Developers today have to work with multiple technologies and a variety of languages. Even experienced developers find it hard to remember the minute details of every mastered language. That’s why they prefer to work on reliable text editors and Integrated Development Environments (abbreviated as IDE).
A good code editor goes a long way in helping developers overcome the obstacles which otherwise delay the overall development time. A comprehensive, lightweight code editor can become a developer’s best ally but here lies another problem; to choose the appropriate one. There are numerous high-quality programming text editors to pick from and to do that, a developer needs to stick to certain set of rules like:
– the workflow
– the most required features,
– ease of use and of course,
– the programming languages for which it will be used.
This article aims to reduce your complexity by presenting the top five text editors for web development which will speed up your overall development process. The focus is more on the prominent features of the code editors and why developers should go for it.
1. Visual Studio Code or VS Code
VS Code is an open-sourced and lightweight editor created by Microsoft. It is extremely popular among developers because of its intelligent code completion feature, a built-in extension manager and for its support for almost all popular programming languages including Java, Python, CSS and C++. Visual Studio also supports all major operating systems including Linux OS.
A survey report published by Stack Overflow showed that Visual Studio Code was the most used code editor with almost 71% of developers working with it. Some remarkable features of this editor are:
– Code refactoring, code folding and syntax highlighting
– Built-in Git commands and integrated terminal
– Easy debugging and snippet support
– Lesser use of RAM and built-in source control feature
– IntelliSense for smart completions based on imported modules and variable types
– Facility to create extensions and extend support for new themes, debuggers and new languages
Built by Github, Atom is an ultra-modern, open-source editor which is loved by developers because of its brilliant set of features including its support for popular operating systems and programming languages. It even allows developers to collaborate for common projects and build highly functional software. With Atom, developers can create Git operations like push and pull and new branches right from their editor.
Atom is often referred to as ‘the editor of 21st century’ because of its high-end features like complete GitHub support, cross-platform editing and comparing and editing codes across files via multiple panes. Other features that account for its popularity are:
– Availability of plethora of open-source packages in built-in package manager for adding new features and functionalities
– Pre-installed themes (with four UI and eight syntax) available in both dark and light colours
– Flexible and intelligent auto-completion
– Syntax highlighting and file formats
– Teletype for sharing workspace and collaborate in real time
– Automatic Indentation and Folding
Brackets is another great programming text editor loaded with useful tools to make coding better, easier and faster. This lightweight, cross-platform and powerful text editor has been created from scratch and built specifically for front-end developers and designers. It offers visual tools along with pre-processor support and Autoprefixer which automatically adds vendor prefixes.
One of the most outstanding attributes of Brackets is its Google Chrome extension which allows editors to communicate in real-time with Chrome. By using this mechanism, developers can view all the changes which are immediately displayed in the browser. A few more striking features of Brackets are:
– Code Minification and Live Preview
– Extract function to directly pull out information from PSD like fonts and dimensions
– Support for plenty of plug-ins
– Quick edit, code folding and syntax highlighting
– Emmet extensions for speedy HTML and CSS workflow
It also comes integrated with HTTP client and test runners. WebStorm can also auto-save files by default while one’s working on them. But these are only at the crust. Some more useful core features of this remarkable code editor are:
– Built-in debugger
– Live Edit feature and syntax highlighting for all prominent programming languages
– Mercurial and Git integration
– Built-in web server to run projects online
– Support for a wide range of plug-ins and themes
– Highly customizable with facility of saving custom settings and sharing them between different WebStorm instances
5. Sublime Text
Sublime Text is another lightweight, open-source and cross-platform code editor which is known for its premium features which make coding neater, lighter and faster. It was crafted with custom components that offer unparalleled responsiveness. Files are opened with simple keystrokes, and it gives easy access to useful packages.
Right from snippets to JSON files, anything is customizable with Sublime Text. It also enables developers to switch instantly between projects and simultaneously edit different parts of the source code. Other features of this significant programming text editor include:
– Fast and easy navigation between files and codes with Tab Multi-select
– Adaptive themes with inactive pane dimming and custom title bars
– Color Schemes that support auto dark-mode switching
– Command palette and code definitions like Goto definition and Goto symbol
– GPU Rendering and context aware auto-complete
6. Summing Up
There’s no end to technological innovation and it applies to code editors too. If you’re looking for tenacious text editors for web development, then there are lots of names on the list. But an important point to remember here is that selection of editors depends largely on the preferred programming language.
Every editor comes with its own set of unique features and to make the most out of them, expertise is mandatory. It takes more than an apprentice to fully optimize the tools of a multifaceted programming code editor. For instance, anyone looking to optimize Atom to build an app with React would want to engage professional help and hire React.Js development company.
The point is that even with sound technical knowledge, it’s always advisable to get experts on one’s side. But in case you’re a pro yourself, choose whichever heightens your productivity and embark on your way to become a smarter programmer.
Albert Smith is Digital Marketing Manager at Hidden Brains, a leading Mobile & Web development company specializing in mobile & web applications, IoT, Cloud and Big Data services. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.