Gone are the days of the go-to text editor. Now, there’s a whole variety to chose from and there isn't a single one that takes the monopoly in the editor market.

Personal choice plays a big factor in which editor to choose. Do you use it for front end? Back end? A bit of both? Do you like to add your own snippets and plugins? Tweak your own syntax highlighting colours? There are so many text editor options these days that as developers, we're actually spoilt for choice. With that being said, here’s a roundup of some of the biggest contenders in 2015 (so far!)

Coda | Mac OS X | $99

Coda Text Editor

Coda Text Editor for Mac OS X

This is my personal favourite, as Coda's overall UI fits in so well with Apple's bespoke design. Created by the guys over at Panic, Coda just feels good to use. The plugin library is extensive and it even has sass compiling – which a mini luxury!

Some key features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code folding
  • Project wide autocomplete
  • Fast find and replace
  • Indentation guides
  • Automatic tag closing
  • Fast commenting and shifting of code
  • Wildcard Find and Replace
  • AirPreview for iPad and iPhone previews
  • Great file management
  • FTP/SFTP/WebDAV/Amazon S3


Brackets | Windows, Mac OS X, Linux | FREE

Brackets Text Editor

Brackets Text Editor for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Crafted by Adobe, Brackets is a free, open source and extremely powerful text editor. It’s UI is minimal, which leaves the user a clean and simple developing environment. Bracket comes complete with new features and extensions released every 3-4 weeks!

Some Key Features: 

  • Extract
  • Inline editors
  • Live preview
  • Preprocessor report
  • Extensions


Atom | Windows, Mac OS X, Linux | FREE

Atom Text Editor

Atom Text Editor for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

A hackable and modern text editor that can be customised and tailored to each users needs, without ever touching a config file!

Some Key Features: 

  • Cross-platform editing
  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart autocompletion
  • File system browser
  • Multiple panes
  • Themes


Notepad ++ | Windows | FREE

Notepad++ Text Editor

Notepad++ Text Editor for Windows

Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

Some Key Features: 

  • Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
  • User Defined Syntax Highlighting and Folding
  • PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) Search/Replace
  • GUI entirely customisable
  • Auto-completion
  • Multi-Document (Tab interface)
  • Multi-View
  • Multi-Language environment supported
  • Macro recording and playback


Sublime | Windows, Mac OS X, Linux | FREE

Sublime Text Editor

Sublime Text Editor for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Sublime is an extremely popular text editor, but one I just couldn't get to grips with using. Personally, I found the UI to be quite bulky and not as sleek as the likes of Coda. Ignoring the subjective views of the interface, Sublime boasts a feature rich option for code writing and editing.

Some Key Features: 

  • Goto Anything (lightning fast search/shortcuts)
  • Command Palette
  • Split Editing
  • Highly customizable
  • Multiple selections
  • Distraction free writing mode
  • Instant project switch
  • Plugin API
  • Cross Platform


Espresso | Mac OS X | $75

Espresso Text Editor

Espresso Text Editor for Mac OS X

If you design and develop websites and are looking for an excellent, feature-packed editor to speed up your coding, then Espresso by MacRabbit may be what you're after. With built-in FTP support and a host of useful features, the app can be extended by ‘Sugars’ to add extra functionality.

Some Key Features: 

  • CSSEdit 3 built in
  • Contextual completions
  • Powerful smart snippets
  • Web Preview with X-Ray
  • Powerful and Efficient Coding
  • Live Styling and Overrides
  • Effortless Sync and Publishing
  • A Workspace That Fits Into Your Workflow 
  • Project-wide Find and Replace
  • Language Support


Dreamweaver  | Windows, Mac OS X | £17.15/mo

Dreamweaver Text Editor

Dreamweaver Text Editor for Windows, Mac OS X

I just couldn't leave this out due to it being in everyone's editor utility belt at some stage in their development career. There was once a stigma attached to coding with Dreamweaver, due to it adding so much extra bloated code. There's also the dreaded export code from sliced PSD’s putting all designs into a table layout... *shudder*. Granted, it’s on a monthly payment plan, and offers features which some of the free open source apps offer, but it shouldn’t be shunned. Credit where credit is due, Dreamweaver has come a long way.

Some Key Features: 

  • Preview on any device
  • Built in bootstrap integration
  • Batch export from PSDs
  • Extract
  • Real-time code validation with Linting and Autocomplete with Emmet support
  • Responsive code snippets
  • Automatic push of dynamic files on save
  • Live Guides
  • Live insert
  • Edge Web fonts


Final Thoughts

As stated at the very beginning of the article, I'm a big fan of Coda and I don't mind paying the price tag as it fits well with my work flow. But after using all of the code editors at some stage, it’s hard to deny that the free alternatives work just as well, or even surpass what Coda can offer. There's also no denying that as developers, we're overwhelmed with variety when it comes to choosing an editor, whether you’re on OS X, Windows, Linux, or floating between multiple operating systems.