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Chris Achard
Chris Achard

Posted on

What is your favorite editor and why?

I used to use TextMate, but switched to Sublime Text when they stopped supporting TextMate 1 (many years ago), and have gotten really fast with Sublime.

Recently though I've played around with VS Code and really like it (because of how customizable it is), but I still find myself opening Sublime more.

So: without starting any editor "wars", I was just curious: what is your favorite editor right now and why?

If you'd like to give more context, I'd also love to know: What is your favorite plugin/extension for that editor?

For Sublime, one fun one is "Emoji" (so you can insert emojis with just a few keystrokes):

And for VS Code, an underrated one I think is "Custom CSS", which lets you fully customize the VSCode experience by writing custom css:

Discussion (44)

ordovician profile image
Erik Engheim

I don't get why people leave TextMate. Still my favorite editor. Yes I dabble in Sublime, Atom, VSCode, Vim and Kakoune, but I always go back to TextMate. Yes there are some annoyances with TextMate, but I cannot find anybody else which has such a nice Bundle plugin system. It is not just that Bundles are easy to make and edit, but I love how their functionality is so well sectioned off and easy to discover. Like you have a menu entry for each language. I cannot see that for other editors.

Sublime just has way too little UI. Everything seems to be text configuration files. TextMate makes it a lot easier to discover functionality. Especially related to configuring bundles.

If I have to use a text mode editor then I prefer Kakoune for many of the same reasons. I tend to prefer simplicity and ease of use. Editor which are based on some simple powerful principles. Kakoune takes make of the good ideas of Vim and simplifies them and make them more powerful.

Thus you get a far more manageable editor for a developer not willing to invest tons of time in being a Vim wizard.

brewsterbhg profile image
Keith Brewster

I'm a VS Code fan, I think it's got an incredibly rich plugin/extension system, and anytime I open a filetype I haven't worked with, I immediately get popups being like "hey want to install a formatter for this?". I really like Git Lens, because I get an immediate git blame beside any line I highlight (not because I like to blame people for things, but it helps to see when code was last modified when debugging). It's also great because the blame itself not very invasive.

sophiabrandt profile image
Sophia Brandt

I used VSCode, but now I use NeoVim.


  • extremely customizable to my needs
  • much faster than VSCode
  • superb integration with the terminal
  • "modal editing"/keyboard as a first-class citizen (which makes me much faster than trying to navigate VSCode with both mouse and keyboard)


  • not beginner-friendly
  • high learning curve
  • it takes some time to customize to your needs
  • complicated setup for many plugins (with VSCode it's a simple installation of a plugin, with Vim it's a complicated manual install)

The Vim keybindings for VS Code didn't work for me because VS Code and also many plugins overwrite the standard Vim bindings. I had to customize a lot of key mapping to get my Vim experience back. At that time, I switched back to NeoVim.

cbeauhilton profile image

nvim has some great plugin managers that make it as easy or easier than VS Code - I like Vim-Plug

rhymes profile image
rhymes • Edited on

Used Sublime, then VSCode for years, went back to Sublime. It's honestly faster than VSCode on an older machine like mine and it has enough plugins :D

It's weird how we swear on one tool or another, then for external reasons (VSCode uses too much RAM sometimes) you switch tool and after a couple of weeks you find yourself happy with the new one as well :D

jarodpeachey profile image
Jarod Peachey

I LOVE VSCode. I love the built in terminal, built-in error checking, and built-in everything under the sun. My favorite plugin is probably bracket-colorizer, which color-codes matching brackets and parentheses so it's easy to see where that darn if statement actually ends.

tracker1 profile image
Michael J. Ryan

The integrated terminal is absolutely the killer features for me. Especially with ssh remoting.

I use quite a few formatters and other extensions, but the terminal is what won me over. It's fast enough that it doesn't slow me down and so nice in so many ways. I do miss the old non-tab ux though.

The fact that it works on Linux, Windows and Mac doesn't hurt either. I tend to use as much of the same told everywhere.

cguttweb profile image

Yep agree once I discovered it makes me wonder how I went so long without it a great plugin.

siatwe profile image
Simon Weis


safijari profile image
Jariullah Safi

I love Spac(Emacs) ... I guess I'm a heathen πŸ‘€

vonheikemen profile image

This is funny. My favorite is Neovim but i can't use it right now for everything.

So i'm using Sublime text just because it can adjust the indentation per file automatically.

Favorite extensions

  • NvMode: Not Vim Mode. I made it. The idea is to enable modal editing and bind native sublime commands to keys in "command mode" (the equivalent of vim's normal mode). It doesn't try to emulate vim, better plugins have tried and failed, so it is just an aggresive keymap configuration and a handful of custom commands. Since is a plugin it can be extended even more with your own config (like i did). And by the way, to install it you just clone it inside the sublime packages folder.

  • AceJump: Allows you to move the cursor to any character to any place currently on screen.

With those two modal editing in sublime is not that bad. I got what i need from both worlds.

miguelmota profile image
Miguel Mota

Vim! been using it for 5+ years and never looked back

  • Vi comes pre-installed in most *nix systems
  • Can use it on both servers and desktops
  • It's fast
  • Easy to extend
  • Easy to backup dotvim files and restore in new computers
  • More use of keyboard and less mouse movements makes me more production
phizzard profile image
Phil Tietjen

I've been a VS Code fanboy ever since I started using it. Going from brackets to sublime to atom to VS Code. I thought atom was my jam when I was using it and then on a whim I decided to try VS Code and I was really surprised that it didn't feel as bloated as atom. It came installed with almost everything you need and looks aesthetically pleasing out the box. Beyond that,it has a great plugin eco-system

cguttweb profile image

I did the same used Sublime for a long time then switched to Atom that it did seem to lag and after some colleagues raved about VSCode I gave it a go and love using it. The plugins are great but I do find it a resource hog at times with the odd extensions crashes but I do use quite a few and my work laptop is showing its age.

kinglouisxvii profile image
Daniel Jakobian

Vim because of its customizability, performance and portability.

wesjordan profile image
Wesley Jordan

VS Code is the only editor I use anymore. I like InelliJ's editors, but with their premium price it just doesn't make sense. VS Code is fast, free & extremely flexible.

ehsan profile image
Ehsan Azizi

I mostly develop frontend apps with Angular, and VSCode is always my go-to text editor because of fantastic angular extensions along with the TSLint plugin which does an incredibly good job of analyzing and linting Typescript code, though sometimes VSCode becomes painfully slow maybe that's because I use too many extensions or it's nature of being built with Electron framework which is common for being too greedy on system resources.

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Rogier Zeebregts

I'm a huge fan of all things Jet Brains. Used VS Code for a little while but quickly switched back to phpStorm/Webstorm. VS Code is just way slower, and just not as good at code completion, as phpStorm is.

andreidascalu profile image
Andrei Dascalu

I work mainly with Js and php, but lately also a good deal of Golang. I've used:

  • vim on and off, generally love it but over time I found it tedious to replicate my configs, extensions and customization between changing laptops and os'
  • in the hey day I used a lot of phpstorm, eclipse, NetBeans and Aptana. They felt huge, bloated and barely usable. Phpstorm is great at php and php only.
  • sublime 1 and 2. Fast and useful, but found php support lacking compared to others. Golang isn't that great either. Heard it got better in recent years but didn't feel like going back.
  • atom, used to love it but grows slow really fast and seems thee is no cure for it. Great golang support, would use it for golang only.
  • vscode, is my current workhorse. Seems great no matter what I add to it. There is little to nitpick about, small things over php and golang (but amazing at js, particularly react)
andrewzos profile image
Andrew Jackson

I have two depending on what I am doing. I mostly use VSCode when coding, because it has a lot of extensions that help me through the process like file icons and the Git addition added to it, makes my life so much easier when trying to remember what I worked on or what I did so that is a major reason I use it. When I am working with System-level files on Mac and Linux I use Vim because it's simplicity. When on RPi I have to use Vim because installing a large application like VS or Sublime it makes the Pi soooooooooooo very slooooooowww and it is a pain. I could use Atom but Vim is just easier to access.

michelc profile image

As a C# / ASP.NET developer, I work mainly with Visual Studio. But otherwise, I've also been using Sublime Text for a long time. Then I switched to VS Code which is more convenient for the small projects I do.

I'm still usinf Sublime for very large files, for its search in large projects and because I can keep a global file "" always open, whatever the project in progress.

safijari profile image
Jariullah Safi • Edited on

Spacemacs. It's easy to set up, allows for superhuman speeds for code navigation (owing mostly to evil mode), can be used from a terminal, and easy to keep my configuration synced across multiple computers.

I love it so much I made videos about it ( )

Oh and the plugin Magit ... the best way to use git in my opinion.

mindset profile image
Jayesh Tembhekar ⚑

I started with Sublime Text and really loved it and I also believe that every beginner should start with it before jumping to a fancy editor Sublime forces us to practice more and more without showing much intellisense and then go to VScode . This is what I followed and it worked for me.πŸ™‚

vgrovestine profile image
Vincent Grovestine

These days, VS Code is my go-to for most jobs. My favorite extension is strictly utilitarian: Settings Sync (Shan Khan) keeps my editor preferences consistent regardless of the computer I'm working on.

Prior to adopting VS Code, I had good luck with ActiveState Komodo Edit. (In fact, if Linux support for VS Code ended tomorrow, I'd go back to Komodo no problem.)

For quick edits that don't demand more than line numbering and basic syntax highlighting, I use Xed. And for markdown, it's Remarkable.

coolshaurya profile image

I am using kakoune currently. It is like a better version of vim with some features being completion and command help.

My code editor journey has been -

  1. Notepad
  2. Notepad++
  3. Atom
  4. Sublime Text
  5. Atom
  6. VSCode
  7. Vim
  8. Kakoune

At first, when starting out with web development, I used Notepad mostly because I did not know about the concept of a code editor :) and Notepad was the only thing that I knew about that could edit plain text files. Then I found Notepad++ and it seemed amazing to me at the time - basic stuff like syntax highlighting and code folding and line numbers made me say "wow, this is cool". Then I saw Atom on some tutorial video online and it looked very nice with a dark theme and material design so I switched to Atom.

Atom was too slow on my computer so I decided to use Sublime Text. Sublime Text did not have a lot of plugins and a GUI settings editor so I came back to Atom. Then I discovered VSCode which was a good balance between speed and features so I switched to Sublime. I saw some article saying that vim will make me a better developer so I started using vim. I don't think vim improved my productivity, it probably reduced it.

Then I discovered Kakoune which gave me a better experience with help messages out of the box so I switched to that and thats what I am using till date.

bauripalash profile image
Palash Bauri πŸ‘»

I used mostly Sublime while my main development work was on Windows but after shifting to Ubuntu , I used Sublime for few months, then tried VS Code. I kinds started liking it. But VS Code was too heavy, it was slowing down my machine and I like fast development environments. 😊

Sublime Text has been my all time favourite. It's Lightweight and Fast ✈️

heathnaylor profile image
Heath Naylor

I enjoy VSCode with Vim bindings, or just Vim depending on what I am working on. Feels quick to get around and write code in both.

ceyhunkerti profile image
Ceyhun Kerti

vscode, ms engineered it very good and it's fast despite the baggage of being an electron app.

sachinms91 profile image

It has to be VS Code with such vast extensions. For working with kubernetes it is helpful

hkhuraldev profile image
Harkamal Khural • Edited on

I am still hung up on vim, though VSCode really appeals to me. I am just too comfortable with the shortcuts in vim to learn them again for VSCode. Oh Well...

saleh_rahimzadeh profile image
Saleh Rahimzadeh

I use Notepad++ to opening bunch of text files, editing Config files, etc.
and I use VS Code for programming and develop.

safijari profile image
Jariullah Safi

Out of curiosity what benefit do to get from notepad++ in the use cases where you're not using vs code?

saleh_rahimzadeh profile image
Saleh Rahimzadeh

Notepad++ is light-weight editor with good features, simple, stable, pluginable.

I would like to divide text files into three categories:

  1. Simple, Single and Small files
  2. Complicated, Large and Multiple (bunch) files
  3. Project, Complex and related files

I use Windows Notepad for 1st category, because they don't need very effort.
I use Notepad++ for 2nd category, because they need syntax-highlighting, tabs, plugin to handle, auto-complete, line-joining, line-spliting, encoding, searching, commenting, converting case, etc.
I use VSCode for 3nd category, because they need compilation, sophisticated auto-complete, professional tabs management and grouping, advanced plugins, programming-related plugins and tools, professioal shortcuts, etc.

giorgosilias profile image
George Ilias

I use VS Code. It has great support, it's beautiful and has a very rich plugin - extention system. It also feels and i believe it is more complete.

destro_mas profile image
Shahjada Talukdar
lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

I'm a huge VS Code fan! Using it for years now I started out with Brackets an then Sublime but I stuck with VS Code because I love the Inbuilt version control feature and wide range of extensions.

dynomite567 profile image

VSCode. I have been switching back and forth between Sublime and VSCode, but recently I have been giving NeoVim a spin just to try things out, experiment a bit more, see what I like.

hbjy profile image
Hayden Young

Either VSCode or Neovim.

corridor4 profile image

Atom! It's really great and highly customizable. The Teletype add-on is great for collaboration.

whizkevina profile image
Aina Oluwatimilehin

WebStorm is too awesome! but it requires much memory but with the debugger, indentation, and insight.

andp97 profile image
Andrea Pavone

PHPStorm on my local machine for developing projects or VSCode just for fast scripting/testing some new languages and Vi on server for editing conf files :)

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Liz Tilberis