Top 6 Best Text Editors for Mac in 2024

Apple’s Macs come with TextEdit as the standard text editor. Both macOS and it are open-source and pre-installed. It enables you to create and modify documents. When compared to other text editors out there, it has less features, though. As a result, neither writing code nor managing application projects with it is the ideal course of action.

Therefore, you should search for some of the available third-party text editors if you want a more complete experience from a text editor. Here are our top selections for the finest Mac text editors to aid you in this process.

Use the best Mac text editors available.

Although there are many different types of text editors, they may be generally divided into source-code editors and basic text editors (plain text or rich text). The functionality and purpose that each kind serves largely distinguishes it from the other.

Source-code editors offer extra capabilities to facilitate writing code faster than text editors, which only focus on making the process of creating and editing documents easier. For instance, a source-code editor provides you with capabilities like syntax highlighting, autocomplete, indentation, and bracket matching that are not available in a simple text editor.

As a result, it is advisable to use a source-code editor for creating and modifying general documents rather than a simple editor for writing code. Although it is possible, using a simple text editor without development-specific capabilities may not provide the same level of convenience as using a source-code editor or an IDE (integrated development environment).

1. Visual Studio Code

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, sometimes known as VS Code, is a freeware source-code editor. It is based on the Electron framework and works with Linux, macOS, and Windows as well as other popular operating systems.

One feature of VS Code that sets it apart from other source-code editors is that it works with many folders and isolates them into various workspaces rather than utilizing a project-based structure, acting somewhat like a language-agnostic code editor.

In terms of capability, VS Code enables you to create programs in a number of languages, including C/C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, and Go. It offers a broad range of tools to aid you in the coding process, including support for syntax highlighting, snippets, code refactoring, debugging, intelligent code completion (or autocomplete), and Git integration. You also have the option of collaborating and doing remote work in real time with your colleagues.

If you’re just starting started, features like IntelliSense and Peek Definition in Visual Studio Code will aid in your comprehension of the many facets of programming languages.

2. Atom

Source code editor Atom was created by GitHub, which is currently owned by Microsoft. As a result, many of the features you get from it are created and maintained by the community. Atom is built on the Electron framework, just like VS Code, although it doesn’t have as many features out of the box as VS Code does. However, with the help of plugin support, you may modify a number of Atom’s components and add functionality selectively to meet your needs and project process.

In addition to customisation, Atom provides the standard set of capabilities, including syntax highlighting, intelligent autocomplete, and a file system browser. It also has a built-in package manager to make it easy for you to find and install new packages on your machine, as well as Git integration to store and manage your projects directly from the editor.

In terms of programming languages that are supported by Atom, you may use it to write code in C/C++/C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Scala, and many more languages. Teletype, which leverages WebRTC to encrypt all communication between collaborators to provide a safe working environment, now makes it easy to collaborate and work with coworkers in Atom.

3. Sublime Text

Since Sublime Text is a shareware source code editor, most of its capabilities are available for free, but others are only available in the premium version, which you may upgrade to or buy if you require the extra functionality. It is one of the most popular text editors on the Mac and was created with Python and web development in mind. However, it may also be used with other markup and programming languages.

Similar to Atom, Sublime Text allows you to add plugins to your editor to improve its capabilities and add any missing features. Command palette, snippets, code auto-completion, goto definition, and split editing are a few of Sublime Text’s useful features. A built-in package management is also available in Sublime Text to make it simple to search and install third-party programs on the editor.

In addition to Sublime Text, SublimeHQ now offers Sublime Merge, a GUI-based version control (Git and merging tool) for Sublime Text that facilitates quicker repository search, commit modifications, and conflict resolution.

4. BBEdit

Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit is a text editor available solely for Macs. It is essentially a free version of the well-known TextWrangler text editor, which is only accessible on macOS and was discontinued a few years ago.

However, unlike TextWrangler, BBEdit’s free tier has sufficient functionality and programming functions to distinguish it from the myriad of other text editors available. It functions as a straightforward text editor that you can use to interact with plain text files, write code, and make custom scripts. AppleScript, Python, Perl, RegEx, and Shell script are among the languages that BBEdit supports.

As for features, BBEdit offers, to mention a few, rapid search and replace capabilities, syntax coloring, code folding, and auto code completion. You also get integration of code management systems, support for FTP and SFTP for file transfers, and more.

5. Vim

A Vi clone with a number of enhancements is called Vim. The majority of conventional Unix-compliant operating systems, including macOS, pre-install Vi, a POSIX standard editor. When compared to the other text editors on this list, Vim looks and feels quite different.

Vim focuses on getting the fundamentals right whereas other contemporary text editors emphasize providing a nice-looking interface packed with numerous features and functionalities. And it excels at doing that. However, you do have comprehensive plugin support, and new plugins are constantly being created, allowing you to tailor the editor to your coding preferences and workflow.

Vim doesn’t have a graphical user interface, thus all of your interactions take place in a terminal window or on the command line. Additionally, Vim has a variety of modes that may take some getting accustomed to before you feel comfortable using it because it is a modal editor. Having said that, you can effectively use Vim for a lot more things if you understand how to use it. And you wouldn’t probably go back to using a standard text editor.

6. Emacs

Another well-liked text editor for the Mac is Emacs or Editor MACroS. It is frequently chosen by programmers. It has a rivalry with Vim, and supporters of both text editors aren’t afraid to brag about how much better their preferred editors are.

Emacs has customization options, much like Vim, although they are more complex in Emacs than they are in Vim. It features more than 10,000 instructions, and the user interface enables you to mix these commands and use them to build macros that automate workflow operations.

Like Vim, Emacs requires some getting used to in terms of usefulness. However, the features it comes with make it a highly promising text editor for people who seek a setting where they can execute or manage almost every step of their programming workflow. To list just a few features, Emacs offers text editing, project management, an integrated mail and news reader, package support, and an integrated IRC client.

Text editors to Enhance Coding and Text Writing

You may compose and modify documents on your Mac with more text control by using the text editors mentioned above. You can get the most out of them by utilizing their development-specific capabilities if you want to use them to create code, which is probably the case as you read this.

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