Text Editors Overview
What are Text Editors?
Text editors, or source code editors, allow developers and others to generate and edit text used by programs. Text editors are lightweight, flexible, and contain features to ease writing and manipulating code. This largely consists of making code easier to search and locate, shortcuts, and customizable UI. Text editors are universally highly extensible with plugins and extensions. Their usefulness as code editors is directly tied to the availability of these.
Features of Text Editors
Text editors provide the following features:
- Syntax highlighting to ease visually scanning text
- Formatting & table editing, similar to word processors
- Text folding (or code folding) to hide, reduce visible text on-screen
- WYSIWYG viewing, printing
- Editing in blocks or columns, multi-monitor split editing, inline editor
- UI themes to provide a more pleasant text editing environment
- Auto-complete for repeated words & functions
- Shortcuts to quickly navigate code
- In editor debugging
- Plugins & API, package ecosystem
- Other extensions (e.g. languages, UI, etc.)
Text editors are available free and open source. Paid editors are available for install on a per user or per machine basis. Paid editors offer more advanced API, some IDE like extensibility, and professional support.
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 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.
BBEdit is a text editor from Bare Bones software headquartered in Massachusetts.
UltraEdit is a text editor from IDM Computer Solutions headquartered in Hamilton.
GNU Emacs is described as a free extensible and customizable text editor for the Lisp programming language.
TextPad is a free and open source general purpose plain text file editor, for Windows.
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.
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.
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.
TextEdit is a free and open source distributed with MacOS since Apple acquired NeXT.
gedit is a text editor for the GNOME desktop environment.
ActiveState headquartered in Vancouver offers Komodo Edit, a lean and open source version of their Komodo IDE product.
NoteTab is a text editor from Swiss company Fookes Software.
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.