Every software needs an editor to write code on. Every developer irrespective of their experience have a preference of code editor where they write the code. Some editors support only one or two languages. Some editors support multiple languages and platforms as well.

1: Notepad++ is a free and open source code editor for Windows. It is easy to use for beginners and highly powerful for advanced users. It comes with syntax highlighting for many languages including PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It also comes with a built-in FTP plugin that allows you to connect to your server and edit files directly without leaving the editor.

2: TextWrangler came out of the popular BBEdit text editor. This powerful and feature rich text editor is a freeware. It comes with a very intuitive user interface that makes it super easy to browse files and work on projects. It has advanced search and replace tools, and it can directly edit and save files to FTP, SFTP servers. It offers syntax highlighting for many programming languages, fully supports utf-8, and even allows you to convert character encoding of text documents.

3: Microsoft Visual Studio – Well, this is the heavy version of Visual Studio. It can be used for compiling simple programs of C++ to building super heavy cloud-based applications for Azure. It can also be used to developer UWP apps for Windows 10 PC, Windows 10 Mobile, HoloLens, Mixed Reality and every other Microsoft platform. This can also be used to develop UWP, Android and iOS apps using Xamarin.

Support for extensions and it’s availability on MacOS machines makes it even more powerful. Although you need a Mac to emulate an iOS app developed in Xamarin with Xamarin Live Player, you can emulate it wirelessly to your iOS device like your iPhone and iPad too.

It has three editions that are available publically. The first one is the Community which is free for users to use but lacks some functionality from other counterparts. The second one is the Professional edition. This one has more features than the community version but less than the third one. The Professional version is not free and has a fee. The third edition is Enterprise edition. It is the most fully loaded edition of Visual Studio with most powerful services like Visual Studio Team Foundation services and more. You can learn more about it here on the official page.

4: Visual Studio Code is a lightweight IDE from the same team at Microsoft which makes the Visual Studio IDE. But this is different. You get a lot of different types of languages being supported. You can code for PHP, Javascript, Typescript, C, C Plus Plus, C Sharp and many more. Features like IntelliSense makes it far more helpful for developeers and helps them to fix typing mistakes.

5: jEdit, a program for Windows, Mac OS X, OS/2, Linux, BSD, Unix and VMS, is said to be for mature programmers only. Written in Java, it is open source and supports hundreds of plugins and macros. The main window can be split horizontally or vertically and also comes with “auto indent, and syntax highlighting for more than 130 languages.” There are many customization options for making everything from the dock to the status bar to the toolbar look and feel exactly the way you want. You can even “copy and paste with an unlimited number of clipboards.”

Programming languages supported include: ActionScript, ColdFusion, LOTOS, Ruby, Python and COBOL.

6: Atom – From developers of Github, Atom is an open source text editor that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core. Atom can be customized to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file. Best feature of Atom is it’s built-in package manager, you can search for and install new packages, or if you are that kind of developer you can create your own and share to community. From my personal point of view I think Atom is the most used Code editors within this list of best free code editors for web developers.

Key features:

  • Cross-platform editing. Atom works across operating systems. You can use it on OS X, Windows, or Linux.
  • Built-in package manager. Choose from thousands of open source packages that add new features and functionality to Atom—or build a package from scratch and publish it for everyone else to use.
  • Smart auto-completion. Atom helps you write code faster with a smart, flexible autocomplete.
  • File system browser. Easily browse and open a single file, a whole project, or multiple projects in one window.
  • Multiple panes. Split your Atom interface into multiple panes to compare and edit code across files.
  • Find and replace. Find, preview, and replace text as you type in a file or across all your projects.
  • Themes. Atom comes pre-installed with four UI and eight syntax themes in both dark and light colors. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also install themes created by the Atom community or create your own.

7: EditPad Lite is another Windows-only, general-purpose text editor and is written in 10 different languages. It was built with Delphi and is small, compact and free for non-commercial use only. So, if you will be getting paid for the work that you do with it, then you’ll need to purchase EditPadPro. Features are limited, but it does have tabbed editing, can remain running in the system tray, supports auto indenting and can be configured to suit your own taste and eyesight.

EditPad Lite also resembles Notepad with the exception of the formatting toolbar and tabs.

8: Brackets is a modern text editor that makes it easy to design in the browser. It’s crafted from the ground up for web designers and front-end developers. Brackets has been a best tool for Front-end web designers because of it’s integration with other Adobe products like Photoshop. It is one of the most used code editors used for PSD to HTML conversion, hence it is on our list of best free code editors for web developers.

Key Features:

  • Inline Editors. Instead of jumping between file tabs, Brackets lets you open a window into the code you care about most. Want to work on the CSS that applies to a specific ID? Put your mouse cursor on that ID, push Command / Ctrl+E and Brackets will show you all the CSS selectors with that ID in an inline window so you can work on your code side-by-side without any popups.
  • Live Preview. Brackets helps you get a real-time connection to your browser. Make changes to CSS and HTML and instantly see those changes on screen. Also see where your CSS selector is being applied in the browser by simply putting your cursor on it.
  • Preprocessor Support. Works with preprocessors in a whole new way. With Brackets you can use Quick Edit and Live Highlight with your LESS and SCSS files which will make working with them easier than ever.
  • JS Refactoring. JavaScript specific code refactoring functionality.