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)
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.
3. Smultron (Available on Mac OS)
Smultron is an open source text editor for Mac OS X that is designed for both beginning and advanced users. It is written in Objective-C using the Cocoa API. It is able to edit and save many different file types, and has syntax highlighting support for many popular programming languages including C, C++, LISP, Java, Python, Ruby, HTML, XML, CSS, and D. It is released to the public as free software under an Apache License.
4. ConTEXT (Available on Windows)
5. Notepad2 (Available for Windows)
6. 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!.
7. 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
8. 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.
9. 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.
10 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.