Text editors in 2021. Who is still on top

July 19, 2020

Text editors are an essential part of coding, and how we write code defines not only us, but actually the end product. And this applies to everybody, from a seasoned veteran to ones that have just started to venture out in the coding world. Text editors come in all shapes and sizes, in all colors and designs, with or without plugins, free or paid, one for everybody in the whole wide coding world. In a 2019 ranking by Software.com, by going in an in depth analysis, they discovered that on the top of everybody’s preferences were Visual Studio Code, Sublime text and Atom. Let’s take a look at these select few and other preferred text editors. 

1. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is developed by Microsoft, and is one of the best ones in the game at this point in time, even though it came out only in 2015. It is a free, cross platform editor that makes extensive use of plugins, customizability being a really strong point. VS Code is also praised for its speed. Referring to the plugins that are available, we can argue that they are very versatile, so you can depend on them to personalize your workspace. A minor drawback is the fact that it doesn’t show errors automatically like, for example, Adobe Dreamwaver does, but again, this problem can be easily resolved with other plugins. This is what we use here, at EMOTIONstudios.

2. Atom

Atom is a free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows and is developed by GitHub. It is a relatively new text editor, this text editor exiting beta development in 2015. It has a large programming language support, ranging to anything from Bash to Ruby to XML and Python. Its plugins are called packages and those extend the capabilities of your text-editor. 

Customization for Atom in general is very easy, as we said, with packages, but also visually, having many themes to choose from.

A drawback when using this editor is its performance. The consensus in the community is that even from the release, it had problems with lagging (even when switching between tabs). Another drawback is the fact that the quality of many plugins is subpar. 

3. Sublime text

The Sublime text editor comes at you with a sublime price tag. A mere $70 license fee, but it does give you a free period in which you can test the program. It is a more mature text editor, being released in 2007, and is a cross-platform; one license is enough for all of them. Given these two reasons we can say that it is a very stable and secure editor. It is praised as being a very fast editor, being lightweight and using very little resources. Like VS Code and Atom, Sublime has different plugins or  packages that help optimize the workflow in different ways, for different needs. Unfortunately, these are in a way hidden. You need to install a package control manager before accessing all the possibilities of Sublime text. If you manage to jump over this hurdle, you are set to code for a long long time.

4. Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a text editor that is developed by Adobe. It is a paid service, the price being about $27. A month. Looking past the seemingly small price tag, let’s look at the tech behind the name. Dreamweaver is a standalone product, meaning that it doesn’t have plugins that can be installed that can extend different functionalities to the site. Keeping this in mind, it does come from the get-go with a few great features. It has many default boilerplates, has live previews for web development and has live&instant validations for your code. The interface can be a bit too much for somebody who is just starting out and there could be a steep learning curve. Another drawback for this editor is the fact it is very slow and often lags, causing often unwanted “breaks” in your workflow.

5. Notepad++

Although it is quite a old text editor, Notepad++ still has a large following and active users.  It is a free text editor that is only for Microsoft Windows, but it compensates this fact with the plethora of programming languages that it supports and the fact that it does have a mobile version. It is quite an old editor, being released in 2003. It did have time to mature and it is a very stable program, but it does look like it had better days: the interface is quite old school and it doesn’t have many options to customize its appearance. But if you like that sort of feel, we still recommend that you give this editor a try.

Know how to use these text editors? Or maybe you want to leave it to the experts? If so, contact us and see how we can help you and your buisness!

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