Windows-based Text Editors [closed]

Other than Notepad++, what text editor do you use to program in Windows?

18.08.2008 04:03:04

Textpad is what I would use for random text editing (checking out HTML source, quick hackery, scripts and the like).

For actual Java development it's Eclipse all the way, although people tell me the IDEA is the cat's pyjamas.

18.08.2008 04:13:12
You can't beat Textpad. I can even begin to estimate how much time I save using some of it's features like, "Find in Files", Block Select, Cut/copy bookmarked lines, Paste HTML, Scratch Macros, Clipboard, History, Clip Library, incremental find, and on and on.
bruceatk 1.11.2009 02:01:03
It's a lovely editor but it's been basically abandoned since 2004. New releases since then are scarce and hardly fix a couple of bugs.
Álvaro González 14.04.2010 10:23:22
Textpad for quick hackery is really really fast. I'd used regex, bookmarks with a 100Mb file more than one and was quite fast. In my opinion, its algorithms are really optimized and well chosen.
user347594 27.05.2010 01:09:43

I've always found Visual Studio to be outstanding for code editing. I still think it's pretty much the gold standard for code editing (but I'd love to be proven wrong).

Beyond that, I've used JCreator for Java editing. Of course, I've used notepad for basic stuff. I've used a lot of other text editors as well, but none that I can really recommend.

18.08.2008 04:10:32

gvim. I also use Dreamweaver for web stuff.

18.08.2008 04:13:48

going for the easy answer. emacs

18.08.2008 04:19:34

GNU Emacs is my preferred text editor and it works well on Windows (copy/paste actually works as expected) It's also available on all major platforms so you can reuse your knowledge if you jump around OSes like I tend to do.

I really like JEdit as well. It's a good text editor for code and random text. It's a nice middle ground between Notepad and Eclipse.

If you want something just a step above Notepad for quick, efficient editing I would recommend Notepad2. It's really useful when you replace the standard Notepad with this version. You continue to have a fast startup but the syntax highlighting is a real boon. I replace Notepad with Notepad2 on every one of my Windows machines.

18.08.2008 08:03:57

Not everybody uses Notepad++, it's not that good.

Crimson Editor

18.08.2008 04:22:19
Hey, while you're living back in the mid-1990s, can you call my 22-year-old self and tell me to buy Netscape?
Robert S. 7.10.2008 16:11:37
What's the problem with Notepad++?
Rad 28.01.2009 10:00:22
CE has aged a bit but I still prefer it for PHP, CSS, and HTML editing. I tend toward the IDE when I'm doing VB.
user65628 23.06.2009 13:47:23
Crimson isn't bad, in fact it has some features that others don't. The problem is that it hasn't been updated in FOREVER. (Ok, there was an update in 2008, but it was 2004 before that!)
Dashogun 23.06.2009 13:53:55
The goggles! They do nothing!
bzlm 19.11.2009 08:10:29

I personally like ConTEXT.

A lot of people gave their suggestions for favourite text editor here:

23.05.2017 10:29:31
I used to use ConTEXT a lot, I can definitely vouch for it too. Great to see that it's open source these days.
user116170 23.07.2009 18:34:15


Is a bit buggy, but beats the pants off any other editors I've used due to it's using the Textmate bundle format (and the bundles) - also gets updated very regularly. I use it every day and would gladly purchase it again.

18.08.2008 04:32:12
Way too buggy, even core operation like searching through a project don't work. Can't work that way
daniel 19.08.2009 21:08:43

Commercial product (Windows): UltraEdit.

Freeware (Windows): Notepad++, PSPad.

Cross-Platform: JEdit. It's written in Java and runs on almost anything.

If you don't mind taking a performance hit under Windows, JEdit has some amazing capabilities. For native performance on that platform, I would go with one of the others. I tend to switch back and forth between Notepad++ and PSPad. Notepad++ probably edges it out for most tasks. It has section folding, which is very handy. However, you did ask about products other than that one.

18.08.2008 04:33:41

UltraEdit is my second home. It is a great general purpose text editor.

28.01.2009 09:18:31
Why, you can even download syntac highlighting for 6809 assembly language!
Ola Eldøy 17.10.2008 05:28:54
I love the block-selection function! Never seen that in any other editor yet :(
Karsten 28.01.2009 09:26:10
In Notepad++, hold down [alt] when you highlight text.
Johan 28.01.2009 12:10:13
You can Alt-select blocks in VS, ConTEXT, heck, even MS Word (good luck when using non-fixed fonts, though)! I'm sure there are plenty other editors supporting that.
Cristian Diaconescu 7.10.2009 13:29:17
I think UltraEdit was among the first to actually recognize the importance of this feature, and promote it. But yeah, today everyone has it.
bzlm 19.11.2009 08:09:35

I have used UltraEdit for years... If I'm working on a project I prefer to use a real IDE, but nothing beats it for quickly making changes to source files, or especially for those small PHP projects where you're just hacking away anyway. The killer feature for me is the compare functionality.

18.08.2008 04:36:07
One of my biggest gripes with UE's (otherwise excellent) compare functonalitet is the inability to 1) compare modified files 2) compare purely in-buffer only files. At least, the latter problem exists in the latest UE, whereas earlier versions of UE had this ability.
Svend 23.06.2009 13:37:21

I strictly use jEdit.

18.08.2008 05:01:53

I mostly just use Notepad++, but I like BabelPad when I need to open a file in a unicode path or when I need to have more control over unicode stuff.

I like EditPlus too. You can save a file as a template and create a new instance of it under the file menu. It's also pretty fast at loading moderately large files.

JEDIT would be my favorite, but it's just too slow when editing even slightly big files.

I can't say I'm 100% happy with Notepad++, but it bugs me the least, so...

18.08.2008 05:04:48

Note that I primarily work in C/C++. For C/C++ code, I use Visual C++ Express Edition or Visual Studio Professional. For the little bit of Python I'm learning, I use the editor in the PythonWin IDE. (Mostly because it does a bit of code completion.) For everything else, I use GViM.


After you install ViM on Windows, if you right-click on any file in Explorer, you see the Edit with Vim option in the right-click menu. This is very useful for peeking into and editing every kind of text file without having to bother about specific editors. GViM can understand most formats and thus displays them with syntax coloring. Get used to doing this and soon GViM becomes your defacto generic text editor on Windows. (Even replacing Notepad.)

22.08.2008 01:21:23

I'm attempting to switch to the Code::Blocks IDE for all of my C/C++ editing, but have used Visual Studio 2003, and Programmer's Notepad 2 for C/C++ projects. For Python, I currently use IDLE, but have been looking for something else that has a horozontal scroll bar.

18.08.2008 05:27:49

I use SciTE

23.06.2009 14:19:15
+1, SciTE should be more common
Gabe Moothart 23.06.2009 14:23:20
Notepad++ and SciTE are actually both built on the same editor component: Scintilla. So, if you really like Notepad++, SciTE should feel familiar, just a little faster and with a few less features.
Alex 18.08.2009 00:35:46

@Derek Park

I also use VS for most of my coding needs, but use Notepad++ for all other plain text files. I was disappointed by VS one time when it failed to open a 500 meg text file that I was hoping to change a few characters in. Seeing as it has support for viewing files in hex (ie. binary data) I was hoping that it would do a better job with large files. It seemed to want to load the whole file rather than the relevant data. Maybe I was just expecting too much from it. (Note: I wasn't able to open the file in NP++, either.)

Edit - My mistake. I didn't mean to imply that Notepad++ successfully opened the file. I don't remember what I used to fix that, actually.

18.08.2008 06:21:58


I also use VS for most of my coding needs, but use Notepad++ for all other plain text files. I was disappointed by VS one time when it failed to open a 500 meg text file that I was hoping to change a few characters in. Seeing as it has support for viewing files in hex (ie. binary data) I was hoping that it would do a better job with large files. It seemed to want to load the whole file rather than the relevant data. Maybe I was just expecting too much from it.

If Notepad++ will open a 500meg file usably, that's a definite plus for Notepad++. Every editor I've tried to open a file that large in just thrashed and/or froze until I killed it.

18.08.2008 06:11:31

I'm a massive fan of Notepad2 - it is so quick!

For quick simple editing of text for me it's close to perfect. It has syntax colouring for Xml and code and can be extended easily.

We use Dreamweaver and Visual Studio for larger coding efforts.

18.08.2008 13:41:21
+1 for the Notepad2 mention. @MrBrutal - Can you explain "can be extended easily"? I once looked at adding syntax highlighting for an additional language to notepad2, but I remember that doing so looked non-trivial (involving a source-level addition and rebuild, IIRC).
Jon Schneider 14.10.2008 03:25:49
Hi Joe, when I said extended easily, I was referring to the syntax formatting - adding new file types and modifying new ones. I didn't intend to mean extended the actual program, sorry if I gave you that impression. I think it's simplicity is key and I wouldn't want to extend the actual code!
David A Gibson 20.10.2008 11:18:05

EditPlus is my editor of choice. All the features you'd need, and no more.

18.08.2008 12:13:31

Another vote for Textpad here. I tried Notepad++, but was annoyed that it didn't notify me when an open file had been updated (which is a pain when looking at active log files).

18.08.2008 12:28:04
Notepad++ notifies me when an open file has been updated; the pain is that it only does it when I switch away from and then back to Notepad++.
Jacob Krall 29.09.2008 04:00:07

My personal favorite is EditPad Pro. Not because it is superior in any way, but because it was the one I started to use.

18.08.2008 12:44:02
I moved from Textpad to Editpadpro and I'll never look back. I do miss find in files though :(
Toby Allen 19.01.2010 01:16:24
Oh, but it is superior in the way of regular expression support (to mention just one thing). Toby is right about find in files, though - JGsoft has a different tool for this: RegexBuddy (which anybody who processes text needs anyway) or even PowerGREP.
Tim Pietzcker 27.01.2010 13:59:07

UltraEdit it my favorite text editor. Too bad I have to pay for it. You can't beat the ability to highlight vertically vs. horizontally.

18.08.2008 12:47:09
No doubt, column mode is awesome.
Anthony Potts 29.09.2008 20:18:04
Note that the ability to do a "block select" exists in a lot of text editors, usually implemented as Alt+drag. It's also a context-menu option in Textpad.
J c 30.10.2008 13:26:50

Notepad++ is probably the one I use the most, though I use GVIM whenever I need to do repetitive changes.

We got a company license for UltraEdit recently, and it seems to work quite well as well. I've been using that for doing quick edits to java or C++ code when I didn't have the full IDE running and didn't want to wait for it to open up.

18.08.2008 13:19:38

I'm a big fan of EditPlus, mainly for its smooth built in ftp open/save functionality. Crimson Editor has this too but that feature seems to be unstable from time to time.

19.08.2008 00:18:15

Another vote for gvim (about, download). I think once you learn the keystrokes to control it, you won't want to use anything else.

Plus, there is the added benefit of being able to use it on just about any platform, including the nice Windows port.

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8.02.2017 14:07:38
That's a nice color scheme. What is it?
Cristián Romo 6.03.2010 01:49:56
if only it wasn't that ugly
Kugel 2.05.2010 21:09:55

Textpad replaces notepad for me. I couldn't live without it. Some key features that I use with Textpad are:

  1. Find in files (along with open all, replace all, save all, close all).
  2. Block Select (along with copy/paste of a column).
  3. Clip Library
  4. Syntax highlighting
  5. Ability to attach externals tools (compilers, etc.) and capture the output to a window.

I use Eclipse for Java, Visual Studio for C++, C#, and VB.NET, JellyFish Pro for PowerBasic, I still use Visual Studio 6 for Classic VB, and I use TextPad for perl, python, Powershell, vbscript, SQL, HTML, and batch files.

19.08.2008 00:52:16

Notepad2, apart from Notepad++

20.08.2008 08:05:22

Visual Studio, notepad2, notepad++.

20.08.2008 08:10:25

Visual Studio for .Net development. Currently working with VS2008, but seems to be not quite finished yet. 2005 is probably the most stable and complete. Anything else for that would seem quite futile for .Net development

I use e-TextEditor for most other things. It covers most of the topics above including syntax highlighting, multi-select/edit, column select, TextMate bundles for auto-complete.

20.08.2008 08:13:10