How To Pick The Right Text-Editor

Tools are essential to do our jobs; for example, a physician needs stitches to stitch a wound, a carpenter needs a saw to cut wood, and a salesman needs an agenda to keep track of his customers’ appointments. Without tools it would be difficult or even impossible to execute simple tasks.


When it comes to writing, testing, debugging, and running code there are tools that help developers to do such tasks. Text-editors are one of those tools that help developers write code on a daily basis.


Some text-editors are free, while for others you will need to pay a one time fee, and there are others where you will have to pay on an monthly/annual basis. Picking the “right” text-editor really comes down to preference and style of work.



Here is a list of text-editors in the market and their respective links that you can use to access and download these tools:



This is my editor of choice at the moment. It’s easy to use and very customizable. It has a lot of packages that help to add functionally. You can use it for free or get the paid version.



Since this series is about PHP, I decided to include this text-editor on this list. It's one of the most expediant text-editors out there for PHP. It’s pretty much the equivalent of a Mercedes Benz, as it is top of the line and 100% customizable.



This is a free and open-source text-editor. It’s very customizable and it really is one of the best that’s 100% free.



It comes pre-installed in every Windows computer. It’s free, but like the Mac text-editor, it is really slow to write in, not customizable and it doesn’t add any functionality while writing code.



When I was beginning on my programmer journey this was my first text-editor. it was clunky, not intuitive, and hard to write in, but it got the job done, specially if you're just starting to learn about programming and writing HTML and CSS. Now that I look back, it was a good choice to use this free but slow text-editor, as it makes you appreciate your humble beginnings.


Adobe Dreamweaver:

Adobe has one of the most responsive and intuitive editors on the market, but it’s not free and you will have to get a subscription with Adobe Creative Cloud to access this tool. If you are a designer/web developer, their ecosystem with other Adobe programs is hard to match. I personally don’t use this tool, but I can see the benefits of having a well-integrated ecosystem with Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere.



One of the oldest text-editors in the market, it comes pre-installed in every Linux and MacOS terminal. It’s free to use, but complex (specially when you are just starting.) This text-editor is more for advanced users who want to increase the speed of their workflow.




If you are just beginning, I would say use the free text-editor that comes pre-installed on your computer. 


If you are a designer, photographer, or video editor that uses Adobe products, then go with Adobe Dreamweaver.


If you are an intermediate or advanced, go with PhpStorm, Sublime, or Atom.


If you want to take your game to the highest level of performance and efficiency as possible, then go with Vim (be warned, this is one of the hardest text-editors to master.)




Our target audience for this post is beginner users. With this in mind, I would like to explain something basic which is essential when writing code.


Image files have a right way to be saved; for example, an image can be saved as a .jpg. The same is true for pdf files, you need to save them under .pdf.


When it comes to code you need to use the same convention when saving files. Below is a simple table to show this concept:



File format 










By selecting the right text-editor for the stage that you are in, it will give you the right start in your journey as a developer. In the next post we are going to talk about some of the basic PHP syntax and functions.

Jose Garcia

Co-founder of coloreal, Software Developer, and Graduate from Florida International University.

Follow @ jgar186
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