List of Text Editors and IDEs


This is a small, hand-maintained, list of text editors and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), useful for programmers and other developers.

Open Source Text Editors and IDEs

Cross-Platform Open Source Editors

  • Logo of the Vim Text Editor Vim and gvim - a cross-platform vi-derivative editor (with many enhancements) with a Windows-conventions-emulating configuration (:source $VIMRUNTIME/mswin.vim). Has many plugins available on the site, supports Unicode and encodings, syntax highlighting, has both console and a GUI versions. Vim licence (open-source and GPL-compatible licence).

  • GNU Emacs - a cross-platform Emacs derivative, with console and GUI versions. Is mostly written in and extendable with the built-in Emacs Lisp scripting language. Very hard to get used to from my experience. (GPLed).

    There is also XEmacs, which started as a fork of GNU Emacs and has become unmaintained since 2009 as of May 2015.

  • gedit - a text-editor for the Gtk+/GNOME environment, with many plugins and extensions, and good unicode support. (GPLed) Its GNOME 3.x version removed the menu bar and made the interface much more minimalistic.

  • geany - another Gtk+-based programmer’s editor. (Open-source, GPLed)

  • jEdit - a cross-platform programmer’s text editor written in Java, with many plugins. (Open-source, GPL 2.0).

  • Logo of the Atom Text Editor Atom - an open source text editor for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X based on the Chromium browser, by GitHub. It is reportedly inspired a lot by Sublime Text. (MIT/Expat-licensed.)

  • Komodo Edit - a cross-platform text editor for dynamic programming languages from ActiveState. Also see Komodo IDE. (Open-source, MPL).

  • Kate - a programmer’s editor for KDE (the K Desktop Environment). As of this writing (January 2010), it crashes a lot on MS-Windows. Contains syntax highlighting, good support for Unicode and bi-directional scripts, and other features.

  • Bluefish - an open-source (GPLed) editor geared towards web-designers. Also see an review of Bluefish 2.0.

  • Brackets - an open source editor with a primary focus on web development, written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (MIT/Expat-licensed). Originally by Adobe Systems, it is currently maintained on GitHub.

  • GNU nano - an open source (GPL) console/terminal text editor which emulates Pico and extends its functionality. Still very limited in functionality, but easy to use.

  • JOE - an open source (GPL) and feature-rich, but not really programmable, console/terminal text editor with the default key-bindings reminiscent of WordStar.

Cross-Platform Open Source IDEs

  • Logo of the Eclipse IDE Eclipse - an open-source IDE written in Java. Very comprehensive and contains intellisense, automated refactoring , code completion, and enhanced browsing tools for Java and other languages.

  • NetBeans - a Java IDE from Sun which uses SWING (and thus has a non-native and quirky look-and-feel) with good support for Java and support for other languages, including C and C++.

  • SharpDevelop and MonoDevelop - open-source IDEs for Microsoft .NET / Mono.

  • The Eric Python IDE - a “full featured Python and Ruby editor and IDE, written in Python”.

  • Padre, the Perl IDE - an open-source IDE written in Perl, and intended primarily for Perl development.

  • Lazarus, the Free Pascal IDE - an IDE written in the Free Pascal Compiler (FPC), and primarily intended for writing using it. Emulates Delphi, but allows cross-platform and cross-UI development. (open-source, GPL/LGPL and other licences).

  • Anjuta: the GNOME IDE - an IDE for the GNOME environment. (open-source, GPLed).

  • Logo of the KDevelop IDE KDevelop - an IDE for the KDE desktop environment, written in Qt/C++ and primarily intended for C/C++. As of this writing (February, 2010), may have stability problems on Windows. (open-source, GPLed).

  • Qt Creator - a cross-platform IDE written in Qt/C++, and primarily intended for developing Qt applications. Part of the Qt SDK from Troll Tech (now part of Digia). (open-source, LGPLed).

  • Code::Blocks - an IDE written in C++ (and primarily for it) using the wxWidgets toolkit. Runs on Windows, Linux/Unix, and Mac OS X and supports multiple compilers.

  • Leo - an IDE written in Python, using PyQt, for Python and other languages that takes the unusual approach of also integrating project management, a rendering engine, and a music and video player. (MIT licence).

Platform-specific Open Source Editors

  • Notepad++ - a free source code editor for Microsoft Windows with syntax highlighting, scripting and many extensions. (open-source, GPLed).

    • Notepadqq - an open-source (GPLv3) Notepad++-like editor for Linux written using the Qt framework.

  • TextMate, E Text Editor and E Text Editor for Linux/UNIX - TextMate is a commercial programmer’s editor that has become popular on Mac OS X. It used to be non-open-source, but the source code for its 2.0 version was made available under the GPLv3 licence. E Text Editor is a commercial version of it for Windows, with source available for compiling on Linux and other systems.

Open Source GUI Designers

  • Glade - a User Interface Designer for the GTK+ toolkit and the GNOME desktop environment (GPL).

  • wxGlade - a GUI Builder for wxWidgets. (MIT/Expat-licensed).

Open Source Hex Editors

  • Okteta - a feature-rich and easy-to-use hex editor/binary editor for KDE. (GPL).

  • GHex - a hex editor for the GNOME environment. (GPL).

  • wxHexEditor - a cross-platform and feature-rich hex editor for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. (GPL).

  • Bless - a “high quality, full featured hex editor” written using Mono/Gtk#.

  • DHEX - an ncurses-based hex editor for UNIX-like systems. (GPL)

  • HT - a “file editor/viewer/analyser for executables”. (GPL)

  • xxd - a utility that ships as part of the Vim text editor distribution that allows dumping to hex display or reconstructing the binary, and can be used in conjunction with a text editor such as Vim.

  • GNU Emacs has an hexedit mode.

Open Source Debugger GUIs

  • Data Display Debugger (DDD) - an open source (GPLed) GUI for several popular command line debuggers including gdb, the Perl debugger, jdb, and the Python debugger based on the Motif GUI toolkit. Under-maintained.

  • KDbg - an open source (GPL) debugger front-end based on the KDE environment.

  • Nemiver - an open source (GPL) front-end for gdb based on the GNOME project and its components.

Non-Open-Source Text Editors and IDEs

Non Open-source (and probably platform-specific) Editors

  • Textpad - a proprietary programmer’s text editor for MS-Windows.

  • UltraEdit - a commercial, proprietary, text editor for MS-Windows, and x86-Linux.

  • BBEdit - a proprietary text editor for Mac OS X.

  • Coda - a proprietary and commercial text editor for Mac OS X, whose motto is “one-window web development” - i.e: put everything (text editor, file browser, web preview, etc.) in one window.

  • Sublime Text - a commercial text editor for Windows, x86 Linux and Mac OS X.

Non Open-source (and probably platform-specific) IDEs

  • Microsoft Visual Studio - the Microsoft IDE for Windows with support for C, C++ and .NET-based languages. (Proprietary and commercial.)

  • Embarcadero Delphi (formerly Borland Delphi) and C++Builder - Windows IDEs for Object Pascal and a variation of C++. (Proprietary and commercial.)

  • Wing IDE - a proprietary and cross-platform IDE for Python. (Proprietary and commercial.)

  • Komodo IDE - a proprietary and cross-platform IDE for dynamic languages, from ActiveState, based on the Mozilla platform. (Proprietary and commercial.) A free, open-source, and limited, version of it is available as Komodo Edit.

  • IntelliJ IDEA - a proprietary and commercial IDE for Java. Has an open-source version with more limited functionality.

  • PyCharm - a proprietary and commercial IDE for Python, with a focus on Django development. (Proprietary and commercial.) A “Community Edition” is available under the open-source Apache License.

  • Xcode - a proprietary (but free of charge) IDE by Apple intended for developing software for Mac OS X and iOS. Runs only on Mac OS X.

See Also


  • Vim Logo taken from the English Wikipedia under the GPL.

  • The Atom logo is part of the Atom package by GitHub under the MIT/Expat license, and taken from the English Wikipedia.

  • The Eclipse Logo was taken from the English wikipedia, is owned by the Eclipse Foundation, under “Fair Use”.

  • KDevelop Logo was taken from the English Wikipedia, under the LGPL.


Creative Commons License

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2011, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version of that licence).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.