  • Huge plug-in system
  • Secure login
  • Gamified learning process, if you choose
  • Support for every programming language imaginable
  • And more


  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux

VIM is for you if…

…you’re the kind of person who doesn’t just dabble in code, but lives and breathes it. If you have any Linux installation, Vim is for you. If you have any Linux distribution other than Ubuntu, you will adore Vim. It is built for you. However, if you’re a newbie, downloading Vim is like stepping into the Matrix, so be wary. It is as powerful as anything out there, maybe even more so, but the brutalist UI can be off-putting. Get past the rough facade, and you will find a beautiful experience.

Price: FREE | More Information


Having included Vim, we feel compelled to include Emacs as well. For developers, Emacs and Vim have the same relationship as Pepsi and Coke, Star Wars and Star Trek, M&Ms and Reece’s Pieces. They’re almost two sides of the same coin in that they are absolutely designed for the best developer experience possible while cutting out many of the extraneous features that are barriers to efficiency. Emacs is lightweight, command-line based, and being a part of GNU, available totally for free across a plethora of operating systems.

Emacs takes a slightly more visually appealing approach to editing than Vim, however, that doesn’t mean you lose any power or functionality. It may come down to taste when deciding which one you want. But if you’re in the market for a hardcore, no-nonsense text editor and IDE that will pretty much be around forever, Emacs is definitely an option. After all, the core came around in 1976 and this particular iteration (GNU Emacs) has been updated regularly since 1984.

Key Features:

  • Command line installation
  • Content-aware editing
  • Unicode support for roughly everything
  • Built-in documentation
  • Both Lisp or graphical interface
  • Passionate and involved community
  • Extensible with plugins and packages
  • Will be free forever because of GNU
  • Long, rich history (over 40 years) of stability and support
  • Available for nearly every operating system
  • And more


  • GNU
  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • FreeBSD
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD

Emacs is for you if…

…you like function over form, but Vim is a bit too minimal for you. Additionally, you can install Emacs on any operating system, so no matter where you are, your coding experience will be the same. This is definitely not one of the best text editors for newbies, but if you’ve been dabbling in different environments for a while and want to take efficiency up a notch, Emacs is just what you’re looking for.

Price: FREE | More Information

Premium Code Editors

7. UltraEdit

UltraEdit is part of a family of developer products by IDM Computer Solutions. It can be used to edit HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Perl, C/C++, Python, and just about any other programming language. By all indications this editor is a solid entry on this list and has some industry clout to prove it. We’ve listed some key features below, but its full feature list is quite extensive and can be found here. As a premium product (compared to many on this list), it is clear that they are actively developing their editor to compete with the rest of the best.

Key Features:

  • Column/block editing
  • Multi-caret editing
  • Multi-select
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Integrated FTP client
  • Integrated SSH/telnet
  • Editor themes
  • File/data sorting
  • And much more


  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux

UltraEdit is for you if…

…you work on large files and incredibly complex file systems. This is an industrial-strength program, and that’s what makes it one of the best code editors for people whose jobs require gigabytes of code open at a time. With built-in telnet and SSH access, UltraEdit is designed to make sure that even the toughest and most complex jobs are handled with care and ease.

Price: $79.95/year | More Information

8. CoffeeCup HTML Editor

The CoffeeCup HTML Editor is a simple tool for creating, organizing, and working on an HTML/CSS project. That’s what it does, even branding itself “The HTML Editor.” The devs are confident in their product, and it shows. They also offer a split view where you can see the edits you make in real-time (much like the Divi builder, but with code). CofeeCup isn’t just for HTML, however. It supports PHP development, as well as CSS and Markdown linting on top of the standard HTML.

There’s a free version and a premium version with more features, too. We are including this in the premium section because the features that you gain are well worth upgrading for, rather than staying with the free version.

Key Features:

  • Quick startup
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code validation tools
  • Project organization
  • FTP sync
  • Site preview
  • And more


  • Windows
  • MacOS

CoffeeCup is for you if…

…you like to see your code develop in real time. Probably among the best text editors anyway, when you add in the real-time rendering of your HTML and PHP code, you have a modern take on what can be a pretty drab ecosystem. Not everyone may think the best text editors are as fun and cool as we do, but CoffeeCup may change their minds. Because it’s pretty fun and cool.

Price: FREE, or $49 for a more feature-rich editor | More Information

9. Espresso

Espresso is a Mac-only code editor, but it can’t not be mentioned. It’s nearly an IDE, but works as smoothly and cleanly as Atom or Sublime. The program is fast, and it’s relatively powerful. What sets Espresso apart is the real-time editing that you can do in the code editing window as well as in the browser, too. Anything you code will reflect in the browser, and you have an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that updates the back-end on the fly. With a slew of plugins and themes and a focus on efficiency and speed, Espresso has a strong community and users who advocate for its use. Espresso is not free, but you can download a free trial from the website so that you can see if it fits your work.

Key Features:

  • Simultaneous design
  • Modular SCSS and LESS
  • Custom spacing and tabs
  • Multi-edits (many changes at once with multiple selections)
  • Plugins for lots of language support and linting
  • Markdown support
  • Themeable — no one wants to work in an ugly environment all day
  • Many keyboard shortcuts
  • Intuitive find function
  • Tabbed workspaces
  • Set automatic replacement for tags and snippets for efficient coding


  • MacOS

Espresso is for you if…

…like polish. Espresso is stylish and functional, and it offers modern features such as real-time editing and a drag-and-drop interface. It is smooth and quick and robust. This is definitely one of the best code editors for web designers as you can see exactly what your CSS and JavaScript does in real-time. If you don’t mind a license fee, this is one premium code editor you may just fall in love with.

Price: $79 (with FREE trial) | More Information

10. BBEdit

BBEdit by Bare Bones is a bit more advanced than the name lets on. It’s more of a product you graduate to if you’re a beginner who started with a simpler product and are looking to work in a bit more of a heavy-duty environment. BBEdit is full to the brim with professional-level features for creating, editing, and manipulating text for your coding projects. It is MacOS only, so keep that in mind as well.

Plus, their tagline is “It doesn’t suck,” so you have to respect that.

Key Features:

  • Grep pattern matching
  • Search and replace across multiple files
  • Project definition tools
  • Function navigation and syntax coloring
  • Numerous source code languages
  • Code folding
  • And more


  • MacOS

BBEdit is for you if…

…you want a code editor that doesn’t suck. But if you have more requirements than that, BBEdit is for you if you want a text editor that can handle heavy-duty projects and major code bases. If you like to work in an IDE where everything you need is wrapped up into one package, BBEdit may be what you’re looking for. And if you are coming from a simpler editor, BBEdit may be one of the best code editors to ease you into more complexity without overwhelming you with more features than you will likely ever use.

Price: $49.99 | More Information

11. Coda

Coda by Panic Inc. is everything you need to hand-code a website in one app. You get a real-time rendering of your code, a beautiful UI is beautiful, and regular updates and improvements to the softwar. It has a plug-in repo like many text editors, and you can contribute to development even if you don’t write Cocoa, the scripting language for Coda plugins. There’s also an iOS app you can buy if you’re on the go, and it seems to be just as rich as the desktop version.

Key Features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code folding
  • Project wide autocomplete
  • Fast find and replace
  • Indentation guides
  • Automatic tag closing
  • Fast commenting and shifting of code
  • Great file management
  • FTP/SFTP/WebDAV/Amazon S3
  • And much more


  • MacOS
  • iOS

Coda is for you if…

…you find yourself without a laptop and need to work on projects. If you’re on-call or have issues that come up that are incredibly urgent, Coda might be the code editor for you. With its app interface, you can solve any problem while on the go, and you won’t even have to find a spot to settle in, unpack, and connect to wifi. You can handle it all from the palm of your hand.

Price: $99 for MacOS, $24.99 for iOS | More Information

In Conclusion

When trying to make a list of the best code and text editors available, it’s impossible not to miss a few strong contenders. Every writer, coder, and developer has a favorite set of tools just like every carpenter has a favorite hammer and an artist has a favorite set of brushes. So if we missed something you think we should have included on this list, please feel free to add it in the comments (with your reasons why, too, of course).

What do you think are the best code editors? Let us know in the comments!

Article featured image by Julia Tim /


  1. We recently started using Brackets and so far it’s pretty impressive. Plus it’s hard to beat free and it plays nice with Chrome.

    • Brackets is quite the memory hog in linux compared to Sublime though. The same files/folders open in brackets takes nearly 10 x memory as it does in sublime. Do love the quick CSS edit feature that it has though

  2. Wow, good list. I use the portable version of Notepad++. Besides the usual usage (code editing), this is my go to solution to find/replace text across a host of files and folders. It get’s the job done very well, and very fast. I am sure there are many other editors that are better, with more capabilities, but those come with much higher learning curves.

    • phpStorm was my favorite OS/X editor for WordPress plugin development.


      Since El Capitan it has been crashing daily, if not several times per day. 6 months of reporting crashes and sending crash logs. Still no fix in sight. Yes, it is a Java bug. That does not make the tool any more useful and , in fact, makes it a less viable option since they obviously have ZERO control over fixing fatal flaws in the product.

      Switched back to Netbeans. Same issue, but crashes are at least every-other day than every day.

      Not sure what I’m on to now. Coda?

      I just wish Java on OS/X El Capitan wasn’t so buggy.

  3. If you want a full-powered IDE for doing theme/plugin development check-out PHPStorm from JetBrains.

    • +1 for PhpStorm.

      Lots of editors mentioned are excellents choices, for those I know like Atom (epic choice for free) and Sublime (a reference on Mac OS X).

      But it is difficult to beat PhpStorm when it comes to PHP. It’s an impressive and powerful IDE… but it’s a complete IDE, not just a Code Editor.

    • I agree! PhpStorm is really to most complete IDE and hands down and the best for web developement in my opinion. The UI is really clean and to be honest none of the IDE above could compete with PhpStorm or WebStorm. This list is really not serious.

      • Well, it doesn’t say “List of best IDEs”. It’s a list of code editors…

      • Its a list of Code editors not IDE

      • I have only tested WebStorm a few days ago after seeing good comments in other reviews and blog posts. Sadly it seems to me that it is too slow, i only tested a simple javascript file debugging the code and the performance wasn’t acceptable for me. Also, the interface in general is not that nice as Sublime or some of the editors above, but that is a subjective matter.

    • I have to agree, while phpstorm is a full IDE it is also light years ahead of any mentioned text editor in the article. I have been coding the web for over 20 years, using all the mentioned editors over time. If you want a platform to grow into there is nothing better than phpstorm imho

    • Just ran into this post, I tried PHPStorm for a couple months and wouldn’t recommend it, too buggy even up to this day. Believe it or not, I completely lost files using it and wasn’t able to recover them, I gave it another chance after an update and there were still many problems. Although I feel like Netbeans may be slower, it’s still 100x more stable than PHPStorm. PHPStorm also have many missing features. Netbeans is better and it’s free. I’ve purchased many editors and always end up using Netbeans. I didn’t want to get into ATOM due to the missing features it had before, but right now is the only one I would really love to switch to and leave Netbeans, seeing that’s it’s fast (although still a bit buggy) example, searching in a directory with thousands of files will make it program crash (maybe if your computer has a lot of RAM you won’t have that problem). But so far along with the extensions it can do what other IDEs do, so I don’t see it as just an editor. Once it fixes some of the problems I’ve encounter and add 2 or 3 features Netbeans have, I think this is the one program that will make me leave Netbeans for good.

  4. Good list, but I would add Bluegriffon, Kate, Gedit, vim, Emacs and Eclipse, all of them multi platform and open source.

  5. Nice list, although I would add also Komodo Edit/IDE. It comes in two flavors: Edit (free) and IDE (paid). I have been using Komodo since version 4 – currently with IDE. It is also a very good solution for those, that like to program in other languages – but are tired of feature-overflow that comes with “dedicated” IDEs.

  6. I started using CodeAnywhere mainly to edit live sites on the go (iPhone,iPad) but before long it became my go to at home (in browser). Now it has tons of advanced features like dev boxes, cloud support, collaboration etc.

    • the concept of working anyway is good, but your refer is not good, it has a black page with small font, offffffffff, I think it’s seriously very harmful 4 eye!

  7. Any comment about NetBeans by Oracle? Is NetBeans on the same level as those mentioned above? Thanks.

    • I love Netbeans. By far my favorite editor. Much better then brackets or notepad ++. Can’t get it to work on ubuntu though.

      • I have NetBeans working on Fedora and Windows. I have found that Ubuntu is a great server, but as a desktop not so much.

      • Try to get the *.deb package from the website directly. First install the old netbeans through apt-get install netbeans then remove it with apt-get remove netbeans. Now you have the dependencies, then instal the downloadedl netbeans through dpkg -i netbeansxx.deb. Hope this helps.

    • If you don’t mention Netbeans, I think you have to explane why.
      It’s like listing the best OS and not mention Linux or Windows.

    • NetBeans is the best for me too.

    • I love NetBeans, but it shouldn’t be included here since it is an IDE (Neither any other IDEs).
      A whole proyect can be created using an IDE in a more eficient way.
      A lightweight Text/Code Editor (Like NotePad ++ for Windows) is a way more practical way to create simple proyects or make light modifications to code.
      I even took notes at the university on NotePad ++ and use it everyday not just for coding.
      Compiling and other nice features are for IDEs.

    • Yea NetBeans works well but i found Eclipse to be better in many cases.

  8. Chocolat for most of my needs (

  9. Great list. I use Coda myself on my Mac, but I now recommend Brackets to newbies looking for a free option.
    I like Atom, but I found the UI too minimal for non-coders, though I think it has great potential to grow into a really robust community-powered app, much like Notepad++ has.

  10. I have started to use Brackets. Have used many editors and Brackets are so far the best editor I have used. It’s simple, free and has support for extensions.

  11. You forgot the best – JetBrains’ PhpStorm (or WebStorm) which has javascript and php debugging, refactoring, code completion, ftp and sftp, database connection (including editing tables and autocompletion), and built in version control (as well as connecting to other vcs)

    • +1

      • -1

        It used to be great. Version X on OS X is so buggy that it’s unusable, so much so that I’m looking for alternatives.

  12. I’m a big fan of CodeAnywhere. It’s solid, browser-based (so works on any platform), has an app version (for Win, Mac, iOS, and Android), has a free version and a monthly subscription (I use the subscription), has free tech support (very quick response on the last problem I had), auto-complete, automatic debug and suggestions (that don’t get in the way), and everything is color-coded, so you can very quickly find what you’re looking for. It’s really sped up my workflow… It does HTML, PHP, JavaScript, C++, Pearl, RoR, etc., etc., etc….

    However, this is the first editor I’ve used, so there could definitely be other, better ones out there. It’s just – I’ve been SO satisfied with this one, I don’t see any reason to go anywhere else.

  13. I have several wordpress sites with a variety of content editors for writing wusiwyg content into pages and blogs. Some of them seem to have a mind of there own in changing code used for ajax and other code that uses quotes in various capacity.
    I am looking for a simple reliable editor for wordpress that will work and not change anything that was inserted in code.
    Any comments

    • Hi, Bill,

      WordPress’ visual editor will scramble code inserted into pages/posts because it does some processing of the content before it saves it. It’s designed that way. There’s a plugin called Raw HTML that solves that to a degree, but ultimately, you don’t want to be loading up pages/posts with code. It pretty much defeats the purpose of WordPress and leaves you open to all kinds of conflicts with themes, plugins, etc.

  14. My vote is for Sublime Text. You can find almost anything feature you need in Package Control.

    • I agree Patric. I use Expresso for web programming. I use Sublime2 for everything else.

  15. Two more worth mentioning:

    Espresso for OS X, Notepad2 for Windows.

  16. I’ve been using Espresso from MacRabbit for several years now and love it. I find it very clean and easy to use. Its built in CSS editing is second to none, plus It supports all the popular coding languages. If you need more from it there’s a wide variety of plug-ins you can install. It is Mac only but I’m ok with that.

  17. Oh! I think this is the most useful article for the last time! I choose Sublime Text!

  18. Where is WebStrom (IntelliJ IDEA, etc.) or TextMate?
    Really more trend than most of editors on this page 🙂

    • WebStorm & PHPStorm are top notch. I recently picked up IntelliJ IDEA 14 Ultimate & I love it. I’ve used a handfull of IDE & IntelliJ is a pleasure & very intuitive.

  19. Ok… so I was a little upset my IDE wasn’t mentioned… this article is awesome! I didn’t know a couple of these & got my geek on. 🙂

  20. What about TextWrangler? It’s the best free Notepad++ replacement I have found since I use a Mac… But I will give a try to Brackets!

    • I’ve been using TextWrangler for quite awhile…it’s great…recently tried Brackets, but wasn’t long until I went back to TextWrangler…seems to work best for me.

      • I’m also a fan of TextWrangler. It gets the job done, has quite a few customization options and it’s free. I don’t know if I’m missing something, but I feel like it’s got all the requirements I need.

      • Same here. Tried out several alternatives initially when switching to Mac, been really happy with TextWrangler, tried Brackets, went back to TextWrangler. Better support for keyboard shortcuts with multiple files and windows. The latest version seems slow occasionally though.

  21. Great list, I have used Sublime Text, but find for free editors, Brackets and Atom can do the job. Especially with the right extensions.
    There is another editor worth mentioning, It has both free and pro versions.

  22. Dreamweaver must be feeling left out 😛

  23. Still using Homesite 5.5

  24. So… yeah… you missed the top 2. They are called vim and emacs, can do the same as any editor mentioned above and FAR MORE. Brackets is the only useful one if you are designing and working with PSDs, but otherwise…..

    Paying $100 for a program that does not even get remotely close to vim and emacs is kinda ridiculous. And then the “distraction free writing mode” xD Get an editor that doesn’t distract you, like….. vim?

    And to vim/emacs’ steep learning curve…. You are just f**ing lazy. INCREDIBLY LAZY. Picking up vim takes less than 15 minutes a day for a week and you get access to an insane set of features through plugins already provided + you can just write your own.

  25. Laugh if you will, but Dreamweaver is still my goto for client site/FTP management. If only to make play nice with Bootstrap themes, I would still stick with it – code & live views.
    Thanks – exploring ATOM.

  26. Nice article, thank you for it. I am using Aptana Studio 3 for the moment, which is free and quite nice, but after this article I will give it a go to a few choices, maybe I can find something better.

    • I am an Aptana user as well. With the Zen HTML plugin it makes lightening quick work of creating code.

      • I’ve been trying to get Aptana Studio 3 to work with Mac Yosemite, but no luck . . . and hints/tricks?

  27. you missed microsoft web matrix! It must be in list.

  28. Recently moved from vim to Atom, but now I am also taking a serious look at LightTable ( for its live feedback features. Perhaps for me, my ideal code editor would be a merge of Atom+LightTable.

  29. Perhaps I’m showing my age, but vim works wonders for me. Absolutely untutitive but incredibly powerful one you learn how to use it. And you’ll find it everywhere.

    Editor preferences are like religions. There are many to choose from, all of them think they are the best and everyone else will burn in hell fire for non using the one true editor.

    PS: this doesn’t apply to emacs users as they are always in the wrong no matter what.

  30. I’ve been using TextWrangler for quite some time now, but thanks to this list I’m going to give the gorgious Atom a try. Such a slick editor!

  31. Can’t believe PHPStorm isn’t on this list. It’s by far the best IDE and always getting new updates.

  32. I started using UltraEdit as a multipurpose editor in the mid-1990s when it was new. A couple of years ago I upgraded to its UltraEdit Studio version, an even more fully featured code editor. It can integrate with IDEs for PHP and other languages.

    Brackets is an interesting concept though it’s noticeably slow even on my Dell Workstation with 32GB DDR4 RAM! If Adobe keeps developing it then they’d have a real winner.

  33. I use Notepad++ it is free, simple to use and has many plugins..

  34. I miss Visual Studio. There is a free full version called Community Edition. I use both Brackets and Visual Studio.

  35. What about TextMate? It is free now, too.

  36. I’ve used Webuilder from Blumentals for years, but recently switched to Brackets. Brackets is an Open Source gem, and it’s only going to get better. No need to purchase an editor and no more upgrade fees!

  37. Allow me to disagree.
    I think actual IDEs like PHPStorm deserve to be in this list, and while I haven’t used Coda, from what I’ve seen it should be in a higher place than that. Also, Sublime Text is free, you can “donate” those $70 if you want, but it’s not like some features are blocked in the free version.

  38. HI i think u forget about codeanywhere. U should try it. For me it’s place for my all project.

  39. You talk about TextMate support, but don’t include TextMate? TextMate 2 stable and still very powerful.

  40. Do an of these support the webdav protocol?

  41. Visual Studio have free editions. It’s very good choice for code editor with Intellisense from Microsoft. The only downside is the size of Visual Studio itself.

  42. There are some years that I use Notepad++ for PHP and front-end development. These are the main features for me:

    – Lots of plugins.
    – Dbgp plugin (Xdebug php debug).
    – Source Cookifier plugin (it allows you to find all variables, functions and classes in the code).
    – Compare plugin (it shows the differences between two files).
    – Emmet plugin (it turns fast the html/css coding).
    – File Explorer plugin.
    – Window Manager plugin.
    – Color Picker plugin.
    – Macro recording.
    – Right click in a file opened in the editor e and choose “Open contained folder in Explorer” (it opens the folder of the file in the Windows Explorer).

  43. Am I the only one using RapidPHP, it’s so easy to use, and do what every other editor does, just in an easier way.

  44. Good list, but I would add Bluegriffon, Kate, Gedit, vim, Emacs and Eclipse, all of them multi platform and open source.

  45. What about geany for Ubuntu, Best i have used till now.

    • me too

  46. ICEcoder is not technically free. They ask you for 5€, so technically is not free, as much as Sublime Text is not technically free since they ask you to pay, even though you can continue working without paying (and so you included Sublime Text’s price of 70 $).

  47. I thought I was the only one left still using Homesite 5.5. But, I see Joel is using it too! Maybe old habits are hard to break. But, it still does what I need it to and I have all the quick keys down pat which speeds up considerably.

    And, the one feature I’m not seeing in these editors is an auto attribute dropdown like Homesite has. For example, you type <div and when you hit your spacebar, you're presented with all the valid attributes including the required ones. Very handy. Does anyone know if any of these mentioned editors have that feature?

  48. At my house we all use Notepad++ for code editing. It has been my favorite so far. But most recently I switched to Ubuntu and it does not has N++ so I am now using Sublime Text. Thanks for sharing about Atom, looks cool and I am going to check it out.

  49. I vote for sublime text 3, it is powerful and lots of extension you can use like emmet. very easy to install using package control.

    I start to use bracket also by now and looking forward to it.

  50. I use Cloud 9 ( since I use a mix of PC and Mac for development and was in love with Coda, but always found myself unsatisfied with falling back on Notepad++. Cloud 9 may require a modest subscription fee, but the ability to jump between machines and have everything available wherever I am is amazing. I cannot believe that it was not on this list.

    • I have to agree with you about Cloud 9 . I absolutely love it due to its ability to provide all the files to do rails, mean stack, lamp, and a few more. it has the “immediate”javascript console, with the runtime console as well as program based previews . its fee and gives you enough storage to be able to have two or three big size full stack apps being worked on at the same time. I t also provides real time file access for pair programming.

  51. NotePad ++ for the win ! using this editor since a long time and it’s working great !

  52. I have been using sublime and bluefish on linux and notepad++ for windows and works like a charm .I am so used to its functionality and its very intuitive and satisfies my needs.

  53. TextMate 2 was just had the GUI tweaked to sync up with Yosemite. TextMate paved the way!

  54. Aptana Studio is a great option.

  55. I use notepad ++ its simple,i also like aptana it shows u your location as u develop ,it shows u the folder/file path ur workin on but i would like to try atom,php storm and others, kan anyone tell me of any useful php guide,articles,video tutorials ,il appreciate

  56. For web development, I believe microsoft’s Web Matrix is by far the best. It’s free, powerful, and has many capabilities.

  57. WebStorm is the number 1 javascript editor, and it is not even listed? This article must be a joke then.

    • Totally agree

  58. Why is DreamWeaver not listed. I personally do not know anyone (well 1 Linux Guru) who does not use Adobe Creative Suite and Dreamweaver. Why does everyone in the WP community always leave it out. Honestly I tried a few of the ones you mention and nothing compares to the power of Dreamweaver.

  59. Atom sends data to Google Analytics.
    Notepad++ has decided to start fighting the Chinese, who then hacked their site. No telling what code the Chinese put into their distributions.

  60. I think the best code editor for iphone/ipad is buffer editor. Could you guys make a post about ios code editors?

    • I also prefer buffer editor cause it has clean and smooth user interface and it works on both ipad and iphone.

  61. I see you mentioned Notepad++ then you should consider PSPad.

  62. Great list.

    MS Frontpage is clearly missing! 🙂

    Seriously… I’ve gone from emacs to vim to SublimeText and now back to vim. Some of my main considerations:

    vim runs great – also in a terminal. So when I’m editing a file on a remote server, I can ssh to the server, and run vim there. Even within tmux or screen.

    vim is available on almost every single *NIX installation.

    Same editor everywhere….

  63. Think Espresso should have been in the list!

  64. Comparing IDEs with Text editors is not a good idea. As you said you recently started coding, so you have not had much experience with any of the text editors OR coding large projects in general.

    Atom, Brackets, … are all built with Javascript, CSS, HTML, Node stack. They may look nice in appearance but do not produce desire performance when dealing with large projects. They consume too much memory and saves large files really slow. Plus lacks functionality.

    Sublime may be exceptional in terms of speed.

    Moreover, Atom is good looking and hackable but very buggy with buggy packages. Obviously its not well tested 🙂

    Komodo edit 9.1, the version I use now efficient more than how I found atom to be. I will rank Sublime higher than Atom in terms of performance and stability.

    Maybe you should compare MS Visual Studio, Jetbrain IDEs, Netbeans, Eclipse, Textmate…. as they have much to showcase in web development Or even native applications.

    Sublime, Atom, Brackets, Dart, (What? Notepad ++??), may be good looking, but are for baby projects 🙂

    • Author was talking about Editors, not IDEs. See from the title.

    • Atom and Brackets may consume a lot of memory and be slow at saving large files, but I wouldn’t consider them for baby projects. My goto choice use to be atom, until i tried out brackets. I would like somebody to try to find a decent looking code editor(Doesn’t have to be superb looking, just more modern looking than some other options…) with at least a little bit of customization that’s free. The main reason i switched from Atom to Brackets, was cause it loads up much faster and has the live preview feature. Oh, and the themes are much better. I prefer the darker themes, they just overall look better and don’t scorch your eyes at night. I also prefer the dark themes with a lot of colorful text.

  65. Textastic FTW

  66. I’ve tried most of the web-based editors out there (e.g., Atom, Brackets), but ended up not using them because they just take up too much memory on my last-gen laptop, probably because another browser instance has to load in order to drive the editor.

  67. No dreamweaver or komodo? I personally prefer komodo ide, especially for beginners.

  68. I’m surprised SlickEdit was not mentioned here as it is by far the best code editor on the market. It’s tagging capabilities and large file editing are far superior. What other editor can emulate 13 other products including vim and emacs…NONE except SlickEdit

  69. PhpStorm and WebStorm are hands down the most complete IDE for web development. And the UI is really gorgeous.

    The list is not serious.

  70. Where is eclipse guys? A few years ago all the tutorials and books were based on eclipse. I stopped using it because of poor Javascript but everything else looked great.

  71. If your not going to rank them why write a blog post? I don’t get it.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Because different people value different things. All of the editors I included in the list are good but the final choice will probably have less to do with whether or not the software works well as it does with how it lines up with someone’s personal preferences.

  72. What about MS Word? Muahahaha…

  73. ICEcoder is NOT free… Shame! 🙁

  74. Komodo edit is the good one

  75. Really appreciate the post. I’ve been coding on Windows for years and moving to Mac so this post gave me a lot of insight into different feature set. Curious though, I’ve not seen many coding apps that integrate FTP file systems in as full-featured a way as Dreamweaver. My host uses FTPeS (explicit encryption) and I don’t see any of the apps on this list handle that. Suggestions welcome!

  76. Hey… where is light table?

    • Or Visual Studio Code…

  77. “Atom feels a lot like WordPress to me in certain ways.”

    It took a second to realise that you meant that to be a positive remark.

  78. Very comprehensive list. I have tried several of these editors through the years. But personally I prefer sublime text. But nothing beats out the simple and fast Notepad++. For little coding, I just open Notepad++. No fancy editors or IDEs 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  79. My goto choice use to be Atom, until I tried brackets. Brackets is by far the best free code editor on this list imo. Plus, you can’t beat the live preview feature. It helps so much with lining up text/images.

  80. i use atom…… i love aton, because atom is cool!

    • sorry is not aton but atom

  81. Years ago I decided to use TSW WebCoder (and purchased license) and still it is the best one while I keep looking for better code editors. All the good editors compete very close to TSW WebCoder, the only ground they are incompetent I see is the inline HTML auto completion (specially for PHP), basically, this seems to be only reason I went for a NOT free code editor, the only one in existence in my knowledge.

  82. Try Komodo Edit and also Komodo IDE

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