14 Best Programming Software For Writing Code [2020]

Development tools come in dozens of forms, including compilers, linkers, assemblers, debuggers, GUI designer, and performance analysis tools. The right tool can significantly increase your productivity and can help you easily maintain the workflow of the project. One of the most basic programming software is the source code editor, which […]

Development tools come in dozens of forms, including compilers, linkers, assemblers, debuggers, GUI designer, and performance analysis tools. The right tool can significantly increase your productivity and can help you easily maintain the workflow of the project.

One of the most basic programming software is the source code editor, which is used ubiquitously and continuously. It is basically a text editor program designed for writing and editing programming code.

Code editor can either be a standalone application or built into a web browser or integrated development environment (IDE). Since there are literally hundreds of Code Editors available in the market, it is difficult for developers to choose one.

To make this job easier, we have gathered a few best programming software that can speed up your coding process while offering plenty of useful features.

14. Eclipse

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

Eclipse is an IDE that supports an extensible plug-in system for customizing the environment. Although it is primarily used for developing Java applications, you can use to write apps in other programming languages as well (via plug-ins).

It checks compile-time errors while writing the code. And since it provides suggestions and has a great online community to help users, you can increase your pace of coding with this tool.

Eclipse manages multiple files and projects efficiently, and support a broad range of file formats with type-specific syntax formatting. It provides connectors for multiple databases and supports common DB access methods. Moreover, project integration into GIT is virtually seamless.

13. Geany

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

Geany is an open-source, lightweight text editor, specifically designed to have short load times with limited dependencies on external libraries or separate packages.

It supports many programming and markup languages, including C, C#, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS JavaScript, Python, Perl, Haskell, and Pascal. Other common filetypes like Diff-output, SQL files, and ini-style config files, are also supported.

Unlike other code editors, you don’t have to search through numerous syntax styles just to be able to change the used font. And since it features real syntax parsing (not just coloring), it can display inner classes and methods in source code.

12. gedit

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

gedit is a lightweight yet powerful general-purpose text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. As per the philosophy of the GNOME project, it has a clean and simple GUI for editing source code and structured text like markup languages.

In addition to syntax highlighting for various programming languages, it also comes with spell checking features and all other basic options like Goto line, find and replace.

The tool could run fast on low-end PCs: it uses little memory and CPU resources while reading very large logs.

11. Brackets

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

Brackets is an open-source code editor developed by Adobe Systems. It primarily focuses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript editing functionality.

The Live Preview pushes your code edits instantly to the browser to display an updated webpage as you modify the code. Another useful feature called Split-Screen enables you to easily work on CSS and actual code at the same time.

Brackets has a decent library of extensions such as prefixer that analyses your code and auto prefix CSS selectors. It is still relatively small in the text editor arena, but because of plenty of customization options and extensibility via plugins, implementing code feels effortless.

10. NetBeans

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

NetBeans is an open-source IDE that allows you to quickly develop mobile, desktop and web apps with Java, C/C++, PHP, and more. Applications are developed from a group of modular software components called ‘modules’.

The tool doesn’t require any licensing and quite easy to work on. You can indent code effortlessly: just define rules for the indentation of code in every language and it will follow accordingly. You can also compare code across different files to know the differences between the code of different developers.

NetBeans integrates seamlessly with several web application servers such as GlassFish and Tomcat. It also works well with version control tools like GIT.

9. Vim

Price: Free
Platform: Unix, Linux, macOS, Windows

Vim is open-source software designed for use both from a command-line interface and as a standalone tool in a GUI. It features automatic syntax and conversion to HTML, error list, set compiler, and automatic correction.

For better visualization, you can either change the size of the windows or split them horizontally/vertically. It has many commands to do typical things with the keyboard instead of the mouse. This increases your speed by at least 2 times.

Although it looks like a basic plain text editor, it’s a great productivity tool with tons of useful plugins. In the Stack Overflow developer survey (2019), Vim was the fifth most popular development environment.

8. TextMate


Price: Free
Platform: macOS

TextMate is a lightweight GUI text editor specifically designed for macOS. It features recordable macros, declarative customizations, folding sections, shell integration, and an extensive library of plugins.

It allows you to swap a piece of code and turn commonly used pieces of code into snippets with ease. Repetitive tasks can be eliminated with macros: either record a scratch macro for immediate replay or save them for repeated use.

It’s very beginner-friendly and formatting is very helpful with writing and debugging code.

7. Emacs

Price: Free
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

Emacs is a customizable and extensible text editor capable of achieving whatever the user wishes. It is packed with more than 10,000 built-in commands which can be combined with macros to automate work.

Emacs features content-aware editing modes, full Unicode supports for almost all scripts and the complete ecosystem of functionality beyond text editing, including news and mail reader, calendar, debugger interface, and project planner.

The tool is extensible with Lisp extensions, so you can get all new benefits of modern IDEs like syntax highlighting, code-complete, static checking, and more, by installing plug-ins.

6. AWS Cloud9

Price: Free | $2.05 for 90-hour usage
Platform: Online IDE

AWS Cloud9 allows you to write, run, and debug source code with just a web browser. You don’t need to install files or configure the development machine to start new projects. It is packed with all the important tools required for popular programming languages.

The platform lets you define resources, debug, and switch between remote and local execution of serverless apps. You can also share your projects and pair code and track your team’s inputs in real-time.

The fully-featured editor comes with a built-in terminal and image editor, collaborative editing and chat feature so you can communicate with your team without having to leave the IDE.

5. IntelliJ IDEA

Price: Free | $49.9 per month
Platform: Linux, macOS, Windows

Written in Java, IntelliJ IDEA integrates hundreds of features and tweaks that make programming easier. Smart code completion for a large variety of languages, support for the microservices framework, and built-in developer tools such as version control and terminal, make this tool special.

Ranging from frontend JavaScript applications to backend Java, IntelliJ IDEA has proved itself to be one of the most versatile IDEs out there.

It is perfect for developers who have had experience with other JetBrains tools. For newbies, the user interface could be confusing as there are too many options and complex features.

4. Xcode

Price: Free
Platform: macOS

Xcode contains a suite of software development tools that includes most of Apple’s developer documentation and built-in Interface Builder. It is used for developing software for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Xcode and Swift (a multi-paradigm language developed by Apple Inc) together make programming a delightfully live experience. The best thing about Xcode is you can just drag-drop the element and your design is good to go.

The Interface Builder displays the live rendering of your code, instantly reflecting changes you made in code. Plugins are not that important for this tool: just keep the IDE updated for a seamless experience.

3. Visual Studio

Visual Code Editor

Price: Free | $45.00 per month
Platform: Windows, macOS

Microsoft Visual Studio is a very powerful tool for creating websites, web services, and mobile applications. It is mostly used by small and midsize businesses to develop computer programs.

The code editor comes with IntelliSense (context-aware code completion feature), code refactoring, and integrated debugger which works as both a machine-level debugger and a source-level debugger.

The online community support for this tool is outstanding and Microsoft continuously keeps the product up to date.

Read: 15 Best Note-Taking Apps To Boost Your Productivity

2. Sublime Text

Sublime Text

Price: Free | $80 per license
Platform: Linux, Windows, macOS

Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for prose, code, and markup. It has a minimap of the side the provides a hierarchical view of files and keyboard shortcuts for most actions.

It’s a lightweight software written in C/C++ and Python. It can do a lot more heavy lifting without running into issues. There is a decent command palette that allows for an in-depth utilization of the editor.

Sublime Text allows users to customize every aspect of the tool and write code with speed and efficiency. It also makes it easier to link code to other pages of code. Overall, it does a great job for what it is meant to be.

1. Notepad++

Price: Free
Platform: Windows

Notepad++ more than an editor: it’s a Notepad replacement that supports many different programming languages. It is written in C++ and uses Win32 and STL which ensures smaller program size and higher execution speed.

It’s an excellent sidekick for coding projects. You can work on several documents at the same time, thanks to its multi-tab editing feature. The editor makes it easy to inspect files at all stages on embedded software projects, from HEX to C++ source.

Read: 9 Best Alternatives To Notepad++ For Mac Users

In summary, Notepad++ is simply Microsoft Notepad, but on steroid. It does everything better and provides additional features to fulfill all your requirements.

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