Source code editors are the programs that allow for code creation and editing.

Any text editor can be used to write code. But dedicated code editors offer many useful features, including: text completion, markup coloring, and tabs/panes for side-by-side editing. These features can be useful even to new users who don’t know their way around all of the advanced options.

There are many, many editors available to download or use online, both paid and free. They offer many of the same core-features, but each have their own subtleties. Further research may help find the one that’s right for you.

The following editors are all cross-platform and are free to use or check out.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text Icon
Sublime Text Screenshot

Sublime Text is a very popular editor that has been around since 2008. There are many options and extensions available, and a lot of help available online to help set it up.

(The license for continued use costs $70. However, Sublime Text is free to
download and evaluate, with a nag-screen pop-up.)


Brackets Icon
Brackets Screenshot

Brackets is a relatively new open-source editor by Adobe. It is very user friendly, especially for people who aren’t used to command-line interfaces or JSON-style settings/preferences.

Extensions and themes are quick and easy to find and install through the Extension Manager.


Atom Icon
Atom Screenshot

Atom is an open source editor, developed by GitHub. Like Sublime Text, Atom is quite popular.

It is very configurable (“hackable”, as they say) but advanced features may
be overwhelming to new users. There is also plenty of helpful documentation availble online.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code Icon
Visual Studio Code Screenshot

Visual Studio Code is a source code editor developed by Microsoft in 2015, and is now one of the most well-known code editors for web development.

It supports many programming languages, and like the others you can download plugins or extensions to make it more configurable for your coding style. Its main features are:

  • IntelliSense - For syntax highlighting, autocomplete, functions definitions and smart complete.
  • Debugging - Be able to debug using break points, call stacks and an interactive console.
  • Build-in Git - Review diffs, stage files, make commits, push and pull, all available in the editor.
  • Extensions - Install extensions to add new languages, themes, debuggers, and connect additional services.