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Chosing the right code editor: A quick guide

There are many code editors out there. Some of them have specialised for one language or a development stack. Others are good for general development.

So, lets start with the first editor:

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a code editor developed by Microsoft. It comes with most features you may want for coding out of the box.
It is commonly used in web development, but you can also use it for other stacks like writing Python scripts.
It has its own extension store. There you can find many add-ons. These will add support for other programming languages, give you new themes or help you while coding.

If you do not want to use something developed by Microsoft, you can use the alternative VSCodium.

VSCode is often recommended for beginners, because it is very ease to use. Nonetheless, you can also use it as a professional.

You can also try the web version.

Screenshot of Visual Studio Code

Screenshot of my VSCode configuration with the Catppuccin theme installed

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a very feature rich IDE. It is often used to write Windows applications in C#, C++ or C. It also supports other languages.

Visual Studio is developed by Microsoft as well. It may use a lot of storage on your system.

I would recommend Visual Studio for developing native Windows apps.


Neovim is another very popular code editor. It is an open source project. Neovim runs in the terminal.
It uses the Vim keybindings. They can be tricky to get used to. In my experience, you can learn the keybindings in just a few days.

You can extend Neovim using extensions written in a programming language called Lua.
In addition to that, it is very light on system resources.

Neovim may help you get more productive. I am currently using it because of this reason.

Screenshot of Neovim with NVChad

Screenshot of my Neovim configuration with Catppuccin theme and NVChad


Just like Neovim, Emacs is an open source code editor. It is very feature rich.
Sometimes, people even call it an operating system (for fun).
You can extend it almost to infinity with browsers, terminals and more.
Emacs also has its own set of shortcuts, that may be confusing in the beginning.

I would recommend Emacs, if you want a very extensible code editor.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a proprietary text editor. It is similar to VSCode, since it has some features by default and an integrated extension manager.

In my experience, it is heavier on resources and more complicated to use than VSCode.

Also, it should be noted, that you are supposed to buy it, but you can "try" it for how long you want.

I would recommend this, if you are looking for something similar to Visual Studio Code.


Notepad is a text/code editor. I comes with some simple features for coding out of the box. The interface is very minimal. It uses normal keyboard shortcuts, like CTRL+S or CTRL+C.
You can change the look for the editor using themes.

This editor is good, if you want to start coding with a light editor.

Eclipse IDE

Eclipse is an IDE specialized for Java development. Java is a language used to write Android apps, server back-ends and desktop applications.

I would recommend it for developing Java code.

More editors are...

  • BlueJ (Java development)
  • GNU Nano (Terminal based text editor)
  • XCode (Swift development under OSX)


Since there are so many code editors, it may be hard to decided among them. I would recommend a general purpose editor, if you do not focus on one language.
You may consider some editors easier to use than others.

Sometimes, there are also extensions for other code editors to bring the best of two editors together.

I wish you lots of fun choosing and using an editor.

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