Best code and text editor for cross-platform teams.
Updated May 10, 2019

Best code and text editor for cross-platform teams.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Visual Studio Code

We use Microsoft Visual Studio Code as our default editor on Windows 10, MacOS and Linux. It has replaced all other text/programming editors such as Notepad++, gedit, BBEdit, or TextWrangler. We are cross-platform and use multiple programming languages. The wealth of extensions available and tight Git integration make this our top choice for literally every editing task that doesn't require a word processor. We now have one environment for JavaScript, PHP, Python, general control file editing and shell scripting. It works across all our platforms. That means we save a lot of time with mental context switching.
  • Integrated Git support allows us to manipulate source control without leaving the editor. We use VS Code as our primary Git interface now.
  • Integrated debugging and command shell reduces the amount of alt-tabbing we do every day.
  • Extensions available for every language we use optimizes our editing.
  • Color themes to suit any user. I prefer dark themes, some of my team prefer light.
  • Multiple keymaps to emulate your previous favorite editor means you can start right away with your old muscle-memory.
  • Multi-caret selection for powerful search/replace and refactoring.
  • There are so many extensions available, maybe a better way to review and evaluate them.
  • We'd like to synchronize our themes and setting between machines. Maybe link this to our Microsoft account?
  • We'd like to do remote pair-coding in real-time and sync our changes, similar to Word Online or Google Docs. (Update: A developer pointed out Visual Studio Live Share, an extension that does it! )
  • It lacks macro recording and playback. There are times when refactoring or processing large text files for import/export this would be very helpful.
  • We don't need to buy BBEdit licenses for our Mac users anymore. This is immediate cost savings.
  • The extensive keymaps make our employees more productive right away.
  • The extensive color themes may be a slight negative - some of our junior programmers spend too much time playing with multiple color themes.
  • BBEdit
  • gedit
  • Notepad++
  • UltraEdit
The best competitor to Visual Studio Code is probably BBEdit on Mac and UltraEdit on Windows. Visual Studio Code beats both of them on features, other than the lack of macro-recording/playback. As a bonus, it's free and open source. It's also being updated on a faster schedule than any of the other competitors.
Anytime you are working on a machine locally, it's a great choice. It's not well suited to using inside an SSH terminal session or if you are doing XWindows remote sessions. It works the same (99%) across Windows, Mac or Linux.

Evaluating Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Competitors

Yes - We replaced Notepad++, BBEdit, UltraEdit, and gedit. We were using multiple editors across multiple platforms. Visual Studio Code gave us a unified experience and cut our licensing costs. In addition, Notepad++ had a dated user interface, we wanted a more modern look. UltraEdit was becoming increasingly opinionated and quirky. gedit is too basic. BBEdit is expensive.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Vendor Reputation
The cross-platform support was the most important factor. We use the right OS for the job, but don't want the mental overhead of switching our editor every time we switch machines. Using Visual Studio Code allows us to stay in a uniform editor across many machines with different OS. The reduced mental context switching makes our team more productive.
Truthfully, and I'm not pandering here - I should have started by reading reviews at TrustRadius. Our typical approach is to download and test everything and not read many reviews. We might have narrowed the field down sooner if we had spent a little more time in research instead of installing and uninstalling software.