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Best Text Editors for Code Review in 2020

  • Rating — 4.9 (7 votes)
  • by Alexandra Rostovtseva
  • Updated on February 26, 2020
  • Read —
    5-6 minutes
Best text editors for code review

We frequently report on the state of development process to our clients. Depending on the development stage the report may contain prototypes, wireframes or a list of completed milestones.

However, sometimes we’re asked to show the real code so that the client could check the quality by himself or send it to investors and in-house specialists. There is no big deal to show it on Git, but there may be complications in transferring data to the client separately so that he/she could review it later or forward to investors.

All the written code is always checked after each milestone and at the very end of the project. But not only we review our own code. Some of our clients ask us to provide the code review of the projects, made by other teams, to ensure its quality. This can be an individual one-time service or one of the development stages as a whole.

Here is what happens: same way as product designers utilize specialized 3d modeling software, such as 3dsMax or Maya, software developers resort to integrated development environments aka IDEs. Those are comprehensive and powerful systems, hence IDEs require complex installation process that takes time and experience to perform.

Under such conditions, we recommend installing a simple text editor that could display the code in an understandable and convenient way. Hereinafter we’ll cover best text editors available for programming. Each of them provides powerful, customizable, rich functionality that will fit your purposes. 

What is the best text editor? Let’s compare the best coding text editors:

TOP 5 Text Editors review for Website development in 2020 for Mac and Windows

Sublime Text Editor     Sublime Text – Find me if you can

If you are frequently jumping around the document in search of bugs, typos, and variables that need to be replaced altogether this is the best plain text editor for coding to start with. Just hit search, filter the file and edit selected fields all at once.

Sublime will be a perfect text editor for those who do not tolerate even smallest distraction while working and prefer to go with a keyboard alone. It has a distraction-free mode and an ultimate set of key shortcuts so you can keep your hands on the keyboard all the time while working.

After the best text editor free trial, you’ll be asked to pay for all those features, multi-caret editing and nice minimal design you have already fallen for. Fortunately, Sublime has no time limit so you can continue using it until feel guilty that makes it the most popular text editor.

($70; OS X/Windows/Linux)


Atom Text Editor     Atom – A hackable competitor

Atom is a brainchild of GitHub and no wonder that it’s an open-source application that can be tweaked and customized in whatever way you prefer. Atom is written in JavaScript + HTML, that lets you fully redefine its interface by means of simple CSS.

Unlike proprietary Sublime, Atom’s strength lies in its GitHub community. You can easily expand possibilities of text editor by plugging in hundreds and hundreds of add-ons.

Here’s TOP 5 Add-Ons for Atom Text Editor in 2018:

  • Monokai theme – It is a custom UI, Sublime-like environment.
  • Project Manager – This one lets you open recent projects folders and files.
  • TODO-showLets you quickly navigate through your notes and comments.
  • Minimap – A simple and quick navigation sidebar. The default feature for any programming text editor.
  • Highlight Selected.

As you can see, Atom stands for those who don’t mind getting hands dirty. Give it some time and you’ll be rewarded by a custom text editor for programming with all the best features that competitors have to offer.

(Free; OS X/Windows/Linux)


Notepad++ text editor     Notepad++ – Old Sport

Working in Notepad++ is like entering nostalgia shop. This is one of the first text editors that was unprecedentedly popular among both writers and developers back in those days when Windows was young and creepy.

Still, Notepad++ is holding the line, which only proves that classics never dies as long as it offers a customizable interface, shortcuts, syntax-highlighting, tool-bar, auto-completion, and many other perks for any taste.

Notepad++ is a free, simple and incredibly easy-going thing that gets better over time and can be customized literally for any purposes.

(Free; Windows)

Vim & Emacs

Overpowered. Not for wimps.

A few can remember clearly when the Editor war between Vim and Emacs has started. Now they claim to be the longest-lived text editors widely known among Linux and Unix users.

emacs text editor     Emacs

Emacs (most popular version is GNU Emacs) boasts extensible file management system, integrated debugger and customizable macro system that can be adopted for users needs.

Emacs allows multiple clients to attach data to a single instance or to share one buffer list (you’ll need to learn this terminology if you’ll choose to go with Emacs) and history.

After investing your time in studying Emacs Lisp you’ll be able to customize its environment, keys, and modules for your very specific needs and event use it as an IDE on Unix systems.

(Free; OS X/Windows/Linux)

vim text editor    Vim

Vim is a small text editor that runs on any possible device and platform. It loads faster than Emacs, has modular interface and abrupt learning curve as well as Emacs. But if you get used to it, and define your own key mapping, boy, there will be no limits in speed and efficiency for your work.

It still has full set of features (spell checking, syntax highlighting, search, etc.) that any other text editor has.

(Free; OS X/Windows/Linux + Android/iOS)


Finally, there are two text editors that are worth mentioning: Brackets. They also have a simple interface and additional features like color wheel (Brackets) that stands for needs of web designers and browser tab inside the editor (Light Table) that simplifies the workflow of any web developer.   

However, all the above-listed text editors should be considered as supporting tools for quick editing and reviewing only. While those applications are light weighted and easy to use, they are not suited for complex software development. For such projects, we use several integrated development environments (IDE). But that’s another story.)

Along with those well-known pals, there are cool new text editors that we think are worth mentioning this year:

  • Buffer Editor – tailor-made editor specifically for iOS devices. Sadly it costs $3.99, but give it a try, it may be worth its price.
  • DroidEdit Pro – best coding text editor for Android developers we could find. Unlike the rest, it works nicely and offers handy interface which definitely worth $1.99 if you’re working on Android App.
  • ICEcoder- free, lightweight code editor that lets you work directly in the browser window whether you’re online or offline.

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Alexandra Rostovtseva Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.

Comments (3)

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Stas Ustimenko
Jul 19, 2019 at 1:07 PM

My favorite editor is Codelobster

Feb 03, 2017 at 3:48 PM

thanks for post. they all are free code text editor?

Apr 14, 2017 at 10:42 AM

Yes, they are. Except Sublime has sort of donation option. But you can use it for free indefinitely long time.


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