Everyone needs a basic text editor for Readme files and simple Note taking. That’s why Windows comes with Notepad and Mac OS X comes with TextEdit. But notepad is not the simplest solution. These editors lack such basic niceties, like a tabbed interface and search and replace functionality.
When working with complex coding, it is helpful to have an editor that gives you a feature of line numbers, highlighting the important areas, support for multiple programming languages, a better find and replace feature, and some other userful features that can make the process of coding a bit less frustrating.

1. Notepad++ – Windows

Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.

Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

Download Notepad++

2. Programmer’s Notepad – Windows

Programmer’s Notepad is a light weight Notepad replacement that is aimed at programmers and web monkeys.

Feature include syntax highlighting of a large number of programming languages including Python, Ruby, HTML, C, C++ and Java. Go for it if you are impressed by docking toolbars, support for ctags and interactive error finding (clicking on a error takes you to the line that caused it).

Download Programmer’s Notepad

3. TotalEdit – Windows

TotalEdit is a powerful notepad replacement and text editor. Packed full of features to help everyone from office workers, journalists through to programmers and web site editors.
It is perfect for editing web sites (including PHP, HTML, Javascript, Ruby, JSP), file and hex editing, programming and AutoCad development with support for AutoLISP and DCL.

It can help you work faster with features including Auto-Completion, Code-Folding, Language specific Syntax-Coloring, Plug-in External Compilers like Javac, Preview Web Pages, fully customizable environment, spell checker and much more.
Best of all TotalEdit is free for commercial and non-commercial purposes (its freeware).

Download TotalEdit

4. Notepad2 – Windows

If what you want is a blaring fast text editor that starts instantly at the touch of a mouse and that gets things done as fast as possible, then Notepad2 is for you. Notepad2 is aimed at coders who need a little more oomph than the generic Notepad in Windows.

It supports a number of programming languages. Hit F12, select the scheme and press OK. If you wish to replace the generic Notepad with Notepad2, here are the instructions for Windows XP and for Windows Vista.

Download Notepad2

5. XML Notepad 2007 – Windows

XML Notepad 2007 is themed around the same kind of just-the-text-ma’am simplicity of Windows’ Notepad, but does add relevant features for markup language hacking.

XML Notepad has a simple interface with a tree view of tags on left and their values displayed on right. Use this one as it reduces the chances of human errors in generating properly validated XML files.

Download XML Notepad 2007

6. ConTEXT – Windows

ConTEXT is a small, fast and powerful freeware text editor, developed to serve as a secondary tool for software developers.

ConTEXT is very light weight, is simple to use and hardly uses any RAM. It supports a large number of programming languages like C/C++, Delphi/Pascal, Java, Java Script, Visual Basic, Perl/CGI, HTML, CSS, SQL, FoxPro, 80×86 assembler, Python, PHP, Tcl/Tk, XML, Fortran, Foxpro and InnoSetup scripts.

Download ConTEXT

7. jEdit – Windows, Mac, Linux

jEdit is written in Java can can run on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

jEdit Built-in macro language; extensible plugin architecture. Dozens of macros and plugins available. It also auto indent, and syntax highlighting for more than 130 languages. Plugins can be downloaded and installed from within jEdit using the “plugin manager” feature. Every other feature, both basic and advanced, you would expect to find in a text editor.

Download jEdit

8. Komodo Edit – Windows, Mac, Linux

Komodo Edit supports PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl and Tcl, plus JavaScript, CSS, HTML and template languages like RHTML, Template-Toolkit, HTML-Smarty and Django.

It’s absolutely fantastic to work with. It does everything a good editor should do, but it also adds a bunch of other little awesome things. If you are coming from a Vim or Emacs background, you can also set Komodo Edit to emulate Vim or Emacs key bindings.

Download Komodo Edit

9. SourceEdit – Windows

Source Edit is an editor especially made for developers but can of course be used as a regular text editor as well.

It natively supports the following languages: ASP, PHP, Java, C/C++, C#, Visual Basic, Pascal, Perl, Cold Fusion, SQL, HTML, CSS, XML Source You can also create a new one yourself using the Language Editor. Source Edit has an IntelliSense like code completion feature. Source Edit supports recording of keyboard macros. You can also add any custom tool to Source Edit tools menu and toolbar.

Download SourceEdit

10. PSPad – Windows

PSPad is another code editor that would be of interest to web developers because of its built-in FTP client. PSPad is ready to work immediately without requiring customization. The editor supports many file types and languages, with syntax highlighting.

There are macros, clip files and templates to automate repetative tasks. Integrated HEX Editor, Project support, FTP Client, Macro Recorder, File Search/Replace, Code Explorer, Code page conversion… these are just some of the many features that PSPad offers.Download PSPad

11. Crimson Editor – Windows

Crimson Editor is a professional source code editor for Windows.

it can serve as a good replacement for Notepad, it also offers many powerful features for programming languages such as HTML, C/C++, Perl and Java.

Download Crimson Editor

12. VIM Text Editor – Windows, Mac, Linux

Vim stands for ‘vi improved’ denoting that it is an improved version of the earlier used vi editor. Vim can run in a wide variety of platforms including Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. It was not primarily designed to be easy to use, favoring performance and technical flexibility instead. Because it is so different, learning to use Vim takes time.

Download Vim

13. GNU Emacs – Windows, Mac, Linux

GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect with extensions to support text editing.

GNU Emacs include Content-sensitive editing modes, including syntax coloring, for a variety of file types including plain text, source code, and HTML and Complete built-in documentation, including a tutorial for new users.

Download Emacs

14. TextMate – Mac

TextMate brings Apple’s approach to operating systems into the world of text editors. By bridging UNIX underpinnings and GUI, TextMate cherry-picks the best of both worlds to the benefit of expert scripters and novice users alike. It has enough project management features to keep most users happy, but is otherwise kept lightweight with a clean and minimalistic GUI.

It has enough project management features to keep most users happy, but is otherwise kept lightweight with a clean and minimalistic GUI. Note that the download is only for 30 days.

Download Textmat

15. TextPad – Windows

TextPad 5.3.1 is a powerful, genera l purpose editor for plain text files. Easy to use, with all the features a power user requires.

It has plenty of features like a spell checker for 10 languages, a Warm Start feature which lets you start the program from where you left off when you last opened it, and a keystroke macro recorder for automating keystrokes (which can save you a ton of time from typing frequently-used code) and lots more. Note that This download is the free trial version of Textpad. The full version can be purchased directly from the author for around $29.00 USD.

Download Textpad

16. E- Text editor – Windows

E is a new text editor for Windows, with powerful editing features and quite a few unique abilities. It makes manipulating text fast and easy, and lets you focus on your writing by automating all the manual work. You can extend it in any language, and by supporting TextMate bundles, it allows you to tap into a huge and active community.

Download E-Text editor

17. Caditor – Windows

Caditor is a portable tabbed text editor featuring encryption, syntax highlighting, autocomplete, line numbering and a functional plugin system. It has a convenient search box built into the tool bar of the text editor’s interface so that you don’t have to open another dialog box to perform a search.

Download caditor

18. Bluefish Editor – Mac, Linux

Bluefish is a powerful editor targeted towards programmers and webdesigners, with many options to write websites, scripts and programming code. Bluefish supports many programming and markup languages, and it focuses on editing dynamic and interactive websites. It has a built-in function reference browser (for PHP, Python, CSS, and HTML) so you can quickly learn about with particular syntaxes.

Bluefish runs on most (maybe all?) POSIX compatible operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS-X, OpenBSD and Solaris.
Download Bluefish Editor

19. TextWrangler – Mac OSX

TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator’s tool. At its most basic, a text editor is a tool for simply editing text. You can use a text editor for a wide variety of tasks from cleaning up data, to editing configuration files on your Mac or server, to writing HTML or coding.

Download TextWrangler

20. Smultron – Mac

Smultron is a free text editor for Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 which is both easy to use and powerful. It is designed to neither confuse newcomers nor disappoint advanced users.
It should work perfectly for a whole variety of needs – like web programming, script editing, making a to do list and so on.

Download Smultron

21. Gedit Text Editor – Linux

gedit is the official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. While aiming at simplicity and ease of use, gedit is a powerful general purpose text editor. it features Configurable syntax highlighting for various languages (C, C++, Java, HTML, XML, Python, Perl and many others and Full support for internationalized text (UTF-8). gedit features also a flexible plugin system which can be used to dynamically add new advanced features to gedit itself.

Download gedit

22. SciTE – Windows, Linux

SciTe is a SCIntilla based Text Editor. Originally built to demonstrate Scintilla, it has grown to be a generally useful editor with facilities for building and running programs. It is best used for jobs with simple configurations – it for building test and demonstration programs as well as SciTE and Scintilla, themselves. On Windows, there is a companion application Filerx which provides project management and macro features to SciTE.

Download SciTE

Which is your favorite text editor? Know about a better text editor than these ones? Tell us in the comments.

Sources

Best Free Text Editors for Windows and Mac
13 Great Free Text Editor for Windows
15 Outstanding Free Text Editors for Designer and Coders