Top 6 free code editors for web development


Web Developers need a set of tools and technologies to help them accomplish their goals. One of the most important tool for most programmers is a nice code editor. Preferably an editor which is easy to use, is feature rich (by default or through plugins/packages), support multiple programming languages and supports multiple platforms. It is even better if it is free to use.

Today we are reviewing 6 top code editors that are free to use. l am listing these in alphabetical order of name and not necessarily from best to worst as all these 6 editors are equally good with few pros and cons between them.

Everyone will have a favorite among these depending on if they prefer ease of use above feature list, or support for multiple programming languages versus better support for their preferred programming language etc.



Key Features:

  • Multiple tab and multiple pane editing
  • Find and replace across all projects
  • File system browser
  • Smart autocomplete
  • Cross-platform editing
  • Highly customizable
  • Built-in package manager
  • Every growing list of plugins

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux




Key Features:

  • Minimal yet powerful
  • Extract (extension)
  • Inline editors
  • Live preview
  • Preprocessors support
  • Growing list of extensions
  • Cross-platform editing

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux




Key Features:

  • Support for 130+ languages
  • Highly customizable
  • Support for plugins and macros
  • Multiple tab and multiple pane interface
  • Code folding and auto-complete
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Support for rectangular and multiple selection
  • Unlimited undo/redo
  • Copy and paste with an unlimited number of clipboards

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux




Key Features:

  • Lightweight (low on system resources)
  • Multi-document editing using tab interface
  • Search and replace across documents
  • Multiple languages support
  • Plugin support
  • Macro recording
  • Auto completion
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Customizable interface

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux


NetBeans IDE


Key Features:

  • Excellent Maven support provided out of the box
  • Apache Cordova integration
  • Best Support for Latest Java Technologies
  • Cross-platform editing
  • Support for IoT
  • Out of the box support for Git, Mercurial, and Subversion.
  • Highly customizable
  • Great support for HTML5 technologies and AngularJS
  • Powerful GUI builder
  • Strong Profiling and Debugging Tools

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux


Visual Studio Code


Key Features:

  • Git support provided out of the box
  • Excellent Intellisense for JavaScript and TypeScript
  • Built in task runner
  • Out of the box Linting support for HTML, JavaScript, Sass and CSS
  • Support for extensions
  • Debugging
  • Support for 30+ programming languages
  • Side-by-side editing

Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux


In Conclusion

I tried to list top 6 code editors that are open source or free to use. It is entirely possible that I may have missed few popular code editors from this list. I would love to know about them in the comments section below.

Out of the six editors listed above these three (Atom, Brackets and Visual Studio Code) seems to have a bright future not only because of their backing by big companies but also because they seems to be heading in the right direction and making good connection with new breed of web developers.

Please don’t forget to give your feedback in the comments section below.


Gaurav Chaudhary

Sr. Business Analyst at Luce & Morker
Gaurav Chaudhary is co-founder and Sr. Business Analyst at Luce & Morker.