Top Code Editors in 2024
Companies that adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer behavior will have a competitive advantage now more than ever. A company's innovation-driven response is successful not just when it has fresh ideas, but also when the software required to put those ideas into action is delivered fast. The demands for new software solutions are sky-high, and developers have their work cut out for them. Writing code is challenging as it is, so why not leverage all the tools you can that are ready for your use? Even better, most of them are free.
For that purpose, one of the most significant tools for programmers is a code editor, which is created specifically to modify the source code of computer programs. In this piece, we will list some of the most prominent and interesting code editors for use in 2024. Here we go
What is Code Editor?
A code editor is essentially a text editor that also serves as a tool for writing code. It allows you to color your code and gives you access to more complex tools to make coding easier.
For many engineers, designers, and even authors, code editors are indispensable tools. For smaller tasks like working on a single project or file, complex integrated development environments (IDEs) are often too bloated and heavy, but basic text editors like Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on macOS are underpowered for the tasks of editing code, with too many features missing for efficient editing. Most code editors are now cross-platform, meaning you can use them in almost the same way on multiple operating systems. As a result, programmers can work on workplace computers, personal PCs, or even shared devices without having to be conversant with many settings.
Now, circling back to the topic of IDE’s, these combine several functions into a single framework, service, or application, such as code authoring, building, and testing. It streamlines the software development process by enabling for the management and deployment of several tools at the same time. An IDE combines a text editor, a code editor, a debugger, a compiler, and other tools into a single tool belt. There are several types of IDEs, some of them are from well-known companies, such as Microsoft's Visual Studio, Apple's Xcode, and so on. Simply described, an IDE is a collection of software development tools that make coding easier by allowing you to work on multiple modules of the same project in a logical and structured manner.
Importance of Source Code Editor for Everyday Programming Job
A source code editor can be used as a standalone application or as part of a larger working environment, or IDE. They make it easier to write and analyze source code by separating elements and functions, allowing programmers to examine their code more quickly. Large programs would be more difficult to review later if they were written in a conventional text editor.
Code editors excel in editing single files or projects, as well as managing a folder's worth of stuff. Importantly, even the slowest of code editors is still faster and more responsive than a full-fledged IDE. As stated earlier, a code editor is an environment with increased tools for creating code, which is more involved than simply writing text. To put it another way, a code editor is a specific program that logs text and performs other things to assist developers improve that text in ways that are useful for programming.
A good code editor can assist a developer in writing code more quickly, efficiently, easily, and successfully. They do this in a variety of ways, including through improving tools that are integrated into the code authoring process. Syntax highlighting, for example, is a feature in which the code editor highlights or colors specific syntax in various ways to help you comprehend what you're writing on the site. This allows you to "read" your code and, as a result, determine if you're making any syntax problems quickly and easily, so you can correct them right away.
Auto-indentation is another function that many code editors provide to aid developers in their writing. This helps your code to flow in a readable and helpful manner, preventing you from getting lost in a large block of text or wasting time formatting raw tax data. Auto-completion, which eliminates the need to write repetitive and obvious lines of code, and brace matching, which allows you to speed up coding by identifying or locating your browser between the closest and most relevant braces and jumping straight to that section of your code, are two other features.
Modern Source Code Editors
Visual Studio Code
LiveShare extension to collaborate and code remotely
Use the chat and call tools to ask questions or collaborate on ideas while editing and debugging your code in real-time.
Visual Studio Code uses multiple colors to highlight keywords in your code, making it easier to spot coding trends and learn faster.
Ready to get started with Visual Studio Code? Check out these introductory videos or check out our coding packs for Java, Python, and .NET.
Sublime Text is a cross-platform source code editor that is available as a shareware download. It comes with built-in support for a variety of programming and markup languages. Sublime Text has a Python API to help with plugins. Sublime Text is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux and the latest version is packed with new features, such as:
- Improved syntax definitions. With new capabilities such as handling non-deterministic grammars, multi-line constructs, lazy embeds, and syntactic inheritance, the syntax highlighting engine has been greatly improved.
- Updated Python API. The Sublime Text API has been updated to Python 3.8 while maintaining backwards compatibility with Sublime Text 3 packages.
- Context-aware auto-complete. The autocomplete engine has been modified to deliver smart completions based on a project's current code.
Dubbed as “a hackable text editor for the 21st Century”, Atom is a text editor that is both highly flexible and simple to use, allowing more individuals to create software. Formally introduced in 2014, Atom was retired or “sunset” as the company called it. The decision to phase out Atom was made to focus on bringing quick and reliable software development to the cloud through Microsoft Visual Studio Code and GitHub Codespaces. As a result, Atom was retired on December 15, 2022, and all projects under its umbrella were archived.
Currently, the product is free and supports the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Some of the key benefits of Atom include:
- Plugins support through an integrated package manager
- Smart autocompletion
- Command Palette support
- Mac code editor supports cross-platform editing
Coda / Nova
Coda is now discontinued, so if you’re still one of the few using older versions, you can find support, plug-ins, and serial numbers in the Coda Panic Library. The next-generation, fully native Mac code editor is now branded as Nova. Nova is a brand new, super-fast, and flexible Mac editor with all the features you'd expect, including smart autocomplete, multiple cursors, a Minimap, editor overscroll, tag pairs and brackets, and much more.
Notepad++ is a popular C++ code editor that is free to use. It uses a pure Win32 API, which allows for faster execution and smaller programs. Notepad++ is one of the best code editors that is multi-language and Notepad replacement and the GNU General Public License governs its use in the MS Windows environment. Some of the key differentiators and benefits of Notepad++ include:
- Auto-completion includes word completion and function completion
- This free code editor allows you to record and playback macros
- User-defined Highlighting and folding of syntax
You can download the code editor here. Notepad++ also comes with extensive online help, community, and online documentation, which you can review here. Other resources include source code repository access, release key, plugins, and more.
Formerly known as TextWrangerl, BBEdit is a multi-purpose text and code editor for macOS that uses the same award-winning technology and user interface as BBEdit, the parent company, Bare Bones Software most popular professional HTML and text editor.
In every way that matters, BBEdit and TextWrangler are identical. They're constructed on the same basis, by the same developers, with the same attention to detail, and they function in the same way. Here are some of the main BBEdit features:
- Text handling. BBEdit's job is to handle text. In addition to standard text entry, selection, and editing features, the tool offers built-in tools such as: exchange characters & words, change case, and more.
- Display features to give you control over how you view what is being edited, including customizable syntax coloring support for more than two dozen built-in languages.
BBEdit, like TextWrangler, is available for free download and use. You can pay more for a set of advanced features if you wish to. You can download BBEdit here, update to the latest version here, and view support offerings here.
TextMate is an open-source text editor that is powerful and flexible and supports a large number of programming languages. Some of the editor’s main features include:
- Scoped settings. Is it possible to blend languages in one file? Projects using a variety of construction methods? Do you want to use third-party code that has different formatting preferences? TextMate can take care of everything by linking comprehensive scope selections with key shortcuts, settings, and other options.
- Multiple carets. TextMate's straightforward approach to adding numerous insertion points makes making many changes at once, exchanging code, and much more a breeze.
- Disk-based text editing - allows for the editing of big files up to 4GB in size while using the bare minimum of RAM.
- Tab choices that can be customized (multiple tab stop values, use spaces instead of tabs, etc.)
- Options for tab/word wrap dependent on file type/extension.
- Drag-and-drop editing
- Join line(s) (with optional consolidation of whitespace)
- And more.
- Inline editors. Brackets allows you to open a window into the code you care about most instead of navigating between file tabs
- Live preview. Establish a live connection with your browser. Make changes to CSS and HTML, and you'll see the results right away on the screen.
- Preprocessor support. Use preprocessors in a completely new approach. Brackets understands the importance of preprocessors in your workflow.
Aptana Studio is a PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and Python-based integrated development environment (IDE) for creating dynamic web applications. Aptana is a powerful open-source web development IDE that has been rebuilt from the ground-up. Aptana Studio takes Eclipse's flexibility and condenses it into a strong web development tool. Some of the tool’s core features include:
- And more.
Vim is a screen-based text editor that is free and open-source. It's a better version of Bill Joy's vi. Bram Moolenaar, Vim's creator, created Vim from an Amiga port of the Stevie editor and released a public version in 1991. Vim is a highly customizable text editor that makes producing and editing any type of text a breeze. Most UNIX systems and Apple OS X ship with it as "vi." Vim is a rock-solid application that is always being improved. It has the following features:
- Hundreds of computer languages and file formats are supported.
- Vast plugin system.
- Persistent, multi-level undo tree.
- Robust search and replace feature.
You can download the editor here and view a list of advanced resources here.
Emacs, sometimes known as EMACS, is a text editor that is known for its extensibility. The most popular variant, GNU Emacs, is described as "the extensible, customizable, self-documenting, real-time display editor" in the manual. In a nutshell, Emacs is a free/libre text editor that is expandable, customizable, and more. Emacs Lisp, a version of the Lisp programming language with additions to support text editing, lies at its heart.
By default, the editor features a menu bar, toolbar, scroll bar, and context menu, which may be turned on and off separately. Key features of Emacs include:
- Many file types provide content-aware editing options, including syntax coloring.
- A tutorial for new users is included in the built-in documentation.
- Almost all human scripts have full Unicode support.
- A system for downloading and installing extensions that are packaged.
Interested in giving it a go? Download the editor here and take a look at their documentation and support resources here.
Every year, a plethora of new Code Editors are released, making it tough for developers to pick one. All text editors listed above support a user-friendly environment and attempt to give you, the developer, the best coding experience possible. We hope this list helps you in your development endeavors but it all depends on your usage circumstances, so pick what works best for you.
Looking to partner with experienced developers who have rich expertise with a multitude of code editors for every programming language under the sun? Reach out to a Svitla representative and we’ll be happy to help you in every way you need.
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