Way back in the day, back before the turn of the century, Mac users pretty much had only two choices when it came to text editors for coders, app programmers, and web developers. BBEdit or its then free baby brother, TextWrangler.
Here we are moving rapidly through the 21st century and the Mac is more popular than ever with an installed base of over 100-million users. Writing and coding must be more popular, too, because there are dozens of new Mac mini-word processors, and a few dozen new text editors for the aforementioned Mac geeks.
Different Strokes, Folks
Not too far back in the day I opined the growing list of free Mac text editors in A Tale Of 4 Free Mac Text Editors. On my own Certified Apple Follower website I’ve highlighted the increasing number of Mac text editors, some free, some not so much, yet all of them pretty damned good.
Arguably, BBEdit is the best, or, rather, the text editor with the most features (highly recommended and it still doesn’t suck), which makes it the best value considering you can use many of the features for free. But there are many, many other text editors which do much the same thing but differently. You know. Like Android phones.
There’s CodeRunner which is more for coders than web developers. There’s Textastic which brings a minimalist text editor to the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and files can be synced between devices. That’s handy. There’s a popular text editor called Peppermint which specializes in a variety of visual themes from light to dark and in-between. I like the code preview option. Atom is interesting and free. I’ve tried out Chocolat, a Cocoa text editor that has a kind of psychic code completion feature.
If you don’t mind a nominal price tag you’ll appreciate the long list of features in the popular Smultron text editor. If you can spell BeOS then you may appreciate Eddie, which is inspired by the ancient operating system. The Mac text editor with the most interesting app icon is Tincta (both free and pro versions) with a favorite feature– the one window design which lets you view your saved file hierarchy.
And if you love an occasional blast from the past there’s always TextMate, the Mac text editor loved by many but not enough to sell too many. Free competes with free in OS X. If you’re not afraid of using Terminal.app. I haven’t checked recently to see how many editors are built into OS X but Vim, Nano, and Emacs are, but are not for the faint of heart.
The Mac seems to be enjoying a golden renaissance these days with 100-million customers and everyone who is anyone on television uses a Mac, and Apple’s Swift is the up and coming programming language, so it’s easy to see why there are so many new text editors available these days.
Different strokes, folks.