Which is the Best Code Editor?

For us, web developers, the choice of a source code editor shouldn't come lightly. This is where we spend most of our development time and where productivity is gained or lost on a grand scale. No two developers are alike, so there is a plethora of editors that can accommodate any coding style. But this politically-correct statement doesn’t answer the most fundamental question of all - which is the best?
To determine the best editor, we will rate each one on a scale from 1 to 5 stars, consisting of:

  • Beginner friendliness - how easy it is for a beginner to get up and running when opening it for the first time;
  • Power - this criteria rates the feature set, text editing capabilities, editing modes etc.
  • Extensibility - does the editor supports plugins, bundles or extensions;
  • Aesthetics - we strive for beauty in our work, so it is natural to look for the same in our tools;
  • Speed - this rates the startup time, performance when opening large files, snappiness of the interface;
  • Cross-platform - if the editor is available on multiple operating systems.
  • Price - the lower the cost, the higher the mark.

Editors are presented in groups, giving some context on the typical type of developer that would use them.

For Gurus

Who is a guru you ask? Generally, this is a person who has been using one of the editors below since before you were born. The tools in this section are hardcore and insanely expandable. They can run from a terminal window and according to UNIX traditions all their settings are defined in configuration files. Beginners beware!


Released in 1991 this versatile and powerful editor gained a massive following in the open source world. What makes it different from any other editor in this article, is its command-based workflow. Instead of simply typing code, you choose between modes for entering or selecting text, running regex-powered searches and using more commands than you can handle on an empty stomach. It can run from both a console window and a GUI. It has also been ported to all major operating systems. Vim is also extendable by using scripts and plugins, which allow you to tailor your experience with the editor. It is open source software and comes preinstalled on most Linux systems.

Links: Website, Wikipedia



Development of Emacs started way back in the 1970 and continues to this day. This editor is known for its extensibility, achieved by loading customized libraries. It deserves its place in computing history, as it is one of the first editors to implement syntax highlighting, automatic indentation and support for multiple programming languages. Like Vim, it is perfectly cross-platform and can be used from both a terminal window and through a graphical user interface. The editor comes bundled with a LISP interpreter, which gurus can use to change it to extremes. Emacs is free and open source software.

Links: Website, Wikipedia


For Professionals

The editors in this category are full blown development environments. They are meant to be easy to use and at the same time expose powerful features so that developers go through writing code, compiling, testing and deploying from a single application.


Eclipse is the goto development environment for writing Java applications. The IDE follows a plugin architecture, which makes it easy to bring support for additional programming languages. There are plugins for C/C++, Ruby, PHP and more. Eclipse offers powerful code hinting, built in documentation and real-time syntax checking. Companies like Google release their development kits for the platform, so you can easily create applications for Android and App Engine. Eclipse is free and open source.

Links: Website, Wikipedia


Aptana Studio

Aptana is a development environment targeted at rich AJAX applications. It is based on Eclipse, and bundles powerful new tools that make sense for web developers. It has support for the most popular web programming languages: PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Ruby, Python and more through plugins. It has Git integration, ability to deploy your application to remote servers and bundles of useful code snippets and actions for every language. Like Eclipse, Aptana is free and open source.

Links: Website, Wikipedia



Netbeans is another Java development environment, but like Eclipse, can be extended with bundles for additional languages including PHP, Python, C/C++ and others. It runs on Linux, Windows and OSX. Where this IDE shines though, is in Java development. Netbeans can speed up your development of desktop applications with a drag&drop GUI builder. A negative side effect of all this flexibility is the performance - Netbeans has frequently been reported for being slow on large projects. The IDE is free and open source.

Links: Website, Wikipedia



Dreamweaver is part of Adobe’s application suite targeted at web designers/developers. It provides support only for the most popular web languages - PHP, ASP.NET, JavaScript, HTML, CSS. It is mainly suitable for beginner developers, with support for WYSIWYG editing, live previews, deployment to remote servers and building apps with jQuery mobile and Phonegap. Dreamweaver is available on OSX and Windows. With a standalone price tag of $399 it is hard to recommend in place of the other editors in the article, but buying it as part of Adobe’s CS suites might make more sense.

Links: Website


Visual Studio

Visual Studio is the all-in-one development environment for Windows. It supports a large number of languages (C/C++, C#, VB.NET and F# come built-in) and can be used to develop applications for desktop, mobile and web. It has powerful features for code autocompletion, inline documentation, error checking, debugging, form designer, database schema creation and more. The price starts from $500, but an Express version of Visual Studio is available for free, with a limited feature set.

Links: Visual Studio, Visual Studio Express Editions



Xcode is Apple's solution for developing OSX and iOS applications. It supports C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Java, AppleScript, Python and Ruby. With Xcode, you can write, debug and preview code. It provides a GUI builder and a mobile device emulator for testing iOS apps. The IDE is based on open source utilities like the GNU Debugger and the Apple LLVM compiler. Xcode used to be paid, but now is offered for free to developers.

Links: Website


Coda 2

Coda is an all-in-one web developer power tool set. It includes support for (s)FTP file transfer, code navigation, sites and groups, code folding, terminal and git integration, MySQL management and much more. With the new Coda 2 release, you can even use an iPad as a dedicated preview screen. The regular price is $99, but you can get it with a discount for around $75.

Link: Website


For Aesthetes

The editors presented here are beautiful, lightweight, easy to use and extensible. There are big communities around them, which produce bundles and plugins, write articles, and offer tips on how to make the best use of the respective editor.


TextMate is a general-purpose graphical text editor for OSX. It includes extensive support for macros and bundles, code folding, snippets, shell integration, clipboard history and project management. TextMate 2 is expected to bring long requested features like split views and full screen support, which are currently missing. The editor costs around $50.

Link: Website


Sublime Text 2

Sublime is a beautiful cross-platform code editor. It is fast and feature rich, with support for practically every programming language. It supports multiple selections, code folding, keyboard bindings, macros, split screen editing and projects. Sublime Text also has a fullscreen and distraction-free modes, which look great on big displays. Like TextMate, it has a vibrant community behind it, which creates bundles and plugins with the help of Sublime’s powerful plugin API. It runs on Linux, Windows and OSX. This editor comes with an unlimited trial period, but you should eventually purchase a license for $59, which can be used on every computer that you own.

Links: Website


For Pragmatists

This section is for people who just want to get things done. These editors don’t get in your way, but at the same time are fast and very powerful. They may not be as refined as the last group, but rest assured that they can take anything you throw at them.


This powerful and lightweight editor is a must for any programmer running Windows. Although its name might connote that it is merely an improved version of Notepad, this is a mighty tool. It is easy for beginners to get started, but it takes a pro to truly master. Notepad++ supports every popular programming language with plugins available for the rest. The editor also has support for split screen editing, an FTP browser, macros and powerful text editing capabilities. Notepad++ is free as in speech and also as in beer.

Links: Website



TextWrangler is a free and lightweight OSX-only editor with support of multiple programming languages. It offers a powerful search and replace functionality with multiple file support, text manipulation, file comparison, auto indentation, multiple clipboards, ftp support and more.

Links: Website


And the best editor is..

With a rating of 4.6, the best source code editor is Sublime Text 2! With its fast release cycle, cross-platform availability, speed and elegance, Sublime offers a package that is only enhanced by the large community of developers around it.

Didn't find your editor of choice in this list? Tell us which is your favorite in the comment section below!

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Anh Saker

Sublime Text is one!


No man...

Sublime Text is THE one!

No no no...

Sublime Text 2 is the one! ;)


Well, I would appreciate if you would add Gedit under pragmatists' tools. It's widely used and by far the most extensible of such tools, never mind it's cross platform (with limitations). A good roundup none the less.

Roberto Alanis

MacRabbit - Espresso here!! it should go in Aesthetes :)

Espresso is definitely the best web editor for Mac!

Tom Sowyer

Where the hell is Komodo? Why it's not included?

I agree!!! Komodo is by far the best editor around.

It's very extensible (new plugins every day from a large development group).

It covers many code bases (XML, Tk, Tcl, Smarty, Ruby, RHTML, PHP, Perl, Node, Mason, Ludite, Javascript, Java, HTML (all flavors), EpMojo, Django, Coffeescript, C++, Haml, etc.).

It's got a good file browser. Great search features... and on and on.

And best of all... It's free!

You need to look at this one.

Yes Komodo is very usefull, but still i don't see Geany, Gedit, Ultraedit, and many more. I use Eclipse with easy install plugins, like CDT.

Yeah! I like Komodo!


I very like Komodo Edit 7, the second is Edit Plus


Komodo , phpstorm and Brackets are worth mentioning!

Agree! Komodo is great!

My everyday editor (IDE, to be exact) is PhpStorm, created by JetBrains.
My personal ratings:
Beginner friendliness: 3
Power: 5
Extensibility: 3
Aesthetics: 3
Speed: 3
Cross-platform: 5
Price: 2

A few notes: it supports plugins, but since it's proprietary software, there's no community that would produce new plugins. You can choose from the ones provided by the producer. It is extremely powerful when it comes to using "exotic" languages. SASS/SCSS, LESS, CoffeeScript, HAML and many more are supported out of the box. Also, there's full inbuilt support for PHP 5.4. The popular Zen Coding plugin is installed out of the box. The feature set is the most impressive I've seen in the IDEs I've used so far, and this is precisely why I choose to use it. It's a Java IDE, and as such, it can be sluggish at times. However, indexing projects, regardless of how large they are, seems much faster than with Aptana or NetBeans. It also launches rather quick. It's available for Windows, Linux and Mac. The price tag is 94€ + VAT, with a year of free upgrades, even to new major versions. As far as aesthetics go, PhpStorm is pretty much ugly (comparable to NetBeans, IMO), but readable, so that's OK.

Overall rating: 3.4

Also a note regarding Sublime Text 2: while I use it everyday at work (and enjoy it!), I would strongly disagree that it's beginner-friendly. Installing plugins is a cryptic process and mastering all the keyboard controls can be challenging for the mouse-oriented beginners. Also, it is worth mentioning that while it offers code completion, it is a very deficient feature. It only picks up the code in the currently edited file (at least it's true of PHP), and suggests pretty much anything, including words that appear in the comments. It's pretty annoying.

Martin Angelov

Thank you for the detailed input on PhpStorm! As for sublime plugins, you can try Package Control - it is a very handy addition that fits nicely with the editor. I agree that autocomplete could be better. There could be plugins that solve this, but I haven't stumbled on one yet.

Through package control install All Autocomplete, It will extend autocomplete to search for all open files. So if you have a function named billyBob in file 1, if you type bill in file 2 it will show up. I had to restart sublime for it to work though, not a big hassle but I thought it was broke at first :)

instead of phpstorm, look instead at the parent app intellij idea. it has a php plugin that provides the same functionality as phpstorm, but can also do so much more ( including normal web and javascript devopment).

Humm i myself love phpstorm and would give it a lot higher rating imo. But that's why its an opinion :)

Still you're forgetting the one thing that phpstorm offers that is just amazing for a Front-End. css-x-fire. Taking your edits directly from firebug into your IDE. That plus JSHint is integrated.

Things i can't live without anymore.


About aesthetics.. phpstorm six rocks. Latest upgrades and the new dracula dark ui is really good for those who love sublime for its dark ui. I prefer phpstorms way to do CSS and the live code validation is effective.

what about bbedit?

I used to dabble with DreamWeaver. While it works for some, with big IDEs being efficient for large projects and people who need tons of stuff right at their fingertips, it just felt cumbersome and bloated for me. Your definition of the pragmatist just wanting to get things done is fairly spot-on. I actually went from a big IDE down to using things like Notepad++ and Textpad. Combine that with FileZilla and PuTTY, and I'm usually all set. Even more somewhat large projects. I have code snippets and librarys ready to go, so I don't have to sweat the small stuff people do over and over, and I have everything I need to belt out lots of code. However, I do still use .NET Studio for VB and C++.


Sublime Text 2 all the way for me. I got used to Dreamweaver but once I made to Sublime I can't believe it took me so long.


Looking into sublime and the reason I'm hesitant to switch is because of the widgets that dreamweaver offers. Does sublime have this capability, haven't done any extensive research or tried it yet but its something that saves me a lot of time

I have used a few of these editors but my favorite is UltraEdit which isn't listed, the function list for me clinches it but the fact it has an FTP/sFTP browser and SHH client, colour picker, DOS to UNIX file conversion and loads of other cool features make it my personal choice.

I too am an UltraEdit man. Not only is this editor packed with useful features, it can handle very large data files that makes a lot of the other editors choke.

On Sublime Text 2. As per previous comment on it, it should not get 5 stars for Beginner friendliness.

Personally I use Coda 2 on Mac and notepad++ on Windows.


I've just begun on sublime text 2. There's a freely available set of TutsPlus tutorials on using sublime text 2 that is linked to in the documentation site for ST2. It holds your hand through installing package control and how to use various packages and install snippets etc.

As someone who is by all accounts a beginner -- barely done any code, never used a text-editor that does anything more than allow you to manually type everything yourself, don't even know how github works -- and I found the process very easy.

I agree with the author - Sublime Text 2 is my favourite code editor. I tryed Dreamweaver, Netbeans, Notepad++ and much more...
But they didn't have this elegance, this lightness and cool look. I'm using it for HTMl, CSS, JS and PHP - works fine.

Marlyse Comte

I am absolutely amazed that you missed Espresso from MacRabbit - this great tool being somewhere between TextMate and Coda2.

Martin Angelov

Thank you Marlyse. This is clearly an omission on my part. We can leave it as the crowd favorite that didn't make it to the list.

Just switched from Aptana to sublime and dont think I'll be going back the speed in which you can do things is the main reason why I like it so much.

Congratulations. You win the prize for the dumbest ranking system I have ever seen. The fact that Notepad++ can surpass emacs and vim is one glaring instance. Obviously the author is a beginner with no experience.

Martin Angelov

Reducing the power of Vim and Emacs to only one datapoint in my ranking system is clearly at their disadvantage. But this review is not centered on which is the most powerful editor. Building something that can appeal to both beginners and power users is hard. Almost as hard as ranking it.

You forgot Espresso 2!

Miguel Jiménez

I've been using Komodo edit :)

Jonathan Holroyd

Notepad++ all the way! Can't beat pure hand-coding :)

Collin Henderson

Big fan of Sublime Text 2. Definitely can see why it won :D

vs - 3.0
vim - 3.8
yeah... super rating. xD
Where is jetbrains products?

visual studio express - 0$, but have one star.
Sublime Text 2, TextMate - 50$ - two start...
yeah... good pr for Sublime Text 2.

You know you can use sublime trial unlimited amount of time. Sure it will pop up a warning but you get the full editor. I bought it because it is worth the $50 they are asking for it.

I really feel weird that you had not put
Visual studio Express

Please don't compare visual studio with visual studio express.
Visual studio comes with great feature,
is debug:, only one free and powerful debugger till now (on windows)

most is , it is free

Sublime is only after it I guess.. I love Sublime in front of VS express, because of it's load time and Cross platfrom

Konstantine Rybnikov

Emacs Aesthetics equals to 1? That's so not true. Considering that even eclipse has 3, I strongly disagree. It's minimalistic and beautiful http://screencloud.net/v/EsuP

Sublime Text 2 so simple so powerful.

Your ratings make all of these editors look to be equally powerful and equally extensible. At least two of them outpace the others in those categories: Emacs and Vim. You also give equal weight to both beginner-friendliness and aesthetics. On the "grand scale" of things, beginner-friendliness is relatively unimportant if the power and efficiency gains make up for them later, and those have a tendency to reduce the importance of aesthetics when users realize how much they gain in these areas with those editors.


For me phpStorm is the best. Aptana is good, but is sometimes slow.

Lucas Rinaldi

What about JetBrains IDE's? Like IntelliJ IDEA, RubyMine, WebStorm and etc..
I think they are very good IDE's or am i wrong?

yu forget espresso



You didn't touch on Cloud9 IDE and other browser IDEs.
You also missed out on Adobe Brackets, even if at an early stage.

Hi, I think you need to mention Espresso from MacRabbit, really great tool for web development.
All the stuff that are mentioned here are really great it just depends, what you need.

Mubasshir Pawle

netbeans ...just loved it. i own a small firm and evryone uses it. no issues till date.

Giorgos Yfantis

Notepad++ ... The BEST Ever!

Jonathan [JCM]

The Best IDE is....

The IDE you use every day to get things done. =)


You've completed disregarded all products from JetBrains.... PHPStorm as an example.

Dani Ramírez

Hi! Good compilation but I miss a "needings" or "requirements" score also! You can't compare Vim with Visual Studio for old machines, for example.

Notepad++ for EVER

Espresso better than most of editors in that list.

Yes, Espresso really great tool.

I use Geany on Fedora, Smultron on Mac and Notepad++ on Wondows

Kory Fawcett

i have to chime in here.


Ultra Edit, which is available for most platforms. I've used this editor on numerous projects and companies.I have helped evaluate other editors with our teams, and every-time I come back to this editor.

Really, I don't want to offend anybody and my intentions are not to be disgusting ok? but I can't imagine how to compare an egg with a tomato. The same happens when you compare Visual Studio with Vim, as Dani Ramírez wrote 2 comments below.

I know many people who are authentic Apple fans and they say clearly that Visual Studio is probably, if not the best, one of the best enviroments to develop applications. Apart from the price and the lack of cross-platform, how can you evaluate the power of several integrated tools against a simple text editor such as Notepad++?

I think the comparison would have been much better if it had been done with categories: IDEs, visual text editors and finally console-based editors (such as Vim, Emacs, Nano, etc...)

Martin Angelov

Well said! You can't really compare an IDE and a text editor as they are meant to do different things. I have accounted for this as much as I can in the ranking - Visual Studio gets 5 stars on power as does Notepad++ because they both excel at what they are designed for, which seems to have enraged a lot of people.

What the article is about though, is to introduce beginners to new tools and give them a rough idea who they are designed for.

I admire your will to write this text, but you really can't mix editors and IDE's. Auto complete in editor and IDE it's not the same. Real PHP developer does't use editors such Notepad++ or TextWrangler for project developing. Editors are good for HTML, CSS and basic JavaScript. This is why you can't give one rating number, mixing apples and oranges. Ah for Win you missed UEdit.

Just moved from NetBeans to phpStorm a few weeks ago. Love it very much.

Haha, I just started using sublime text 2 a few days ago because I liked the user-interface and also liked how fast and light it was..And I always thought that someone should to tell everyone about sublime text 2 being amazing and I never knew that Martin would do that. Thanks alot Martin for sharing this with us!!!!!!

You should also list inType. Personally I think it is one of the best editors out there.
Link: http://intype.info

You've missed EditPlus. It has ftp uploader while the other's not.

Sublime Text has SFTP folder sync. Also Git support and terminal support.

I use Sublime text to download the latest wordpress version, let it unzip it, then sync directly through FTP. Then use Sublime text Git to push the theme folder to my private repository.

When ready developing I use Sublime Text to minify and build all the coffeescript into minified javascript. And get rid of comments etc etc so I can deploy a production version.

Cool stuff, check it out.

Fred Morlock

What about gedit! :P

Mohammad Rashidi

i'm using sublime text 2 after years of experience in using IDE and code editors. i think notepad++ could be a very nice choice.

Praveen Gowda I V

Sublime Text 2 is so powerful and cool.

Only the Notepad++

with "must have" plugins:

  • Zen Coding support
  • Finger Text (snippets for fast coding)
  • WebEdit (for fast wrapping code/text/links/whatever/ in another code/text/whatever) <3
  • Javascript Macro (run js scripts via Notepad++)

It's a love of my life ;)

Sry, here is my NPP:

+cool theming
+many many useful features...

All notepad++ lovers should try komodo edit. i have been coding with notepad++ about 5 years, now im coding with comodo edit.
Its power in projects+ftp (auto suggestions for php with any library), snippets, macro.

notepad ++ is N°1

I use Komodo Edit now. I also liked the experience of Sublime Text 2. Maybe I'll change to Sublime if I get tired of Komodo.


+1 for Jetbrains products


I think that you miss one of the best IDE for linux ;) i'm talking about geany , for me it only miss in one thing , that is project management.

notepad ++is great. I can code in python, c++, mel and pymel with one application


Geany is such a good lightweight IDE too

Le Sparte

You're right. SublimeText 2 for the win!

zahidul hossain

My favourite editor got the highest mark :D Sublime text is really the boss of all. It should get 4stars in prize section. Cause you can use it free for a long time you want to use

Depends of the situation you use your editor, i should say the best one is vim if u really master it it's the best one

I should also say that Notepad ++ is the best solution for me for its easiness of use

My new code editor "Intype".You should try

Vijayant Katyal

What about Microsoft Web Matrix ( http://www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix/ )


I live in Espresso, I rely on TextMate, but one little editor that I'm loving lately is Chocolat. Nice nice.

where is the pspad ?

Good list.

I have used DREAMWEAVER, Notepad++,
and Sublime Text in the past.

Currently, I use HippoEDIT (HippoEDIT.com),
and I think it's EXCELLENT for my needs.
(code highlighting in Ruby, PHP etc).

The ease-of-use and program design is superb!
Just sharing my experience...try it out.

Christian Krammer

Good choice, Sublime text 2 indeed IS the best code editor. I totally love it and has made my life so much easier.

For some useful tips read http://designmodo.com/sublime-text-2/.


I'm using Aptana Studio, its the only one i found that support RTL languges. its free, works on all os systems and updates frequently.

a vim advocate here, but go check intype as someone mentioned before

Simon Clavey

I'd love to see this review done again in a few months once Brackets has been released into a proper package and see where you rate that.

Currently I'm using the latest milestone and for Front-end dev I have honestly never seen a nicer editor. I love it.

I wonder why you didn't list the whole JetBrains package.
In my opinion PhpStorm and WebStorm are the best IDE's for web development there are. Sublime Text 2 is nice. I also use it. But PhpStorm is way more professional and can do way more things then Sublime.



Don't forget the smallest editor who can do a lot of things: Scite


Aptana for full projects development and Notepad++ for quick changes

Sublime good,but its not showing any errors..its good only as a text editor..nothing more..

For this you can have the Sublime Linter for showing errors.

How about phpDesigner by MPSoftware for pragmatists?

u forget espresso


Krsiak Daniel

for me
on Win: Notepad++
on Mac: Coda 2

and I use Sublime Text 2 ... on both systems from time to time

Your list is a little short... no TACO EDIT?

I'm using Blumental's WeBuilder for developing and Notepad2 for huuuuuge files or quick transformation. Both are not cool, but robust.

Best regards,

Lool ! Where is the test for Espresso Mac Rabbit, It's the best for frontend developement

My best code editors:
Windows: Notepad ++ or Editplus (not free)
Linux: Geany or Bluefish

I think leaving out komodo is fairly a big omission, and the inclusion of dreamweaver is a tragedy, I cannot believe that it scored a 3. It is one of the most bloated pieces of software I've used.

After reading this article I tried out Sublime 2, but there's one thing that was missing (or I couldn't find) which was a good autocompletion. Which, komodo - although not perfect- has.

I love Sublime Text 2 !

Pete Clark

How could you have missed TPU? It's the only way to fly on your microvax.

Fery Ardiant

yeah i SublimeText is the best one. but you forget about CodeLobster, consider it ;)

nice review Martin

My choice (actually all developers in my company, which is about 100+ people) are using IntelliJ Idea.. its a Java IDE, but there is also PhpStorm and WebStorm which is more web specific tools. I love those tools.

I am a user of Dreamweaver and I find it relatively easy to use the Design + Code mode. However, it has its own limitations. When it comes to formatting PHP syntax Dreamweaver sucks!!! It does not let me format PHP, no matter what. I have requested Adobe to add this feature. And if there are any Dreamweaver lovers out there, please do request Adobe to add code formatting for PHP.

Thanks to all.

Juan Olvera

http://chocolatapp.com <-- textmate killer

NotePad++ is the best, but I will certainly test Sublime Text 2.

Great article!


Nice tutorial ! I use Notepad++ :)


Espresso espresso_2_0_3

My choices are Notepad++ and SublimeText2

Miguel Antunes

Hello guys,

you should take a look in the Agile Platform by OutSystems.

You too can build awesome web apps 10.9x faster!

check it out here: http://www.outsystems.com/agile-platform/



http://www.outsystems.com/agile-platform/ - Looks like muddle soft,

XL provide impossible conception conversions..........

Esplesso on snow leopard ounlyyyy , everything else just infuriate by deferred responses on key up =).

Keir Lavelle

What about Geany? I made the switch from notepad++ relatively recently and havn't looked back since, as a lightweight, multipurpose editor in the same vein as notepad++ I think it's excellent

Geany is my preferred code editor. It' cross platform but I run Arch Linux.


One more screen shot Espresso 2.0.3 TMPL page

I like the Notepad ++

Jesus Bejarano

I love VIM but sublime text with it vintage mode is an kick ass.


No Intype?

Just to clarify,
VIM is a later version of VI (vee eye).
VI was one of the first (if not d-first) to allow "screen navigation" as opposed to "line editors".
VI was arround few years before Emacs.
VIM is only an extesion of it.

Espresso baby!

Eclipse + FileZilla = Anything!


Komode editor ? Are you joking ?

To launch it you need at least 7 seconds and it takes 800M ROM just for a blank file.

Juan Suarez

someone use bluefish? it's good

NetBeans Rules!

Dinesh Verma

I use Sublime Text 2 .... it is very user friendly and extensible.

notepad++ 4.1 rating? Madness!
Just of its broken search alone it should receive a zero!

Chocolat App es la cumbia.

I use Coda2 for Web and VisualStudio for many things, but I can't recomend Chocolat enough. Love it.

Nice, your plan to introduce new IDE's to beginners is exactly what it did. I have recently found Aptana (previously just using notepad++) and cannot imagine there is something better. I will now waste the rest of my week researching and testing these things.

Great list, thank you!

Mohamed Barsi

Sublime is No 1, Then Notepad++ is No 2, even if notepad supports cross platform but it actually not,

but i think that every editor supports python as a plugin API, is better than others,
because community need lightweight language to extends editor capability.

Max Weber

Hi Martin,

Thanks for a great tutorial. The best outright comparison I'm finding. Trying to decide what to use instead of DW because I run Linux. Used BlueFish a fair bit and its ok. Typically work in Eclipse for the Android and Java stuff but that world is merging with webdev...

Sublime looks like the best here. I may just give it a go seeing as I've only ever used Dreamweaver.

Thanks for the comparison. Its good to see the main ones compared.

Vim has 1 star for aesthetics, oh noes.

rajesh eye universal

I use Notepad++ (Windows, Free) because is a popular and widely-used editor loaded with features like search and replace using regular expressions, macro recording, and much more.

Jummy Dang

No no no,
You can try PHPED, It's very well! ;)


NotePad++ Is The Best Code Editor

PhpDesigner is very great code editor.

Sublime Text 2 is the most powerfull, the best of the best!

I use Notepad++ with javascript, html, css. But with PHP I need Eclipse to debug :(

David Ransier

My all time favorite editor is Codewright, but, alas, it has fallen into the category of great tools that are no longer supported.

I like PSPad better than NotePad++ for windows. However, I've been spending more time on my Mac using Coda 2. I like it a lot for many things, but for quick, simple tasks, it gets in the way sometimes.

This article has pushed me to spend more time with Sublime Text 2. That looks to be a very strong solution.

Thanks for this article. It was very helpful.

David R

Sublime over all, but when it comes the have things done rush i open the classical Notepad++
Thank you for the analysis :)

Did anyone mentioned phpDesigner 8 from MPSoftware? I'm using phpDesigner for a long time.

So many Vim lovers. I'm no beginner to web development or programming in general but I am a noob when it comes to Vim. I was working on a project and I decided to try it...uninstalled about 2 hours later. The time spent "truly mastering" Vim could be spent actually getting work done. I've got a couple colleagues that swear upon Vim and it works for them well enough. I use keyboard and mouse in almost equal measure and Vim and it's odd conventions do not suite me. Online, most proponents of Vim give off the impression that they think they're superior for mastering some complicated tool. Kudos to them, I've got actual work to do.

Emacs. faster and better.

Hey Martin, buddy that's the best post I've ever seen on Code Editors! Job well done my friend :)

komodo edit the best editor for me. i love feature scan project to listing viriable function class fot create auto complete list this feature basic on ide but code editor i found only in komodo edit.

ps.sory for my gramma T__T


Anybody with or considering Sublime Text, there's this awesome plugin called Emmet for html and css, it speeds up coding tremendeously. Let me show you an example:

Once you install Emmet, if you're in an html file and you type in ul3>li5 and then hit tab, you will get 3 unordered lists with 5 list items each. That's just the beginning of what it does. There's also shortcuts for css as well.


Looks like it's not just for sublime text either, so basically anybody into using text-edting for html and css should check this plugin out.


Hi everybody,

           You guys missing &quot;Source Insight&quot;

Sublime Text 2 everything you need :) try it

i use Notepad++ too :)
Thanks for this detailed article. :)

Great review!
I moved from Notepad++ > Vim > SublimeText2. And while I'm still getting used to the features of SublimeText2, I'd say it's the best for me thus far.


I think editplus is the best editor. :-D

definitely webstorm.. great code completion, refactoring, cmd click methods and go direct to function definition. shows props and methods that are available on objects as you type, shows what args a method expects. best JS IDE right now, pretty light weight too considering what it does

Going to have to check our Sublime Text 2 but with the free price tag of notepad++ whats the point.

But sorry to hear dreamweaver scored so low it makes the process of website design quick and simple.

Peppercorn Web Design

I as am a golden oldie, I am addicted to dreamweaver, would find it hard to change now. Nice article though.


I come to cheer, Sublime Text 2

I moved from Komodo to SublimeText2 and never looked back :)

Chris Williams

PHPEd (from nusphere) is quite good. I've been using it for something like eight years now. It lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that ST2 has and they tend to be a few years behind on aesthetics, but it really is the best ide out there. It knows your code base quite well and is extremely fast and efficient. It's windows / Linux only, though.

Btw, you have some great articles here! Great stuff :-)

Sublime Text 3 is comming! :)

I love it!

Emacs can most certainly be beautiful!

I find it strange that everything with any price tag gets the same price rating: 2 stars. $500 and $50 are not at all the same thing...

Notepad++ deserves a slightly higher cross-platform score, because it runs mostly OK in Wine.

I really can't see the point of giving an 'Aesthetics' score, since it's so subjective. Sure, we might want things to look attractive, but everyone has different ideas of what that means. Leave it to the individual programmer to rate that.

And my personal favorite is Geany, but I have only briefly tried Sublime, so I won't knock it.


We must also take a look at Adobe's open source editor Brackets
Personally I am a phpstorm person. Also take up ST3 at times for fast editing.

Henry Nguyen

I think Codelobster is the best for wordpress coder


Great Article!!
And Agreed with you sublime text 2 is the best :)

Brackets, open source, cross platform editor by Adobe.

Thanks for the well composed rundown. I was a fan of homesite years ago these days I like Espresso. Brackets does not have a stable mac development yet but im anxiously waiting for it. And I would prefer to get shot in the testacles than use the trash of an OS that is windows 8.


Perfect! ... forgot to mention the Adobe Code CC ... it will give a blow to Sublime and others. time to time...

On Linux: SublimeText 3, Jetbrains PHPStorm (aka Eclips killer).

Coffee Cup and Sublime Text ... are good

sublime text2 .. best of all .. fantabulous editor


Webstorm is the single best IDE I have ever used. Sublime Text is quite good, but webstorm is 100x better than sublime. I also like dreamweaver a lot before, but after becoming a guru, I have to say webstorm is also 10x better than dreamweaver.

After test Notepad++, Eclipse, Aptana, Dreamweaver CS5 and Sublime 2.
I found the best,
and I don't think I'm gonna try another for a long time.


The hands down best editor is by far IntelliJ.