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10 best code editors for 2020

jkmdroid profile image jkmdroid ・6 min read

So you just learned your first programming language. Or maybe you are tired of using your current code editor. You want to change your taste and go for another code editor. However, there’s a problem – you don’t have the time to search for the best code editor that can support your current project. Or maybe you just want to select from a list the best code editors. I have compiled a list of top 10 best code editors – both open source and premium. So, let’s have a look at them:

1. Visual studio code

Visual studio code commonly referred to as VS code, is one of the best code editors in the market. VS code is a product of Microsoft. Like many Microsoft brands, VS code is a cross-platform editor. Developers can use this powerful tool either on Windows, Linux, and mac. VS Code has powerful features that will fully support developers’ work. With the VS code, you are assured of fast system debugging and auto-completion.

Key features

  • Cross-platform
  • Built-in Git and git commands
  • Reliable autocomplete and syntax highlighting using IntelliSense
  • Debugging code right from the editor
  • Easy to integrate with terminal
  • Extensions for customizing and extending functionalities
  • Ease of deploying projects to such platform as Microsoft Azure
  • Compatible with almost every programming language
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and robust as compared to other editors


  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux

2. Sublime text

If you are looking for a very lightweight yet robust code editor, the sublime text is your option. Sublime text is easy to install and opens rather quickly than other lightweight code editors. It is available on all platforms. Developers can enjoy the robust and remarkable features of sublime text regardless of the platform they are using.

Key features

  • Cross-platform
  • Fast customization of the editor to suit your likes
  • Supports split editing
  • Switching from one project to another is like a dream
  • High performance
  • Enables multiple selections
  • Command palette for holding rarely used functionalities
  • Keyboard shortcuts for file opening
  • Project index generation from syntax definitions information


  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Linux

3. Atom Editor

Atom is a cross-platform code editor. If you want to share your project progress, then the atom is the best option. Atom allows developers to work together using teletype for atom – from sharing knowledge to teaching. One of the critical things for developers is collaboration while working to share ideas. Atom enables this operation right from your editor.

Key features

  • Cross-platform editing
  • Code sharing and collaboration using teletype
  • GitHub support
  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart code auto-completion
  • Easy system browser opening
  • Multiple panes support
  • Find and replace functionality
  • Customizable themes
  • Easy customization and style
  • Many packages
  • Open-source


  • OS X
  • Windows
  • Linux

4. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free and open-source code editor governed by GPL License. It supports several programming languages. Notepad++ is written in C++ and thus offers a smaller program size and a higher execution speed of programs. It’s one of the code editors to reduce world carbon dioxide emissions. Notepad++ allows your system to use less CPU power, thus reducing power consumption to contribute to a greener environment.

Key features

  • Code auto-completion
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Lightweight
  • Higher performance
  • Search and replace functionalities
  • Multi-language environment support
  • Highly customizable


  • Windows
  • Linux

5. Bluefish

Bluefish is among the code editors equipped with a lot of features to support your work. It supports the integration of external programs such as weblint to handle error detection or top-level text processing. If you worry about speed and performance, then bluefish are here to fix your worries. Here is a list of the most outstanding or essential features offered by bluefish:

Key features

  • Lightweight
  • Fast and high performance
  • Supports multiple document interface
  • Multiple project support
  • Powerful search and replace
  • Recursive file opening
  • Multithreaded support for remote files
  • Full-screen editing
  • Unlimited redo/undo functionality
  • Site download/upload
  • Inline spell checker
  • Supports nearly every programming language
  • Customizable support for programming language
  • Zen coding support
  • Multiple encoding supports


  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Solaris

6. Brackets

Brackets is a powerful yet lightweight and modern text editor. It’s one of the contemporary open-source code editors that understand web design. Brackets are created from the ground up for front-end developers and web designers. It makes it easier to design in the browser as it supports preprocessor and focused visual tools.

Key features

  • Live preview
  • Inline editors
  • Preprocessor support
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful with reliable performance
  • Extension support
  • Beautify functionality
  • Git support
  • Autoprefixer


  • Linux
  • Windows
  • macOS

7. Phpstorm

Phpstorm is more of an IDE than a text editor. It is a cross-platform and commercial smart PHP IDE. Just like the name suggests, phpStorm supports PHP language only. It is more applicable by PHP developers, offering them a wide range of advanced features and high performance. It is perfect for working with popular frameworks such as Laravel, Joomla, WordPress, symphony, Magento, Yii, and other frameworks. Phpstorm has a thirty-day trial, after which you have to purchase the product from Jetbrains.

Key features

  • Major framework support
  • Availability of all the PHP tools
  • Inclusion of front-end technologies
  • Built-in developer tools
  • Databases/SQL support
  • Intelligent coding assistance
  • Smart code navigation
  • Safe and fast refactoring
  • Easy testing and debugging


  • Windows
  • Linux
  • macOS

8. GNU Emacs

Gnu Emacs is a free and customizable text editor. It is licensed under the GNU License and thus is entirely available for free across several platforms. GNU Emacs is here to help developers deal with some of the features that are barriers to efficiency in other text editors. Emacs is equipped with complete documentation or manuals fragments offering guidelines to beginners. It is available in various versions with regular version releases to keep it up-to-date.

Key features

  • Content-aware editing modes
  • Complete built-in documentation – tutorials for new users
  • Full Unicode support
  • Highly customizable
  • Packaging systems for extension download and install
  • Project planner, debugger interface functionalities
  • Syntax coloring for a variety of file types


  • GNU/Linux
  • Windows
  • macOS

9. Ultraedit

Like PHPstorm, UltraEdit is more of an IDE than a real text editor. Only a 30-day trial is available for free. After 30-days, you have to purchase the product. It’s among the world’s best text editors with a variety of features that surpass other editors. Ultraedit is a powerful text editor supporting quite many languages such as PHP, Python, HTML, and other languages. Its existence in the market is evident from its 25 years of usage by commercial companies and known developers. It’s a tool that developers or corporations wouldn’t hate using.

Key features

  • Multi-selection and multi-caret editing capabilities
  • HTML/Markdown real-time preview
  • Search functionality – find and replace
  • Highly customizable UI
  • Integrated SSH, Telnet, and FTP
  • Powerful themes
  • Automatic code completion
  • File compare
  • Column mode editing
  • Code syntax highlighting
  • File and data sorting
  • Robust bookmarking
  • And many more features…


  • Linux
  • Windows
  • macOS

10. Komodo IDE

Komodo is more of an IDE than a text editor. It is free registered under the ActiveState Platform and supports nearly are languages. It also supports web languages such as PHP, Perl, Golang, and many more.

Key features

  • Code intelligence with robust syntax highlighting
  • Debugging and unit testing
  • Version control functionality
  • Customizable extensions and add-ons
  • Fast workflow management
  • Activestate platform integration
  • integration
  • Live previewing


  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux

Originally posted at Intelligny - My Blog


Editor guide
maximepihin profile image
Maxim N Epikhin

Look, you write about code editors, but include IDE... How?
The difference between editor and ide is that ide is a set of a huge number of libraries to work with. There are built-in tests here, and work with GIT and debugging, and the code can be combined in one file, receiving hints for all languages at once.
A bit of a misnomer, but generally okay.

codelobster profile image

My best code editor is Codelobster -

dancsee89 profile image
Daniel Molnar

Instead of PhpStorm, I'd rather say Jetbrains IDEs (including WebStorm, IntelliJ, PyCharm etc.) Any of them would give you the same user experience:)

jkmdroid profile image
jkmdroid Author

Noted.. Thanks for your suggestions