Code editors introduction
How you write your code is important, and so is what you write your code in. Regarding the software you use to write your code, there are several issues you have to consider before deciding which one is best for you.
This tutorial focuses on:
- What is a 'code editor'?
- Does it really matter which code editor I use?
- What if I change my mind?
- Using more than one code editor
What is a 'code editor'?
Some people will make the mistake of thinking that when we say 'code editor' we mean that you can take any text editor, open it, and start writing code. The term 'code editor' specifically refers to a type of text editor that is designed for people who write code. There are plain text editors and then there are code editors.
Code editors are designed with specific features useful to people who write code such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and tabs. Text editors on the other hand, are designed just for typing text. When you are searching for a code editor, make sure that it actually is a code editor and not a plain text editor.
Does it really matter which code editor I use?
It depends. Using the wrong code editor can have consequences such as less productivity, more mistakes, and frustration.
For example, if you need a code editor with only a few features but you're using a very complex code editor with lots of features then it will take longer to load when you start it up and you will have to find your way through the clutter of features. Or if you are using a code editor that is lacking in a few features that you need, you might have to do those things manually.
What if I change my mind?
You've been using a code editor that suits your needs for a while but then something happened that made you not want to use it anymore. There are several things that can lead to this such as the end of a free trial (code editor was free for a time, but then you have to pay to use it), you found something better.
If you change your mind about a code editor that you've been using then just get on a search engine and look for another one! You can also check out our list of code editors.
Using more than one code editor
What if you are using one code editor and you find another one that you don't need but it has one or two really great features that the code editor you are using doesn't have? Use both!
When using more than one code editor, use one as your primary code editor, and have one or two others that you use for specific features when you need them.