If you work in any industry that deals with computer functions, chances are, you need to know how to code for some portions of your job. Coding has become the new literacy standard over the past several years. So, it’s more important than ever that you understand how to code what program to do it in.
Whether you’re a professional coder, someone with no coding experience, or a hobbyist, our comprehensive list will show you the best code editors that you can use in 2021.
- 1 Notepad++: Great, but Not on Mac
- 2 Visual Studio Code: A Cross-Platform Masterwork
- 3 Sublime Text: Great Premium Function, With Extensive Trial
- 4 Vim: Only for the Programming Industry Professional
- 5 Microsoft Notepad: an Oldie But Goodie
- 6 Brackets: Lightweight and Customizable
- 7 Atom: Allows Easy Code Comparison
Notepad++: Great, but Not on Mac
Notepad++ is a basic source code editor that you can use freely on PC, LINUX, or UNIX. Technically, you can work with this program on Mac as well, but it requires the use of a third-party tool. Mac users would be better served to find an alternative to notepad++ for their needs.
Visual Studio Code: A Cross-Platform Masterwork
In many ways, Visual Studio Code has become the programming industry standard due to its effortless cross-platform capability. It supports many commonly used programming languages like Java and C++, while also offering support for lesser-used languages. The platform is lightweight and customizable, which stops it from being a RAM hog like some code editors can be.
It offers syntax highlighting, making it easier to read the code you’ve written. It also offers extensive debugging options, making it easier to check the functionality of the script.
Sublime Text: Great Premium Function, With Extensive Trial
Look at any list of the best code editors for this year, and Sublime Text will top most of them. It is, without question, the best editor currently on the market. It is the only paid option on our list because it’s that good. However, even though it comes with an $80 price tag attached, Sublime Text has a full-featured, extensive free trial that will allow you to test out the program for a long time.
Sublime has exceptional cross-platform support and allows for multi-tab, making it easy to switch between projects and compare on the fly. It’s also easy to use and starts faster than any other editor out there, making it ideal no matter your level of coding experience.
Vim: Only for the Programming Industry Professional
Vim is a tool that, in truth, only someone who really knows what they’re doing should use. All the same, it’s an old favorite of professional coders, so we felt it deserved a mention here. It’s navigated exclusively by a keyboard, which can increase your coding speed and efficiency.
However, since it lacks any real guidance in its UI, you have to know how to use it to avoid breaking everything. Vim is the epitome of function over form. Its steep learning curve can prove a turnoff to those who lack coding experience.
Microsoft Notepad: an Oldie But Goodie
Ask the old-school coding geek what they learned to code in, and chances are, they’ll tell you that they got their start in Microsoft Notepad. This barebones, basic code editor offers little in the way of frills and special features.
It won’t check behind you and highlight your syntax. It won’t spell-check for typos or errors. It’s not even really cross-platform. However, due to its basic design and feature set, it’s lightweight and has a number of neat programming tricks you can deploy with it.
If you don’t have the space or RAM to handle more hardcore coding applications, this can be a great tool to get started with. Plus, most changes you make with it can be reversed by a simple computer reset if something breaks.
Brackets: Lightweight and Customizable
Brackets has many extensions available for it, making it easy to customize. It also comes with a handy Live Preview tool, meaning that you can see adjustments you make in your code take place on your web page in real-time. This is a massive time saver for web development, as it means you don’t even have to save your work and close the program to check your work.
Atom: Allows Easy Code Comparison
Atom is one of the best code editors on the market nowadays. This open-source tool developed by GitHub allows free access to professional-grade coding tools. It’s cross-platform, capable of managing packages, and has easy “find and replace” features, which make editing your code a breeze.
Atom also allows you to open the tool in multiple panes, which makes comparing your code before and after edits much easier. It also has one of the best Auto-Complete functions of any coding tool. Atom straddles the line between easy-to-access and professional-grade, offering access to special dev tools.
No matter your level of coding experience, Atom can help you practice your craft.
These Are the Best Code Editors, but Not the Only Ones
Whether you’re trying to customize a blog or develop a video game, finding the best code editors for the job is a crucial step. The programs we’ve listed above are among the best options on the market, but they are far from the only ones.
If you’d like to learn more about the coding tools available on the internet, or how to write code for yourself, check out the Technology section of our blog! We update each day with more helpful and informative articles like this one.