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A Handful of Text Editors for Designers

14 August 2014

Designers, developers, and writers all rely on a text editor from time to time. They’re great for managing code, or even as a no-frills writing platform. This week we’re taking a look at a handful of the best text editors for designers.

NotePad ++


The original Notepad was one of the earliest text editors, commonly used on Windows. Today, Notepadd++ equips you with a plugin manager, and tons of other awesome features to better suit your coding preferences as a designer or developer. Truly a basic text editor with tons of back-end features, and it’s free of charge. Download it here.

Platform: Windows
Price: Free


Sublime Text 2

Available for all three platforms, Sublime Text 2 is known for its vast keyboard shortcuts, and its ability to  juggle between multiple projects with the ease. Sublime Text is just an all around solid general text editor. With its release came a ton of new features. You can read the full channel log here for a more in-depth explanation of every feature. While you can download and test the basic features of Sublime, a license will have to be purchased for further use. Download it here and check out Sublime Text 3 Beta!

Platform: Windows/Linux/OS X
Price: Free or $70 for license



Online or off-line, this open source text editor allows you to work directly within the web browser of your choice. This leaves you with just one tool to create a website (your browser), and also allows you to test your work on an actual web server. This especially useful for the website development editing process, making it especially quick and easy to maintain. With ICEcoder being opensource, you can use it from any machine or platform that has access to the internet. Download it here.

Platform: Windows/Linux/OS X
Price: Free



Bluefish is a very minimal and designer friendly text editor. It offers support for; HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, Javascript, Php and more. If you wish to read in more detail check out all of the features here. Bluefish has a ton of convenient tools built it such as; Search and Find, and Code Folding. Lastly, Bluefish supports document templates – It has functions to add CSS, tables, forms, video and audio objects. Bluefish can also function assist in quick tag editing and previewing of the current project. Download it here.

Platform: Windows/Linux/OS X
Price: Free



Brought to you by the folks over at Github, they’ve developed a solid and customizable text editor. Atom “A hackable text editor for the 21st Century”, was developed to be easy to use straight from the installation, while still being easy to expand through various packages. Recently releasing itself from its “invite only private beta”, has now made Atom officially to the public for free. Download it here.

Platform: Windows 7 & 8/ OS X 10.8 or later
Price: Free

The default text editors that computers typically come with do not really fill all of the needs of a designer or developer. At Compass, Bobby and Andrea prefer using Sublime and Notepad++, but everyone has their own unique preference. There isn’t necessarily a “best” text editor out there. Experiment with a few of the options we’ve listed above, maybe research a few others on your own, and eventually you’ll find which text editor suits your design/coding needs best.