Best Text Editor Software for Mac (2024) for code & writing

Best Text Editor Software for Mac (2024) for code & writing


It took me a long time to find the best batch of text and code tools for my MacBook or iMac. As someone who loves to code and make apps and websites, I quickly learned that even though MacBook’s and iMacs have great hardware, they can’t be used to their full potential in the world of high-performance coding without a reliable code or text editor that is full of useful features. Looking for the best text editor for Mac became an important part of making my writing projects more productive and efficient. I understand how important it is to have a tool that works well with your favorite computer language so that you can code easily and enjoyably.

Programming tools not only let you write code, but they also have useful features like auto-completion, syntax highlighting, and error checking that make the process of writing code faster and less likely to make mistakes. So, if you’re new to coding on your MacBook or iMac, trust me when I say that choosing the right text editor can make all the difference in making your sessions smooth and fun. Not just the gear, but also the tools that make your coding experience better and take it to a whole new level.

What is Text Editor Software?

The creation and modification of text files are the primary functions of text editors, which are specialised software tools. In addition to supporting plain text, these editors are able to parse a wide variety of text formats, including markup languages, which are used for rich text formatting.

Instead of using integrated development environments (IDE), this kind of software offers a more straightforward option. The programmers and developers who are involved in activities such as changing plain text source code, updating configuration files, and reviewing error logs are the target audience for these services.

Best Text Editor Software for Mac Comparison Table

MacBook’s and iMacs are the ideal platforms for high-performance coding due to the excellent hardware configurations that are found in these devices. However, it does not come with a powerful code editor or text editor that you may use to write development codes in the programming language of your choice while using it.

Feature MacVim Emacs Visual Studio Code Notepad++ Espresso
Primary Use Text editing Text editing Code editing Code editing Web development
Customization Highly customizable with plugins and scripts Highly customizable with plugins and scripts Customizable with extensions and themes Customizable with plugins and themes Customizable with plugins and themes
Language Support Various programming languages supported Extensive language support through modes and packages Wide range of language support out of the box Supports multiple programming languages Primarily focused on web languages
Integrated Terminal Yes Yes Yes No No
Version Control Git integration, version control support Version control integration through plugins like Magit Built-in Git support, version control capabilities Plugin-based version control integration available Limited version control features
Debugging Capabilities Limited debugging features, requires external tools for debugging support Debugging support through plugins like GUD Built-in debugging tools for various languages Limited debugging capabilities, relies on external tools Limited debugging features
Community Support Active community providing plugins and support Large community offering extensive documentation and resources Strong community with a vast array of extensions and resources Active community contributing plugins and updates Smaller community compared to other options

Best Text Editor Software for Mac

TextEdit, the Mac’s built-in text editor, is great for making and changing files. It’s not good for writing or reviewing code, though, because it doesn’t have enough features. To do that, you need a more powerful text editor that lets you make changes and has features like plugins, text formatting, syntax highlighting, and working together. These are the five best Mac text tools you can use right now.


Feature Description
Text Editing Powerful text editing capabilities
Extensibility Highly customizable through plugins
Terminal Support Integrated terminal for command-line actions
Cross-Platform Available on macOS, Windows, and Linux
Download Now

MacVim stands out as a powerful text editor designed for macOS users who want to change documents quickly and beautifully. It takes inspiration from Vim’s long history and combines modal writing with the sleek look of macOS to create a wonderful editing experience. What really makes MacVim stand out is how flexible it is.

With a huge library of plugins and scripts, users can fine-tune the editor to work with their own specific processes. Its feature-packed toolkit includes split views, syntax highlighting, and powerful search and replace tools that meet the needs of both coders and power users. It provides a quick and efficient editing environment that works well with macOS.

The Good

  1. Extensive customization options
  2. Efficient text editing for experienced users
  3. Cross-platform support

The Bad

  1. Steeper learning curve for beginners
  2. May require familiarity with Vim commands


Best Text Editor Software for Mac

Feature Description
Extensibility Highly customizable through Lisp programming
Text Editing Advanced text manipulation capabilities
Package Manager Built-in package manager for easy extensions
Integrated Shell Includes a shell for command-line operations

I’ve grown to respect its status as an old and respected foundation in the software development community, known for being incredibly flexible and easy to add on to. More than just a text editor, Emacs goes beyond its limitations and offers a wide range of features, from managing emails to playing games for fun.

What really interests me about Emacs is its Lisp-based scripting language, which lets users change it to their exact needs and makes it an essential tool for many jobs. Its strength is enhanced by the large number of modes and packages that make it more useful and allow it to work seamlessly with many computer languages and tools.

The Good

  1. Powerful and extensible through Emacs Lisp
  2. Versatile text editing features
  3. Rich package ecosystem

The Bad

  1. Initial setup can be complex
  2. Requires time to master due to extensive functionality

Visual Studio Code

Best Text Editor Software for Mac

Feature Description
IntelliSense Smart code completion and suggestions
Integrated Terminal Run commands and scripts directly within the editor
Debugging Support Robust debugging tools for various programming languages
Extension Marketplace A vast array of extensions for additional functionality
Collaboration Tools Live Share enables real-time collaboration with others

Visual Studio Code, a free editor from Microsoft, has become one of my favorite tools for writing code. It works well with Git, has powerful debugging tools, and has IntelliSense code completion, which makes it useful for both new and experienced developers.

In addition to its technical prowess, the editor is popular because it is easy to use and has a lot of features. My experience with Visual Studio Code has shown that it can meet a wide range of coding needs, which further solidifies its position as a top choice among coders.

The Good

  1. Powerful and versatile
  2. Excellent support for multiple programming languages
  3. Large and active community

The Bad

  1. Requires more resources compared to lighter editors
  2. Some features might feel overwhelming for beginners


Best Text Editor Software for Mac

Feature Description
Syntax Highlighting Color-coded text for various programming languages
Multi-View Split the editor window to view and edit multiple files
Extensive Plugins Enhance functionality with a variety of available plugins
Lightweight Quick and responsive, suitable for simple tasks
Regular Expression Search Powerful search and replace using regular expressions

When I think back on my time coding on Windows, Notepad++ has always been there for me. It’s known for being simple and easy to use. This small editor is the perfect balance between being able to support multiple languages and having an easy-to-use interface.

A level of sophistication is added to its simple functionality by adding features like syntax highlighting and code folding. Notepad++ has consistently shown itself to be a good choice for coding sessions that are quick and easy.

The Good

  1. Fast startup and low resource usage
  2. Simple and straightforward interface
  3. Portable version available

The Bad

  1. Limited features compared to full-fledged IDEs
  2. Windows-only application


Best Text Editor Software for Mac

Feature Description
Live Preview See real-time changes to web pages while editing
Syntax Highlighting Code highlighting for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Navigator Quickly jump between sections of code with the navigator
Built-in Server Test websites locally with the integrated server
Auto-Saving Changes are automatically saved to prevent data loss

Espresso, a special editor made just for web developers, has made my coding much better since I use a Mac. It values speed and efficiency, which are traits that are in line with what modern web development needs. The clean interface is a breath of fresh air, making it easier to concentrate and get things done.

Espresso is an important tool for Mac-based developers because it has live previews and special tools for editing CSS that make the web development process easier. One thing that stands out for me about Espresso is how well it works with other creative program. This makes coding on a Mac both fun and productive.

The Good

  1. Streamlined for web development
  2. Elegant and intuitive interface
  3. Focus on live preview enhances productivity

The Bad

  1. Limited language support compared to general-purpose editors
  2. macOS exclusive, limiting cross-platform use

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Text Editor for Mac

When picking a text editor for your Mac, make sure it meets your wants and helps you get more done by thinking about the following:

  1. Easy to Use: Look for a text editor that has a simple interface and functions that are easy to understand. With clear menus and directions, it should be simple to get around.
  2. Options for customisation: Think about how flexible the text editor is. Can you change the colour of the syntax highlighting, the style, and the font? Are there plugins or addons that can be used to add features?
  3. Syntax Highlighting: By colouring different parts of code, syntax highlighting makes it easy to read. Check to see if the text editor can show syntax for the programming languages you use most often.
  4. Code Completion: Code completion can save you time by offering code snippets and filling in variable names for you. Inspect the text editor to see if it has this tool and how well it works.
  5. Integration with Version Control: If you use Git or another version control system, look for a text editor that works well with them. This lets you save changes, see differences, and settle merge issues right in the editor.
  6. Features for Project Management: Some text editors have features for project management, such as the ability to organise files into folders, move between files, and look across the whole project. Think about whether these features are necessary for your work.
  7. Performance: Even when working on big files or complicated projects, a text editor should be quick and easy to use. Make sure the text tool works the way you expect it to by using it with your normal work.
  8. Cross-Platform Compatibility: If you work on more than one platform, like macOS, Windows, or Linux, you should look for a text editor that works on all of them. In this way, you can keep your routine the same on all of your computers.

Questions and Answers

What text editor should I use for Mac?

Many people think that Sublime Text is the best text editor for Mac because it works with Apple Silicon. It has cool new features like the ability to support multiple careers and selections, a command menu for quick access to commands, and most importantly, it works on multiple platforms.

Does Mac have a built in text editor?

It’s easier to do general work with one of the text editors that come with macOS. Use TextEdit (in Launchpad) if you want to use a tabbed text editor. If not, use one of the command-line tools that come with macOS: Nano nano is a simple writer for the command line.

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