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Text Editors

When you start programming it is quite important to choose a text editor which is right for you!
Below is a short overview over a number of different editors:

Vi Editor

Vi is an advanced text editor with syntax highlighting. Vi offers several "modes" for efficient editing. This makes vi a not very user-friendly application but it also has many advantages. The normal mode binds alphanumeric keys to task-oriented commands. The visual mode highlights text. The command-line mode offers more tools (for search and replace, etc.). It is especially useful for remotely editing files on servers.


Official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment and the default for many Linux distributions. It has syntax highlighting and is suitable for programming, with support for several languages. It is extensible with plugins.

Currently it features:

  • Full support for internationalized text (UTF-8)
  • Configurable syntax highlighting for various languages (C, C++, Java, HTML, XML, Python, Perl and many others)
  • Editing files from remote locations
  • Clipboard support (cut/copy/paste)
  • Search and replace
  • Auto indentation
  • Text wrapping


PSPad is a freeware programmers editor in 8 languages for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Some features are highlighted syntax, ftp, projects and so on. Code explorer for Pascal, C/C++, INI, HTML, XML, PHP and more in development, internal web browser with APACHE support. Installation contains templates for HTML, PHP, Pascal, JScript, VBScript, MySQL, MS-Dos, Perl.


jEdit is a mature programmer's text editor with hundreds (counting the time developing plugins) of person-years of development behind it. While jEdit beats many expensive development tools for features and ease of use, it is released as free software with full source code, provided under the terms of the GPL 2.0.


Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

Text editors vs. IDEs

IDEs provide some advantages, such as faster development of basic features and sometimes 'drag and drop' programming, but they also require some manual programming and often force you into a certain way of organising your code which might not be ideal for all projects. Let's have a look at which features Eclipse (a popular open source IDE) has over text editors:

Eclipse is an extensible development platform with runtimes and application frameworks for building, deploying and managing software across the entire software lifecycle. Many people know Eclipse as a Java IDE, but it is much more than that- Eclipse actually consists of over 60 different open-source projects which provide features for programming in many different languages.

Posted by Deniz Gruenberger at 17:57 2011-05-15 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)
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