No matter how complicated code you write, all you need is a trustworthy text editor. As an OG coder you can use Notepad, but still its really handy when the syntax is highlighted or colored and its sometimes the find and replace feature is much more advanced that the Notepad has.
If you’re looking for a good, free text editor – you’re in the right spot. Below you’ll find 10 first-class free text editors that are designed with coders’ needs in mind. Whether you use a Windows, Mac, or Linux you’ll find few options that will satisfy your code-writing needs.
Notepad ++ (Windows)
NOTEPAD++ is the premier replacement for Microsoft’s Notepad. It has an auto-completion feature (for most supported languages) that guesses what you’re trying to write, a tabbed interface which is great for working with multiple files without cluttering your task bar, a powerful RegEx find-and-replace feature, code folding, support for a large array of languages (even Assembler!) and much more.
Bluefish Editor (Mac, Linux)
Bluefish Editor is a robust, open source text editor geared towards programmers and web designers. It’s known as being a fast, lightweight text editor that can open 500+ documents with ease. It has a built-in function reference browser (for PHP, Python, CSS, and HTML) so you can quickly learn about with particular syntaxes. Check out the Screenshots section to find movies/screencasts (such as learning about working with remote files) and screen shots of Bluefish Editor.
TextWrangler is a multi-purpose text editor for the Mac OS. It is a programmer-friendly text editor and Unix/Server Admin text editor. It has a useful “plugin” system allowing developers a way for extending TextWrangler’s built-in features. It also has a function browser so that you can quickly find and jump to the function you’re looking for (very helpful for those really long files).
Caditor is an open source portable text editor written in the .NET framework (C#) that puts speed and performance at the forefront of its design. It has a convenient search box built into the tool bar of the text editor’s interface so that you don’t have to open another dialog box to perform a search. It has other handy features common to developer-oriented text editors such as line numbering, a compiler feature to allow you to hook it up with your compiler, and FTP feature.
gedit is the official text editor of the GNOME desktop. Unlike Microsoft’s built-in text editor (Notepad), gedit is a more feature-packed text editor geared towards usage for programming and mark-up. With its syntax highlighting, tabbed interface for editing multiple files, and spell-checking feature – gedit is an excellent, free text editor for coders.
GNU Emacs (Windows, Mac, Linux)
GNU Emacs (more commonly referred to simply as Emacs) is a cross-platform, extendible text editor geared towards programmers. One of its defining features is Emacs’s ability to be extended – offering you the ability to use it as your project planner and debugger, among other things. It has a file-comparison feature (M-x ediff) that highlights differences between two files (useful for figuring out changes in a file made by coders who don’t document/comment their revisions).
Crimson Editor (Windows)
Crimson Editor is a light-weight text editor for Windows that supports many languages. It has a “Macros” features which lets you record a sequence of tasks so that you can reuse the sequence with a click of a button. It has a built-in FTP feature, allowing you to upload/download files from your FTP server. Crimson Editor is a solid option for Windows users.
SciTE (Windows, Linux)
SciTE, written on top of the open source Scintilla code-editing component, is a speedy text editor aimed for use in source code editing. It has a standalone .exe version which you can use for portable storage drives (i.e. USB flash drives) so that you can conveniently carry it around and use it on any computer without having to install it. SciTE is a compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems and has been tested by the developer on Windows XP and on Fedora 8 and Ubuntu 7.10.
Dreamweaver is a fully-featured IDE for web designers and developers created by Adobe. Its built-in Code View is excellent for developers: it has syntax-highlighting, a very smart code-hinting/auto-completion feature, and on-the-fly syntax validation.
Kate can almost come across as Emacs-lite. It’s UI is very easy to use (compared to the almost draconian Emacs) and the text editor is extremely easy to get started with. It has support for all the features you’d expect: syntax highlighting, macros, code collapsing, code automation with argument hints, session support, etc. and then some more.