Over the last years I often switched Text Editors. I think this choice is really much personal and can change over time. In this article I want to showcase the Best Text Editors for Programming (at least for myself) that I came across so far. At the moment I would even consider myself to be using multiple editors at the same time – but more about this in just a moment.

Sublime Text 3 Logo

Text Editor: Sublime Text 3

The editor I am until now probably using the most. For me it is really hitting almost all the notes. Sublime is:

  • It is working on all major platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • It has a powerful plugin platform which has all kind of different plugins to extend the basic functionality
  • Start time is really fast, I would even go so far that it is the fastest and allows you to also open big files
  • It re-opens all open files (even those you didn’t save on disk) – It is not for free, it has an unlimited trial period which you can extend by clicking on a button each 10th save you make, which is kind of annoying. A license goes for 80$.

The re-opening is one of best features for me. During my day to day work I often use Sublime just for that: Having a quick launching editor where I can put temporary information into. For me it is a TODO list, which is also really suitable as one of the best text editors. It is such a powerful combination.

Grab it here: Sublime Text 3 Homepage

Microsoft Visual Code Logo

Text Editor: Microsoft Visual Code

“The other one” beside Sublime Text.

  • It is also working on all major platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Builtin git support, builtin terminal
  • It also has a powerful plugin eco-system. My favorite plugin so far is definitely GitLens. It gives you information about in which commit the current selected line was last modified. Overall it integrates git so nicely, that it became my preferred editor for making quick text changes to files versioned by git.
  • In contrast to Sublime, Visual Code is Open-Source Software. – The Start time is still fast it is only blink of an eye slower than Sublime Text for me

For me it is the best thing Microsoft has done for the last (I don’t know how many) years. If you ever thought about trying a Microsoft product, definitely go for Visual Code. Grab it here: Microsoft Visual Code Homepage

Runners-Up for Best Text Editor For Programming

Worthy mentions here would be Atom, Brackets and CLI editors like vi(m) and emacs. If you are a developer, you will eventually run across vi and vim. If you are ever stuck in these and can’t manage to get out, just press ESC followed by :q! and press ENTER. (Thank me later 😄)

Because of the lack of alternative on remote boxes you have to familiarize yourself with them. I personally use them most of the time just in this environment and for writing my git commit messages.

For Atom and Brackets I never ran them for a while for different reasons. Back when I installed Atom it was just too slow for me. The startup took a while and when switching from Sublime Text it was just too much. But maybe I am a bit oversensitive there. Feel free to try it out on Atom Editor Homepage.

Brackets on the other side was for me just too opinionated (it came with too many default plugins and settings I not agreed with to a 100% percent) for me to try it as my daily driver. Guess we just not matched.

Take away

Too long didn’t read: I really love Sublime Text and Visual Code and really think they share the title as Best Text Editor For Programming.

My next choices to try would be probably some editors like VIM or as an alternative Neovim. I guess they are really powerful choices but have some learning curve I not yet managed to work through.

Thanks for reading my article! Let me know which Code Editor you would consider as the Best Text Editor For Programming. Would really like to hear your reasons!

About the Author:

Marcus "Mo" Eisele

Marcus is fascinated by technology. He loves learning new things.
He is a Software Engineer at Daimler TSS and has a personal blog at MarcusEisele.com.