What Are the best text editors for Mac?

Whether you’re an amateur coder or a seasoned developer, the right text editor can make all the difference to your workflow. The last thing you want is software that messes with your formatting or compromises your code.

Not all text editors are created equal, though. When you’re sifting through the App Store for the right text editor to use on your Mac, it can be tough to tell the difference between each product at a glance.

The best text editors are the ones that fit your needs, whatever they are. Read on, and we’ll talk you through some of the best text editors available for Mac. You’ll be surprised at how much more productive you can be!


Atom was developed by Github, though it’s now owned by Microsoft. The change in ownership hasn’t changed the facts, though: this versatile, cross-platform text editor is still one of the best on the market today.

Atom has all the features you’ll need to do your best coding, from multi-pane viewing to an autocomplete feature. For new coders, it comes with extensive documentation to help you get started. Even better – it’s easy to customize, with thousands of open-source feature packages waiting for you to download and install.

While all those extra features can turn into a resource hog over time, Atom is a great starting point for a new coder. It will hold your hand through the basics, and its customizability means it can continue to meet your needs as your skills improve.

Why You Should:

  • Free
  • Cross-platform
  • Customizable

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • Large install footprint

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is one of the biggest names in the game, and with good reason. It’s a sleek, beautiful editor packed with quick shortcuts for ease of use. It also includes a distraction-free writing mode, so you can stay focused on your work for as long as you need.

Like Atom, it’s always evolving, with new features added all the time. It’s geared toward helping new coders learn and develop, and includes a syntax definition feature to help you remember what any given piece of code does.

The one real downside to Sublime Text is the cost. Unlike many of the text editors featured here, it isn’t free. However, it isn’t too expensive, and fans of the product would argue that the features make it worth the cost.

Why You Should:

  • Lots of features for beginners
  • Sleek and easy to use

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • Up-front cost

VS Code

While it shares a lot of source code with Atom, VS Code has a distinct focus. If you’re an intermediate-level coder looking to improve your speed and efficiency, VS Code will have your back.

It may not be as friendly to beginners as Atom or Sublime Text, but for coders who have made it past the initial learning curve, VS Code could be a perfect fit. Its autocomplete and in-app debugging features are there to support more experienced coders when they need it, without ever getting in the way.

If you find that you need more support from VS Code, don’t worry! There are many extensions out there to enhance your experience, so you can add in any extra features if you need them.

Why You Should:

  • Free
  • Great for intermediate coders
  • Simple, efficient workflow

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • Not ideal for novices


If you’ve been grinding your teeth because Notepad++ isn’t available for Mac, look no further. CodeRunner is a text editor and integrated development environment (IDE) geared towards developers.

It’s fast and easy to use, with support for 23 different languages and multi-file projects. While it doesn’t have some of the novice-friendly features of Atom or Sublime Text, it packs in all the IDE features you could ask for. Plus, it’s lightweight and clutter-free, so it won’t slow down your machine.

CodeRunner, like Sublime Text, isn’t free. If you’re wary of committing to the software before you’ve had the chance to try it out, click here to see how you can give CodeRunner a try.

Why You Should:

  • Support for multiple languages
  • Customizable
  • Lightweight

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • Up-front cost


If you work with CSS, Espresso could be the app for you. It’s an elegant and intuitive text editor with a three-column interface, built so that you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Plus, it’s designed for real-time text editing, so anything you update in Espresso’s interface will update instantly in the back end, too. We love Espresso’s drag and drop functionality, which lets you move your work from the front end to the back end with ease.

While Espresso can do wonders for your productivity, it does have its disadvantages. It doesn’t come with Windows or Linux compatibility, so if you’re looking for cross-platform support, you’ll be out of luck. It’s also one of the most expensive apps listed here, though the free trial will help you decide whether to buy.

Why You Should:

  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Efficient design

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • Up-front cost
  • No Windows or Linux support

The Best Text Editors?

Nobody chooses the best text editor by ticking boxes or comparing lists of features. Text editors each have their own unique feel, and deciding which one is right for you can take time and hands-on research.

Don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Try out the software that catches your interest, and see how it feels to use. When you find the right app to support your workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever muddled through with anything else.

If you liked this post, and you’re curious about software recommendations, why not check out some of our other software guides today?

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