Top 10 FREE Text editors

Text, Source editors are always needed and editors with lots of features always a best companion for a developer. Here we list some of the very best 10 free Text/Source editors. All these editors are customizable, support multiple file formats, syntax highlighting, compiler integration support and are followed by a huge user base.

If you feel that we have missed out any editors that deserve to be here, please add a comment and we will review it.

1. Bluefish (Available on Linux, Mac OS, Solaris)


Bluefish is an agile, light weight development editor that can support development in HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, PHP, C, Javascript, Java, SQL, Perl, ColdFusion, JSP, Python, Ruby, and shell. Bluefish absolute full fledged IDE that works as a text editor for developers. Bluefish has a good user base and growing popular everyday.


2. Notepad++ (Available on Windows)


Notepad++ is a powerful free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages including C, C++, C#, Java, XML, HTML, Java Script, CSS, PHP, Perl and many more. It supports a lot of features like Syntax Coloring, WYSIWYG editor, Auto Completion, Multi-view, Multi-Document, Brace and Indent support, drag and drop, Regular expression search and many more. It even supports Macro recording and playback. Too much from a text editor, isn’t it? That’s the reason why it has been downloaded 13 million times from its sourceforge website.

800px-Notepad  _screenshot2

3. ConTEXT (Available on Windows)


ConTEXT is a small, fast and powerful freeware text editor, developed to serve as a secondary tool for software developers. It has built-in syntax highlighters for C/C++, Delphi/Pascal, FORTRAN, 80×86 assembler, Java, JavaScript, Visual Basic, Perl/CGI, HTML, SQL, Python, PHP, Tcl/Tk, and its own syntax highlighter definition language. Other features are code templates and the ability to work with several document windows using the Multiple Document Interface.


4. Notepad2 (Available for Windows)

Notepad2 is an free open-source text editor for Microsoft Windows, is written by Florian Balmer using the Scintilla editor component. It features syntax highlighting for the following computer languages: ASP, Assembly, C, C++, C#, CGI, CSS, HTML, Java, JavaScript, NSIS, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, SQL, VB, VBScript, XHTML and XML.


5. Vim (Available on all platforms)


Vim (Vi IMproved) is one of the most widely used text editors on the planet. It has several variants like GVim, GVim portable for Windows, MacVim for Mac OS. There is a modern version of Vim called Cream. Vim does not need any introduction!.


6. PSPad editor (Avaliable on Windows)


PSPad editor is a windows freeware text editor and source editor for programmers.

PSPad has many software development-oriented features, such as syntax highlighting and hex editing. It is designed as a universal GUI for editing many languages including PHP, Perl, HTML, and Java. It integrates the use of many project formats for handling and saving multiple files. Other features include autocompletion, tabs, FTP client and find/replace using regular expressions


7. JEdit (Available on all platforms)


JEdit is a programmers editor written in Java that beats many commercial editors in many ways. JEdit includes Syntax highlighting that provides native support for over 130 file formats like C++, Java, C#, PHP etc. It combines the best functionality of Unix, Windows and Mac OS text editors. Detailed supported file formats are here.


8. XEmacs (Available for Windows, Mac OS and Unix like platforms)


XEmacs is a graphical- and console-based text editor which runs on almost any Unix-like operating system as well as Microsoft Windows. XEmacs is a highly customizable open source text editor and application development system, a fork of GNU Emacs from the late 1980s. It supports syntax highlighting, compiler integration and many more features are supported. There is even a never ending debate on Vim versus XEmacs among users. Nevertheless, XEmacs as well as Vim are very powerful editors.


9 KWrite (Available for KDE/Linux)

KWrite is a text ediotr for the KDE environment that supports code folding, syntax coloring, word completion etc for languages like Java, C++, PHP etc.


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  1. Pedro says:

    What About Netbeans?

  2. OpenTube says:

    Well, Netbeans is more of a Java IDE. It supports C/C++ etc too. Of course can be a text editor too.

  3. prem ypi says:

    I feel notepad++ being Open source, needs to be on the top of it. Personally i enjoy TextMate (Mac) as best light-weight editor so far!

  4. OpenTube says:

    Thanks for your comments Prem. Yeah, notepad is quite powerful. But, BlueFish is gaining more popularity now.

  5. OpenTube says:

    by the way, BlueFish is Open Source too.

  6. Murali says:

    Nedit is another good editor.. for data manipulation..

  7. jane says:

    Cool blog, enjoy following it greatly!

  8. Chris says:

    I vote for TotalEdit – A very decent text editor. Free!

  9. well.. you put KWrite, and forgot to mention gedit! 😉

  10. Cece says:

    I have a catalog that i’m uploading the pic’s and descriptions to my web site, but I need to add or delete some of the text…does anyone know of a free text editor I can download for Windows Vista?

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  17. Notepad ++ hits the packl.

  18. Stas says:

    For PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript i use and recommend Codelobster PHP Edition (

  19. Ejaz Ahmed says:

    Thanks for the list and review.

  20. Cheryl says:

    Are any of the editors able to tell you if you are missing a (” ‘ ,)? I have downloaded quite a few notepad++ conTEXT and they still won’t alert me if I am missing parenthesis.

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