As you know, Macintosh is one of the most powerful OS in the world of computing. It is used for a variety of needs, ranging from word processing to video editing and from browsing to development. Talking of the last option — using your Mac for development purposes —, Macintosh can give you an awesome development environment.
But, you have to make sure that you have the best text editor for Mac with you. Your Mac comes with a pre-built text editor — named Text Edit. Though, it won’t be that effective when you want to code something serious; let that be HTML, CSS, PHP or a machine-level language.
Well, we are not talking about the heavy, resource-consuming Integrated Development Environment tools. It’s other way round, actually. We would be listing out some superb and best text editors for Mac that can suitably be used to code in a variety of programming languages.
9 Best Text Editors for Mac – Paid and Free Mac Text Editors
Earlier, we had given you a list of best CSS editors to create and edit CSS files and some of those editors are good text editors as well. We have both free and paid text editors for Mac listed here, offering different capabilities. So, shall we move on to the list?
1. Sublime Text 2
Sublime Text 2 is a widely-used and certainly productive text editor for Mac, recommended by developer community out there. It’s a cross-platform text editor actually but you can use it as a Mac text editor, smoothly. Sublime Text 2 is a paid tool but offers an unlimited evaluation period, making it literally free.
Of course, from writing your creative notes — in minimal environment — to coding in PHP or Python, Sublime Text 2 can be used. It also comes with some options that can help developers. Some of them include distraction free mode, advanced customization, split editing (two-file and different parts of one file), Instant project switch and easier navigation within a file.
Brackets is the result of an open source initiative to create a modern text editor. This good text editor for Mac will be much-suited for web design and development environments. Along with Mac, you can use Brackets in both Windows and Linux devices, offering same interface in all your devices. It’s a regularly updated text editor and you can count it in when you need productivity and focus.
Despite being open source, there are a lot of modern features. For instance, we should take into account Quick Edit, Quick Docs and Extensibility. On top of all these, there’s Live Preview, which helps you see changes in your browser window, without a reload hit. Altogether, as a free text editor, Brackets makes enough sense.
3. Komodo Edit
Komodo Edit is yet another widely used text editor available for Macintosh-based devices. As a developer, you might have heard of Komodo IDE and this tool is a shrunk version of that powerful IDE. The best part is that Komodo Edit is open source and completely free to use, despite keeping a professional User Interface. This is a personal favourite of mine, because of the UI that can be used for both common writing and coding.
Commendable features of Komodo Edit include multi-language support, option for tracking changes made, another one named Commando etc. Out of these, Commando can conveniently be used for easier navigation within a specific development file. Not to mention, Komodo Edit offers advanced options for auto-complete for that matter.
Atom calls itself a hackable text editor and it’s one of the best free text editors for Mac. Cross-platform availability of Atom is useful for developers who do use different devices at different places. If for nothing else, Atom can be suited for the unprecedented User Interface with multi-tabbed editing and other capabilities. It has a setup file of 80+MB in spite of seemingly simple design, but the features section is worth what you download.
Notable features of this Mac text editor include a pre-built package manager, smarter auto-completion for enhanced coding experience, file system browser for easier project shifting, multiple panes and a variety of navigation options, for that matter. By the way, some exciting themes are also available for Atom.
5. CodeRunner 2
CodeRunner 2 is one of the best paid text editors for Mac, which can be effective when it comes to programming. To suit almost every situation, the developers has included support for almost every programming language and it does offer features such as auto-complete and syntax highlighting. Talking of the price, you can get CodeRunner 2 for just $14.99. Despite being called a text editor, CodeRunner 2 features can be compared with those of an IDE.
Out of the box, CodeRunner 2 supports 23 different languages and you can avail features such as multi-file project & advanced auto-complete support. Talking of project management, the sidebar is useful for shifting between folders or files, accompanied by the multi-tabbed interface. So, if you’re a hard coder — into serious languages — this one is just fine.
Coda had been listed in our previous post of top CSS editors, as a powerful text editor and it deserves a place here as well. First things first, Coda is a paid tool but you’re going to get an IDE-level coding experience and impressive set of features in the long run, from auto-completions to SSH control. Also, it’s to be noted that Coda offers quicker parsing of code and highlighting of syntax, for that matter.
You can purchase Coda for $99.00 and you’re going to have a plenty of features. First, you have a truly professional & usable interface, with in-depth support for a variety of development channels. You can even connect Coda with a MySQL server for easier testing and performance. Considering all these, it’s a good choice for developers.
Textastic has been here for a while and is widely used for coding-based purposes and for minimal editing processes! More than 80 different languages are supported by this Mac text editor and you get options such as different types of encoding and auto-completion support. You can get Textastic from Mac App Store by paying around $7. You get a plenty of options, such as the following ones.
First of all, thanks to the variety of APIs in use, Textastic would work fine in your Mac, not to mention the support of iOS apps from same developer. Also, easier file management and navigation options are also there in Textastic and you can even make use of iCloud Syncing capabilities.
TextMate is a Mac text editor with minimal design and standard capabilities for ceaseless text editing and coding. In addition to the simplified editing interface, TextMate has a customization section — a GUI-based one that’s easier to be used. Talking of supported languages, more than 50 programming languages would do fine in TextMate, with the help of a set of useful features.
For instance, you get foldable code blocks that help you code easily, option to create bookmarks in-between files & projects, multi-tabbed management of files etc. And if you want it to be so, you can even enable some grammar stuff into the editing process. It’s free to download but there’s an option to get a license.
Apart from standard text editing features, you get Navigation along with folded coding. These make easier for you to manage the different coding files you may have to manage. While Live Styling helps you see the changes instantly, a feature named X-ray is good for layout-level coding. Altogether, it’s worth the money you pay.
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If you ask us to choose the ‘best’ one from list, we will be in trouble! It’s because each of these tools has its focus set on different purposes. For instance, Atom and Sublime Text 2 offers a better coding environment with easier options of file management. On the other hand, Coda is a shrunk version of Integrated Development Environment, which is useful for server-level integration and other features you might expect.
Also, if you want to enable coding in various languages, you should choose the one with extended programming support. So, depending upon whether you want to pay or not, you can choose an appropriate text editor for your Macintosh. Let us know, which is your favourite text editor for Mac ?