Text Editors

Best Text Editors include:

Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom, Brackets, Vim, UltraEdit, BBEdit, GNU Emacs and EditPlus.

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Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Microsoft offers Visual Studio Code, a text editor that supports code editing, debugging, IntelliSense syntax highlighting, and other features.


Notepad++ is a popular free and open source text editor available under the GPL license, featuring syntax highlighting and folding, auto-complete, multi-document management, and ac customizable GUI.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a highly customizable text editing solution featuring advanced API, Goto functions, and other features, from Sublime HQ in Sydney.


Atom is a free and open source text editor offering a range of packages and themes.


Brackets is a free and open source text editor developed at Adobe under the MIT license, featuring inline editing, live preview, and a wide range of extensions.


Vim is an open source configurable text editor.


UltraEdit is a text editor from IDM Computer Solutions headquartered in Hamilton.


BBEdit is a text editor from Bare Bones software headquartered in Massachusetts.

GNU Emacs

GNU Emacs is described as a free extensible and customizable text editor for the Lisp programming language.


EditPlus is a text editor for windows featuring customizable syntax highlighting, code foldin, hex viewer, and other features, from EditPlus (ES-Software) in the UK.


Overleaf is a collaborative writing and publishing system designed to make the process of producing academic papers much quicker for both authors and publishers, from Writelatex Limited in London.


TextPad is a free and open source general purpose plain text file editor, for Windows.

BlueFish Editor

BlueFish is a free and open source text editor supporting a wide range of languages, multiple document interface, powerful search tools, in-line checking and auto-recovery, and other features.


gedit is a text editor for the GNOME desktop environment.

Altova XMLSpy

The XMLSpy JSON and XML Editor from Altova is designed to give developers the tools they need to build the most sophisticated applications with its graphical schema designer, code generation, file converters, debuggers, and profilers for working with XSD, XSLT, XQuery, XBRL, and…

CoffeeCup HTML Editor

CoffeeCup Software offers the CoffeeCup HTML Editor, an HTML and CSS text and code editing option, featuring free and paid versions with more advanced features.

Post Snippets by WPExperts
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Post Snippets is a WordPress plugin that lets the user create a library with snippets of PHP code, HTML, or reoccurring text that can be reused in pages and posts. The user can create unlimited shortcodes and add them to website’s pages and posts in a matter of seconds. The WordPress…

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NoteTab is a text editor from Swiss company Fookes Software.

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CSVed is offered as a straightforward file editor that permits users to manipulate any CSV file and export the output to multiple formats. It is freeware and can be downloaded for Windows.

Komodo Edit
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ActiveState headquartered in Vancouver offers Komodo Edit, a lean and open source version of their Komodo IDE product.

CSV Editor Pro

CSV Editor Pro is a professional choice for working with CSV files. Its features and tools save users time and effort. Rows and columns can be created, deleted, rearranged, and searched at will. CSV Editor Pro supports sorting, filtering, multiline editing, search and replace, graphing,…

Rons Data Edit

Rons Place Software in Halifax offers Rons Data Edit (replacing the former Rons CSV Editor). Part of Rons Data Gear, it is a CSV file editor that can open any format of separated text, including the standard comma and tab separated files (CSV and TSV), and allows total control over…

Rons Data Stream

Rons Data Stream is a windows application designed to clean, or update, multiple data sources within seconds, whatever the size of the files, through the use of Cleaners. "Cleaners" are made up of a list of operations that are selected from a broad list of Column, Row and Cell…

Oxygen XML Editor

Oxygen XML Editor is a suite of XML authoring, developing, publishing, and collaboration tools from Syncro Soft headquartered in Craiova, Romania. The solution includes their XML editing suite, the Oxygen Publishing Suite for turning DITA content into WebHelp, PDF, ePub, and plain…

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TextEdit is a free and open source distributed with MacOS since Apple acquired NeXT.

Videos for Text Editors

Top 5 Free Text Editors
When you are developing software, building out a website, or doing data science, you might find yourself struggling to choose between thousands of text editor options. We look at 5 of the most popular and go over when and why you should use each of them.

Learn More About Text Editors

What are Text Editors?

Text editors are software programs for creating and editing plain text files. Characters typed into a text editor are encoded using a standard format and displayed as readable text. Text editors, unlike word processors, do not typically include robust formatting tools. They are used primarily to edit plain text.

Text editors are commonly used by web developers and software programmers to write and edit code. More generally, they can be used to make notes or lightweight documentation in a variety of plain-text file formats.

Text editors share many similarities with integrated development environment (IDE) software, but are not designed specifically for writing code. IDE software typically includes code compiling, language-specific documentation, integration with version control software, and other tools that accelerate development. Plugins for some text editors add IDE features, but as a general rule text editors are more lightweight and flexible. Text editors are more suitable for editing single files or small code projects, while IDE software is better suited for larger software development projects.

Text Editor Features

Most text editors have the following features:

  • Multiple character encoding options
  • Saving to common file formats
  • Plain-text formatting tools using tabs or spaces
  • Text folding (or code folding) to hide and reduce visible text on-screen
  • Editing in blocks or columns, multi-monitor split editing, inline editing
  • Customizable UI themes
  • Auto-complete for repeated words & functions
  • Shortcuts to quickly navigate long files
  • Plugins, extensions, and APIs to add features

Text Editors Comparison

When choosing a text editor, consider the following factors:

Complexity: Although most are user-friendly and straightforward, text editors can vary in their complexity, learning curve, and skill ceiling. Some editors, such as Vim, are aimed at power users. They have powerful features, but can be difficult to learn. For many developers and users, a straightforward text editor with plugins will be sufficient. However, businesses with complex development needs or staff that prefers a specific editor might consider a more advanced solution.

Search capability: Most editors include simple find and replace tools, but advanced searching features can be important for businesses with large files. With advanced search tools and shortcuts, developers can quickly edit multiple lines of text at once or immediately find the functions they’re looking for, even in files with many lines of text.

Editor or IDE: Although text editors can be extended to fit a wide variety of developer use cases, a dedicated IDE can save a lot of time and money if you commonly use a specific language or ecosystem. For businesses that work in a single language or specific use case, such as game development or iOS development, an IDE is often a better choice.

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Pricing Information

Text editors are typically open-source, but there are some premium options offered as monthly subscriptions ranging from $30-$100 depending on the vendor. Premium options tend to provide more customer service capabilities and support for multiple different types of devices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do text editors do?

Text editors help users write and edit plain text and code. They are primarily used for editing small numbers of text files, but may offer a variety of plug-ins and support capabilities for more advanced development needs.

What are the benefits of using text editors?

Text editors are lightweight, flexible, and universally available on any device. They require very little setup and configuration, making it easy for any user to read and edit text files.

What are the best text editors?

How much do text editors cost?

Most text editors are open-source and free. Some paid products are priced via a monthly subscription, with prices ranging from $30-$100 per month. These products typically include dedicated customer service and support.