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    Text editor - The Full Wiki

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    An example of a text editor, Vim

    A text editor is a type of program used for editing plain text files .

    Plain text files vs. word processor files

    A box of punch cards with several program decks.

    Before text editors existed, computer text was punched into punched cards with keypunch machines. The text was carried as a physical box of these thin cardboard cards, and read into a card-reader.

    The first text editors were line editors oriented on typewriter style terminals and they did not provide a window or screen-oriented display. They usually had very short commands (to minimize typing) that reproduced the current line. Among them were a command to print a selected section(s) of the file on the typewriter (or printer ) in case of necessity. An "edit cursor", an imaginary insertion point, could be moved by special commands that operated with line numbers of specific text strings (context). Later, the context strings were extended to regular expressions. To see the changes, the file needed to be printed on the printer. These "line-based text editors" were considered revolutionary improvements over keypunch machines. In case typewriter-based terminals were not available, they were adapted to keypunch equipment. In this case the user needed to punch the commands into the separate deck of cards and feed them into the computer in order to edit the file.

    When computer terminals with video screens became available, screen-based text editors became common. One of the earliest "full screen" editors was O26 - which was written for the operator console of the CDC 6000 series machines in 1967. Another early full screen editor is vi. Written in the 1970s, vi is still a standard editor for Unix and Linux operating systems. The productivity of editing using full-screen editors (compared to the line-based editors) motivated many of the early purchases of video terminals.

    Types of text editors

    Some text editors are small and simple, while others offer a broad and complex range of functionality. For example, Unix and Unix-like operating systems have the vi editor (or a variant), but many also include the Emacs editor. Microsoft Windows systems come with the very simple Notepad. though many peopleespecially programmersprefer to use one of many other Windows text editors with more features. Under Apple Macintosh 's classic Mac OS there was the native SimpleText. which was replaced under OSX by TextEdit. Some editors, such as WordStar. have dual operating modes allowing them to be either a text editor or a word processor.

    Text editors geared for professional computer users place no limit on the size of the file being opened. In particular, they start quickly even when editing large files, and are capable of editing files that are too large to fit the computer's main memory. Simpler text editors often just read files into an array in RAM. On larger files this is a slow process, and very large files often do not fit.

    The ability to read and write very large files is needed by many professional computer users. For example, system administrators may need to read long log files. Programmers may need to change large source code files, or examine unusually large texts, such as an entire dictionary placed in a single file.

    Some text editors include specialized computer languages to customize the editor (programmable editors). For example, Emacs can be customized by programming in Lisp. These usually permit the editor to simulate the keystroke combinations and features of other editors, so that users do not have to learn the native command combinations.

    Another important group of programmable editors use REXX as their scripting language. These editors permit entering both commands and REXX statements directly in the command line at the bottom of the screen (can be hidden and activated by a keystroke). These editors are usually referred to as "orthodox editors", and most representatives of this class are derivatives of XEDIT. IBM's editor for VM/CMS. Among them are THE. Kedit, SlickEdit. X2, Uni-edit, UltraEdit. and Sedit. Some vi derivatives such as Vim also support folding as well as macro languages, and have a command line at the bottom for entering commands. They can be considered another branch of the family of orthodox editors.

    Many text editors for software developers include source code syntax highlighting and automatic completion to make programs easier to read and write. Programming editors often permit one to select the name of a subprogram or variable, and then jump to its definition and back. Often an auxiliary utility like ctags is used to locate the definitions.

    Typical features
    • String searching algorithm search string with a replacement string. Different methods are employed, Global(ly) Search And Replace, Conditional Search and Replace, Unconditional Search and Replace.
    • Cut, copy, and paste most text editors provide methods to duplicate and move text within the file, or between files.
    • Text formatting Text editors often provide basic formatting features like line wrap. auto-indentation. bullet list formatting, comment formatting. and so on.
    • Undo and redo As with word processors, text editors will provide a way to undo and redo the last edit. Oftenespecially with older text editorsthere is only one level of edit history remembered and successively issuing the undo command will only "toggle" the last change. Modern or more complex editors usually provide a multiple level history such that issuing the undo command repeatedly will revert the document to successively older edits. A separate redo command will cycle the edits "forward" toward the most recent changes. The number of changes remembered depends upon the editor and is often configurable by the user.
    • Data transformation Reading or merging the contents of another text file into the file currently being edited. Some text editors provide a way to insert the output of a command issued to the operating system's shell .
    • Filtering Some advanced text editors allow the editor to send all or sections of the file being edited to another utility and read the result back into the file in place of the lines being "filtered". This, for example, is useful for sorting a series of lines alphabetically or numerically, doing mathematical computations, and so on.
    • Syntax highlighting contextually highlights software code and other text that appears in an organized or predictable format.
    Specialised editors

    Some editors include special features and extra functions, for instance,

    • Source code editors are text editors with additional functionality to facilitate the production of source code. These often feature user-programmable syntax highlighting, and coding tools or keyboard macros similar to an HTML editor (see below).
    • Folding editors. This subclass includes so-called "orthodox editors" that are derivatives of Xedit. The specialized version of folding is usually called outlining (see below).
    • IDEs (integrated development environments) are designed to manage and streamline larger programming projects. They are usually only used for programming as they contain many features unnecessary for simple text editing.
    • World Wide Web programmers are offered a variety of text editors dedicated to the task of web development. These create the plain text files that deliver web pages. HTML editors include: Dreamweaver. E (text editor). Microsoft FrontPage. HotDog. Homesite. Nvu. Tidy, GoLive. and BBedit. Many offer the option of viewing a work in progress on a built-in web browser .
    • Mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists often produce articles and books using TeX or LaTeX in plain text files. Such documents are often produced by a standard text editor, but some people use specialized TeX editors .
    • Outliners. Also called tree-based editors, because they combine a hierarchical outline tree with an text editor. Folding (see above) can generally be considered a generalized form of outlining.

    Best Free Text Editors

    Best Free Text Editors

    What do you need to write? a pencil and a page. But can you write anything on your PC with these stationary?Of course, answer is a NO. That's why, text editors are made for. These are tiny programs which provide you thousands of pages; text editor clean interface ; & never disposable pencil; your keystrokes on the keyboard .

    Have you ever imagined to see yourself as an ethical hacker, writting thousands lines of text in an alien language of keyboard characters or watched movies of advanced technology, hacking-penetrating into security systems of huge IT industries, with a man working on a strange machine with green columns of keyboard characters moving vertically throughout the whole screen with mysterious dark background. Yes? cool. It will be interesting then to inform you that they actually are using a form of text editors used in past; terminal text-editors.

    Beside these bad text editors, there are a lot more user friendly and pleasing text editors we see now a days, commonly notepad which is built in Windows text editor and gedit which is more popular among Linux users. If you're more familiar with text editors and know about HTML Text editor which is used for creating web documentation, you should see our http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-html-editor.htm. If a programming text editor is major requirement then you should see ourhttp://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-programming-editor.htm .

    HTML Text Editor

    HTML Text Editor

    Use this HTML text editor to generate HTML text codes for your website or blog. The toolbar includes text-specific buttons. This makes it easy to create bold text, italic, lists, set text alignment, color text, and more. Go on, try it!

    Also see this Text Generator. And to format more than just text, see the full-blown online html editor .

    This online HTML editor requires JavaScript to run. Your browser either doesn't support JavaScript, or JavaScript is currently disabled (via preferences or options). Because of this, you will see the raw HTML code instead of the rich text / WYSIWYG editor.

    To view the rich text / WYSIWYG editor, please enable JavaScript (or use a browser that supports JavaScript).

    Understanding the Toolbar

    If you have trouble understanding the buttons on the toolbar, just hover over the button - a tooltip will pop up.

    In case you don't see the tooltip, here's what the icons stand for (in order of the icons):

    10 Great Reasons Why Youll Love This Text Editor

    10 Great Reasons Why Youll Love This Text Editor

    For some NoteTab is the ideal Notepad replacement for others its the most versatile text editor or the fastest HTML editor. What will it be for you?

    Its tough. There are so many text editors out there. How do you know which one is right for you? Perhaps youve been recommended NoteTab? No matter what brought you here, one things for sure. You want to know if NoteTab is going to be your next editor, right?

    This may surprise you. We recently spent several days testing 18 of the most popular text editors. Why? Because theres no point telling you about NoteTab features that the others have too. We only want to share with you things that make NoteTab unique and help you get more done in less time.

    In a moment, were going to reveal to you the 10 most significant features that have turned NoteTab into one of the most awarded text editors ever. But first an interesting fact in case youve never heard of NoteTab before.

    The tab bar. Its a feature users have always loved about NoteTab. Open as many files as you like, each one with its own tab. Rearrange tabs any way you like in the convenient tab bar.

    the best text editor out there.

    PC World (USA) We could write an entire magazine about how wonderful NoteTab is and all the things you can do with it. This is, simply, one of the most excellent pieces of software ever created.

    SA Computer Magazine

    Ten Reasons Why Youll Love NoteTab

    Okay, heres the information youve been waiting for. So read on.

    1. Search and Replace thats Blazingly Fast and Flexible.

    Did you know that search and replace are amongst the most frequently used features in a text editor? Theyre essential. So we were quite surprised to discover how incomplete these tools are in many of the editors we tested. Not so in NoteTab.

    What do you get with our software? Blazingly fast and flexible search and replace tools. You can search and replace in:

    • a selection of text
    • a whole document
    • all open documents
    • even unopened files on your drive

    But thats not all.

    Need to search or replace with text that includes line breaks? You can do that in NoteTab!

    Or how about searching with easy-to-use wildcards. With NoteTab you can. For example, type not* and youll find all the words that start with those three letters. Like not, notes, notify and Notepad.

    Want another example? Search for w?? and youll find all three-letter words that start with w. For example, web, who, why and win.

    Not a single one of the 18 editors we tested has wildcard searching!

    If youre a power user, youll love using regular expressions in NoteTab. This feature is based on the top-of-the-line PCRE engine. PCRE is far more powerful than POSIX and many classic regular expression engines.

    Do you often repeat the same search and replace chores over and over again? Wouldnt it be great if you could save them for easy reuse? Guess what with NoteTab you can! In fact, you can even assign them to a button in the toolbar. Neat, isnt it?

    It is the single most used program on my computer. I just trained another person and it is incredible to watch their power increase as they learned regular expression searches and then began to understand clips.

    Don Passenger (USA)

    2. Magically Capture Text Copied to the Clipboard.

    Copy and pasting is another feature that is constantly used in a text editor. Think about this. How do you collect data from various sources like web pages and other documents? Heres how most people do it:

    1. Click on the window that has the data you need.
    2. Select and copy the data to the clipboard .
    3. Click on your text editor.
    4. Paste the data.
    5. Repeat steps 1 to 4

    NoteTab has a feature called the Paste Board. Once you turn it on, any text you copy to the clipboard is automatically pasted into your chosen document. Heres how data collection works in NoteTab:

    1. Click on the window that has the data you need.
    2. Select and copy the data.
    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2

    Youll save so much time not having to constantly switch between applications. Try it! Were sure youll love this feature.

    I use it all the time to collect information by cutting and pasting into Notetab files, and I recommend NoteTab Pro.

    Jerry Pournelle, Chaos Manor (USA)

    3. Reusable Text Snippets and Macros.

    Heres what PC Magazine (US edition) says about NoteTab: One of the products most useful features is the Clipbook, which is a collection of pastable text snippets, each associated with header text. Were thrilled PC Magazine likes NoteTab so much (they even gave us an award). But our Clipbook feature is much more than that.

    In fact, the Clipbook is such a powerful tool we could write a book about it. Dont worry, we wont. Well just cover the highlights here. Read on.

    At its most basic, you can use the Clipbook to store frequently used text snippets (we call them Clips). Reusing a snippet is as simple as dragging it into your document, or double-clicking to insert it at the current document position.

    You can organize your collections of snippets in convenient Clip Libraries. Sharing your libraries with other NoteTab users is easy.

    If youre a copywriter, boost your productivity by converting your swipe files to Clip Libraries. Just think of the convenience of having your favorite boilerplate text cleanly organized and ready for use. All just a click away.

    And thats not all. You can add simple tokens to your snippets to make them do special things. Like wrap text around a selection in your document (we use this trick to wrap HTML tags around selected text). Or add a dialog box with your own data fields to complete a snippet before its inserted into your document (we use this extensively in our HTML libraries).

    But theres more still. NoteTab includes its own scripting language. And its simple enough that non-programmers can create their own scripts. But if you do need help, just ask the experts at our free forum. Theyre more than happy to give a helping hand (or even do it for you if you ask nicely). This opens up possibilities limited only by your imagination.

    Scripts can do all kinds of things. Launch and interact with other programs, change or reformat the clipboard contents, calculate, play sounds, pop up reminders, and more. Use scripts to extend NoteTabs text processing capabilities. You can even create buttons in the toolbar for your favorite scripts. Its so easy!

    Scripts are ideal for adding custom-made text processing capabilities to NoteTab. Either for speeding up boring repetitive tasks, or for complex jobs that would normally require specialized software. Save yourself money by creating your own tools directly in NoteTab.

    4. Packed with Handy Utilities.

    NoteTab includes tools you wouldnt expect to find in a text editor. For example, type a mathematical expression in NoteTab, click Ctrl+E and it will give you the answer. Trigonometric functions are supported too. No need for a calculator.

    NoteTab also comes with several very useful Clip Libraries. Some are for web development and include support for HTML5 and CSS3 (see our HTML Editing page to learn more). Others autocorrect as you type, pop up reminders, and more

    Theres also a Utilities library packed with tools that can replace other programs. Including:

    1. Unit converters (lbs to kg, inches to cm, Fahrenheit to Celsius )
    2. Mortgage rate calculator
    3. Password generator
    4. Data encryption and decryption
    5. Uuencoding and uudecoding
    6. Hash generator (using SHA1, MD5, or CRC32)
    7. URL extraction from a web page

    Just wanted to say this is a great program. Truly feature-laden, with things I always wanted in a text editor but didnt even know it!

    Mark Williams (USA) This is an incredibly feature-rich program I recommend it unreservedly.

    Peter Royle, Neat Net Tricks (Canada)

    5. Organize Your Notes in the Integrated Two-Pane Outliner.

    Unlike other text editors, NoteTab integrates a two-pane outliner. The left pane displays the table of contents and the right pane shows the selected items text. All this information is conveniently stored in single plain-text file (we call it an Outline file). You can create and simultaneously open as many Outline files as you like just like regular text files.

    You can easily add hyperlinks in your text to create shortcuts to any spot in your Outline document (to a different topic or a specific place in the text). But theres more! You can also create hyperlinks to other documents. And to websites. And even to programs.

    Unlike traditional outliners, NoteTab uses a single-level hierarchy instead of a tree hierarchy. Why? To keep Outline files clear of cryptic code. This means you can open and view them easily in any other editor.

    Use NoteTabs outliner to help you organize your notes. If youre an author, use it to manage your book chapters. If youre into cooking, use it to collect your recipes. And if youre a copywriter or internet marketer, use it for your swipe files. Can you think of other uses?

    6. English Thesaurus and Multilingual Spell Checker Included.

    Nowadays, most text editors include a spell checker. NoteTabs spell checker is multilingual with 13 different language dictionaries. Including three English versions: American, British and Australian.

    We thought most competing editors include a thesaurus tool. But no. Out of the 18 we tested, only one did. NoteTab integrates the well-known Roget's thesaurus, so finding synonyms and related words is quick and easy.

    7. Instant Word Count and Text Statistics.

    Have you ever had to write a story or document with a specific number of words? Or do you charge for your work by the number of words you write? If so, you know how helpful it is to have a word count readily available. NoteTab can count all the words in your document, or just a text selection. In real time. Just turn it on and it shows up in the status bar.

    You have a choice between two counting methods: Microsoft Words which usually underestimates the count, or NoteTabs own which is more realistic. Whichever you choose, both are extremely fast and count words as you type. How fast? Well it took NoteTab less than 1/20th of a second to count the Complete Works of William Shakespeare in its entirety. Thats 887,669 words more than in the King James version of the Bible!

    With a single click, you can instantly get more information: the number of sentences, the average number of words per sentence, and the average number of characters per word. This information is essential in determining how legible your text is. Copywriters love it.

    But thats not all. If you need to do more detailed text analysis, NoteTab can calculate the frequency of every word it contains. It took less than 4 seconds with Shakespeares complete works. Each word is listed with its frequency and total percentage compared to other words. You can save the list to a text file or copy it to an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis.

    Heres a fun question for you. Any idea whats the most frequently used 5-letter word in Shakespeares works? Its shall, which is used 3590 times. Should comes up 1572 times and is the most common 6-letter word. It took just a few seconds to find using NoteTabs wildcard search.

    While that might not be the kind of information you want to extract, its a good example of NoteTabs powerful capabilities. See if you can do that with another text editor!

    8. All the Text Conversion and Reformatting Tools You Need.

    A text editor is only as useful as its conversion and reformatting tools. NoteTab probably has more than any other text editor. Youll get the usual ones like changing character case, reformatting lines (join, split, indent, alignment, sort, trim ), and changing file format (line breaks, character encoding )

    But NoteTab also includes less common tools that are extremely useful. For example:

    1. Text to HTML conversion (which is the fastest way to create a web page).
    2. HTML to text conversion.
    3. HTML tags to uppercase, lowercase, XHTML and XML.
    4. Quote or unquote email messages.

    NoteTab is always open. I use it for editing HTML, copying/pasting formatted text into unformatted form, note taking, comparing files, running clips.

    Ray Shapp (USA)

    9. What About Portability?

    Good news! NoteTab is a totally portable app. Simply copy it to a USB flash drive and take it along with you wherever you need it. And it wont leave any trace on the computer you run it on. Isnt that great?

    10. NoteTab is Lean, Fast, and Reliable.

    NoteTab has been around since 1996. Thats quite a bit longer than most other text editors available today. Not only does it pack in many years of experience, but it has been extensively tested on many different kinds of systems. Its rock solid.

    At Fookes Software we work hard to develop high quality code that is bloat-free and highly optimized for speed. As a result you benefit from a product that is lean, fast, and reliable.

    This quality is recognized by leading software reviewers and, of course, by NoteTab users. Even by our competitors whove copied (but rarely equaled) many of our innovative features.

    NoteTab has won awards from PC Magazine, PC World and WUGNET. Its also won the Shareware Industry Awards 3 times. But were especially proud of our 6 Peoples Choice Awards.

    In fact no other text editor has won this many prestigious awards.

    I havent had a single crash, and as Ive mentioned, I stay in NoteTab ALL day EVERY day

    Jon McGuire (USA) On my computer, it was rock-solid and glitch-free during the three months of extensive testing.

    Mark Snyder, Neat Net Tricks (USA)

    What About NoteTabs Weaknesses?

    Is NoteTab the best tool for everybody? To be perfectly honest the answer is no. There are a few things that some other editors do better than NoteTab.

    For example, NoteTab cannot edit Unicode files with special characters and symbols that dont co-exist within one of the ANSI character sets. However, thats not a problem with the vast majority of ANSI, ASCII, UTF-8, and Unicode text files NoteTab will do a fine job editing them.

    Furthermore, NoteTab only offers syntax highlighting for HTML, XML, and CSS files. If you need syntax highlighting for JavaScript, PHP, C++ or other programming languages, then NoteTab is not for you.

    And if you value appearance over functionality, then NoteTab is probably not for you either. Our priority is high-quality productivity features and backwards compatibility. Weve worked hard to make sure NoteTab runs on as many Windows versions as possible, including the older ones. As a result we cant always choose the best looking components.

    We know NoteTab isnt perfect. Theres always room for improvements. Thats why we continually work to make it better.

    Eric Fookes, Fookes Software Ltd (CH)

    Is NoteTab the Best Text Editor for You?

    Heres what SA Computer Magazine has to say:

    We could write an entire magazine about how wonderful NoteTab is and all the things you can do with it. This is, simply, one of the most excellent pieces of software ever created. and what it does, it does with simplicity and grace.

    And PC Plus magazine:

    Whether youre simply looking for a program to replace Microsofts lamentable Notepad, or if youre after an advanced text editor that can handle HTML editing or any other text editing task, then NoteTab is the perfect tool for the job.

    Wed like to think youll feel the same way.

    But the best way to find out is with our 30-day free trial. Download it now! We wont ask for your personal or credit card details. And youll be up and running in minutes.

    No doubt about it, once youve discovered NoteTabs unique features youll be amazed how much more youll get done in less time. Try it!

    This is a truly awesome text editor.

    Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com Guide (USA) It will fast become one of your essential tools, and we cant recommend it highly enough.

    SA Computer Magazine (SA) NoteTab Pro is another of those utilities that once you have tried it, you wont go back.

    Jerry Pournelle, BYTE Magazine Im trying to switch to Linux and by golly, NoteTab is the only thing keeping me in Windows.

    Nadine (Haiti)

    Your Money Back if youre Not 100% Satisfied!

    Were so sure youll love NoteTab that well fully refund your order if youre not completely satisfied, for whatever reason, within 90 days. Youve got nothing to lose!

    Dont wait any longer. Get your personal copy of NoteTab now and become a proud new member of the smart and savvy NoteTab community.

    We are very impressed with your commitment to your products and appreciate the strong customer support.

    Jason Rappoport (USA)

    Its Easy to Order!

    Ordering NoteTab is easy, fast and safe. You can pay by credit card, PayPal or wire transfer. Youll receive a download link to the setup file as soon as your order is completed. Usually in a matter of seconds.

    A single-user license costs just $39.95 US (thats less than 80 cents per week for a year). Quantity discounts are available and automatically applied.

    A license is valid indefinitely. Minor updates are free and you get a 50% upgrade discount if you choose to buy the next major version. And best of all, you can run NoteTab on several computers as long as youre the only user, and only one copy is used at a time.

    Click on the button below to get started

    never had a program that was worth its money so much.

    Ben vant Ende (NL) It used to be said that no one ever got fired for buying IBM; NoteTab Pro has a similar reputation.

    Keith Russell (USA)

    Special Offer for a Limited Time Only

    Buy NoteTab now and youll immediately get a special 20% discount. But hurry! This special offer is only valid for a few hours..

    It will fast become one of your essential tools, and we cant recommend it highly enough.

    SA Computer Magazine (SA)

    So remember. NoteTab is packed with time-saving productivity tools that you wont find in any other text editor youd have to buy several to come close. NoteTab is fast and reliable and grows with you.

    Your number one benefit with NoteTab? Get more done in less time.

    Furthermore, NoteTab is the only editor with so many prestigious awards. Including 6 Peoples Choice Awards. How about that for peace of mind!

    You too can join the smart and savvy community of NoteTabbers. Buy your license now and start enjoying our prize-winning software within minutes. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

    Many of the About Guides use NoteTab Pro, and for the price, I recommend it, too.

    Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com Guide (USA) This is an incredibly feature-rich program I recommend it unreservedly.

    Peter Royle, Neat Net Tricks (Canada) NoteTab is the first program I install on a new computer.

    Tony Hirtenstein (UK)

    Fookes Software is a Limited (Ltd) company based in Charmey, in the Swiss Pre-Alps.

    YUI 2: Rich Text Editor

    YUI 2: Rich Text Editor

    The Rich Text Editor is a UI control that replaces a standard HTML textarea; it allows for the rich formatting of text content, including common structural treatments like lists, formatting treatments like bold and italic text, and drag-and-drop inclusion and sizing of images. The Rich Text Editor's toolbar is extensible via a plugin architecture so that advanced implementations can achieve a high degree of customization.

    In order to give you the greatest possible control over the size and performance of the Rich Text Editor codebase, we provide two versions of the Editor module and two versions of the buttons that live on the Toolbar:

    • Editor: Editor contains all features described on this page;
    • SimpleEditor: SimpleEditor contains a subset of Editor's features. (See "Choosing Between Editor and SimpleEditor " for more details.)
    • ToolbarButtonAdvanced: The advanced Toolbar buttons are based on YUI Buttons; they are more richly featured at the cost of more dependencies.
    • ToolbarButton: The more simple Toolbar buttons have fewer dependencies and so are lighter on the page; they do not support progressive enhancement nor menu-button functionality. (See "Changing the Toolbar " for more about your Toolbar choices.)

    Choose the right combination of features in your Editor and Toolbar to get the right tradeoff between size and richness for your application.

    On This Page: Quick Links: Video: Rich Text Editing with YUI

    Which Text Editor Should I Use? Treehouse Blog

    Learn Which Text Editor Should I Use?

    One of the most common questions I’m asked by Treehouse students is, “Which text editor should I use?”That’s a really great question with no simple answer. However, I can understand why it’s confusing. Wikipedia’s comparison of text editors is ridiculously lengthy and feels beyond human scale. Yet it makes sense that there’s an abundance of variety, because a text editor is a programmer’s most important tool and it mostly comes down to personal preference.

    What is a text editor?

    A text editor is a computer program that allows you to create and edit files that contain plain text. This is very different than a robust word processing program like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or Google Docs, because they add special formatting that’s hidden to the user. When you’re writing computer code, you don’t need or want any special formatting. In fact, your code probably won’t work at all unless it was written and saved in a plain text environment.

    Text editors are commonly used by web designers and developers because it provides maximum flexibility to create just about anything. This is where professionals “hand code” HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and many other languages.

    For completeness, I should also point out that a text editor is not the same thing as an IDE (integrated development environment). While almost every IDE has the capability of creating and editing plain text documents, they also include a wealth of other features and powerful capabilities. Some people do prefer these power tools, but they can sometimes come at the expense of other factors like flexibility, ease of use, or code that is both lean and performant. IDEs also tend to take up more screen space for all of their various panels and widgets, which can factor in to the decision for some people. A more everyday text editor lacks these capabilities in exchange for maximum flexibility.

    Which text editor should I use?

    Imagine that you’re in a restaurant and you ask, “What kind of wine should I get?” The server might recommend some reds and whites, but you may ultimately want them to make the decision for you. There’s too many to choose from, so if you’re inexperienced, you’re naturally inclined to draw upon the experience of another.

    Text editors are a similar beast. The text editor you use depends on a couple of factors, but primarily it comes down to personal preference. While there’s no simple answer to “Which text editor should I use?” there’s one simple rule that can guide you in making the choice:

    You should use the text editor that makes you the most efficient.

    If you’re comfortable with your tool, it (hopefully) means that you’re also able to get work done quickly. The tool should disappear and allow your ideas to fly. Most text editors aspire to this vague goal, but it’s a moving target because everyone has slightly unique preferences and needs. Now, let’s get a bit more practical and take a look at a few of the most popular text editors that the pros use.

    Sublime Text

    Price: $70 USD, free trial

    Platform: Windows, Mac, and Linux

    PSPad - freeware text editor

    PSPad - text and code editor Current PSPad version: 4.6.0 (2700) - 02 October 2015

    PSPad is a freeware programmer's editor for Microsoft Windows operating systems, useful for people who:

    • work with various programming environments
    • like highlighted syntax in their source code
    • need a small tool with simple controls and the capabilities of a mighty code editor
    • are looking for a tool that handles plain text
    • want to save time - PSPad offers rich text formating functions
    • need a tool that offers user extension capabilities
    • want to save money and still have the functionality of professional products because PSPad is free for commercial and government purposes too

    List of changes, history and bug corrections is available here

    If you have a problem or question, you can visit the PSPad discussion forum. After registration you can receive messages for chosen topics via e-mail.

    PSPad beta versions are published in the discussion forum. You can download them without any restrictions, test new program functions and have bugs corrected before the full release is available.

    The latest build published in the forum is 4.6.1 (2703)