Top 10 Code Editors for Software Developers

As a software developer, your main tool is a code editor. To work and edit HTML and CSS code, you need a simple and user friendly text editor and the rest depends on your skills and your creativity.

However, to make software development a little bit easier, you can use code editors with advanced editing features. These features can effectively support and improve you during coding, debugging, and testing.

With the variety of coding languages & techniques, it’s impossible to narrow down just one specific code editor as the best overall. We have compiled a list of the best 10 code editors available today.

We will explain what each offers, and let you pick the one that suits you best.

List of best code editors for software developers:

1. Brackets (2.2.1)


Price: Free | Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

The best feature that separates Brackets from the rest of the code editors is its remarkable “Extract” feature. It allows you to pick colors, measurements, fonts, gradients, etc. from a photoshop file into a ready-for-web CSS file.

Key Features:

  • Real-time visualization with connection to the browser.
  • Lightweight (only 40 MB).
  • Clean and user friendly interface, making it easier to write and organize code.
  • Code syntax is automatically highlighted.
  • Easily customizable being an open-source platform.
  • Streamlines code editing with inline editors for instant access to specific sections.
  • Pleasing user interface.

2. Netbeans (Apache)

NetBeans is an integrated development environment for Java.
NetBeans is an integrated development environment for Java.

Price: Free | Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Support for Multiple Programming Languages PHP, CSS, HTML, or other languages, we all want to have to use only one, a simple-to-use editor which looks great and has good features to boot. If this is what you are looking for, you may find it in Netbeans.

It is an open-source code editor tool for developing applications using many languages. If your applications were developed in the recent past, NetBeans allows you to upgrade all your applications to benefit from the new and improved Java 8 language constructs.

Key Features:

  • Powerful debugging options.
  • Offers fast and smart code editing.
  • Version Control Integration
  • Cross-Platform support.
  • Code Profiling Tools
  • Refactoring Tools
  • Static analysis tools.
  • Large and Active Communit
  • Easy & efficient project management.
  • Multiple language support.
  • Provides expert assistance for optimizing your application’s speed and memory usage.

3. Notepad++

Notepad++: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Windows, Linux, and UNIX.

One of the most well-known code editors that developers all over the world have been using for quite a while is Notepad++. It’s far simpler, without too many bells and whistles.

Once on your hard drive, the editor only takes up about 50MB. However, it packs a heavy punch in that little space! This code editor has an amazing execution speed, which is great for modern machines.

Notepad++: Coding made friendly. This powerful, customizable text editor simplifies programming with syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and plugin support, while remaining accessible for general text tasks.

Millions of users can’t be wrong. Notepad++ is the text editor of choice for a reason. Its intuitive interface, powerful features, and lightning-fast performance make it a favorite for programmers and casual users alike.

Key features: 

  • Auto-completion: Get suggestions for keywords, functions, and variables.
  • Multi-editing: Edit multiple lines or sections of code simultaneously.
  • Tabbed document interface: Manage multiple files simultaneously with easily accessible tabs.
  • Syntax highlighting : This feature color-codes different programming languages like C++, Python, HTML, and more.
  • A lightweight application that launches quickly.
  • Plugin support: Extend Notepad++’s functionality with a vast library of plugins, adding features like spell checking, code beautifying, and version control integration..
  • Lightweight and fast: Notepad++ is a relatively small program that runs efficiently, even on older machines.
  • Cross-platform support: Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

4. Vim

Vim: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Another software that is reportedly comprehensive and can be considered an IDE within itself is called: Vim. Vim is a favorite for many old-school programmers, as well as the keyboard enthusiasts. This code editor has a rich history; it originated from the Vi editor (1976), and it’s still being developed today.

The program is navigated entirely via the keyboard, making it much faster and more efficient – but only if you make the effort to learn how to operate it. If you have the time to learn it, Vim can really increase your coding productivity!

Key features:

  • Rock-solid and very fast.
  • Extensive plug-in support.
  • Supports hundreds of programming languages and file formats.
  • Exceptionally low memory footprint.
  • Powerful search and replace
  • Supports multiple tabs, allowing you to work on multiple files.
  • Performs complex tasks with a few commands

5. Sublime text

Sublime text: Code editorPrice: Personal License $99(per user)  | Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Much like Vim, Sublime text is known for its top-notch performance. It comes with all the features you would expect from a powerful code editor and a lot more too. It is lightweight, open, and ready to edit your file almost as soon as you’ve managed to click the button. This responsiveness is one of the things that makes it the best code editor in its class.

If you want to get the most out of Sublime Text, you need to install some extra plugins. Sublime Text is free to download and start using but for extended use, you’ll need to shell out $80 to get a license.

Key features:

  • Lightweight and speedy
  • Lets you edit multiple lines simultaneously.
  • Extremely extendable.
  • Fast customization of the editor to suit your likes
  • Supports split editing
  • Powerful API and Package Ecosystem
  • Auto indentation

6. Visual studio code (VS Code)

Visual studio code: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

Belonging from the family of software developed by the tech giant Microsoft, Visual Studio Code is known to be one of the most fully-featured, well-rounded code editor. It is an extensible, open-source code editor that supports a wide selection of programming languages and frameworks, from the familiar C, C++, and C# to modern languages like Go, Rust, and Node.js.

Visual Studio Code has many awesome features that can greatly improve your development workflow. One of the most effective and time-saving features of this application is its infusion with A.I. This means that all of the code that the developer writes in the application is read by the software. As a result, it generates auto-responses for code writing, based on variable types, function definitions, and essential modules.

Key features:

  • Code refactoring & debugging.
  • Easily extensible and customizable.
  • Easy working with Git and other SCM providers.
  • Split Views, Zen Mode.
  • Built-in debugger.
  • Can detect if any snippet of code is left incomplete.
  • Comes with built-in support for web applications..

7. BBEdit (Earlier known as Text Wrangler)

BBEdit: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Mac

Of all the code editors for Mac, BBEdit is definitely one of the oldest. This powerful and feature-rich text editor comes with a very intuitive user interface that makes it super easy to browse files and work on projects. It supports 44 programming languages including HTML, JavaScript, Perl, Python, VBScript, and SQL. It is designed and crafted for the purpose of editing, searching transformation, and manipulation of text.

Key features:

  • Supports auto indentations.
  • Offers syntax highlighting for many programming languages
  • Allows you to convert character encoding of text documents.
  • Has advanced search and replace tools.
  • Supports the comparison of text files.
  • Store and insert frequently used text items and custom tags
  • Integrates smoothly into existing workflows.

8. Textmate

TextMate: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Mac

TextMate is a high-end source code editor for Mac OS which looks super cool. It is a versatile text editor with a unique and innovative feature set. It includes ready-made libraries of macros and snippets of source code or text (snippets), suitable for reuse for many programming languages. Without any doubt, if you are looking for a free text editor for Mac, you should consider TextMate.

Key features:

  • Easy clipboard management
  • Sophisticated find and replace tool
  • Auto-Indent for Common Actions
  • Foldable code blocks
  • Visual Bookmarks to Jump Between Places in a File
  • It features Marcos that eliminates repetitive work.
  • Highlights syntax

9. BlueFish

BlueFish: Code editorPrice: Free | Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD.

Bluefish is a powerful editor that is mainly for experienced web designers and programmers. It supports many programming and markup languages, but it focuses on editing dynamic and interactive websites.

If you are a fan of working on dozens of different software at once and not wasting time for the code editor to take its sweet time to run your code, then Bluefish is the code editor that was designed with you in mind. BlueFish is an ultra-fast code editor that supports a variety of markup languages. The tool is so efficient that it loads a complete website within a second!

Key features:

  • User-customizable toolbar for quick access to often-used functions.
  • Auto-recovery of changes in modified documents after a crash or shutdown.
  • Loads hundreds of files within seconds.
  • Multithreaded support for remote files.
  • Supports nearly every programming language.
  • Anti-aliased text window.
  • Multiple document interface (Easily open 500+ documents).

10. PyCharm

Price: Free Version available for Individuals | Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux

PyCharm Text is a powerful and versatile text editor specifically designed for Python development. Developed by JetBrains, the same company behind the renowned IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm Text offers a feature-rich environment to streamline your Python workflow.

Key features:

  • Syntax highlighting and code completion
  • Linting and inspections
  • Debugging
  • Live templates
  • Refactoring tools
  • Version control integration
  • Distraction-free mode
  • Customizable interface

Over to reader! thank you. 

Read more: Software Developer vs Software Engineer

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