2016 Top Light Weight Text Editors

As a programmer and blogger I have need for both heavy weight, full IDE software and the quick and easy text editors. We all need a fast way to edit text files without anything in our way but with a tad more features then notepad.

Notepad is fun but... it's not. Not fun at all. Period.

For me a good text editor needs to be fast in all ways. Fast to open. Fast to close. Fast to switch from file to file. Fast to make edits. Fast to search within. Everything about it has to make it faster for me than Notepad.

I've included my top 3 editors in this post. There are many more out there. Some may have more features, more plugin, more themes, etc.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text Screenshot

This one made it to the top of my list. A few years ago I thought I was settled for life with Notepad++ but one week after using Sublime Text changed all of that.

The one feature which got me hooked up was their multiple selection tool. With a quick Ctrl-D shortcut you can select multiple instance of your selection and then edit the whole thing all at once simultaniously.

But that's just one feature they have which speeds up editing.

Sublime text also has an extensive list of addons supporting almost anything you can think of.

The editor is slick and fast. It's also fully cross platform if you're like me working on both Windows and Mac (and very rarely but occationally on Linux).

It's free to try and evaluate. I encourage you to buy has their license is per-user rather than per-machine which is super fine if again you're like me developping on many machines and platforms.

Note that at this time Sublime Text 3 is still in beta but I've been using it for a while without any issues.

Download Sublime Text 3 or Download Sublime Text 2


Atom Screenshot

Atom is a relatively new editor built by the team at GitHub. Atom distinguishes itself by the level of customisation it gives you. Since it's built with HTML, Javascript, CSS and Node.js it can be personalized easily in many many ways.

Atom works across operating systems. You can use it on OS X, Windows, or Linux.

It offers many built-in themes which looks great and offers many community themes as well. I have to say it really feels and looks like a 2016 text editor.

The GitHub guys used their experience to develop a quick and useful editor for developers.

I'll definitely explore this slick editor more and more as it matures in the future.

It's also completely free, which makes it an easy choice.

Download Atom


Notepad++ Screenshot

Notepad++ is a free text editor. It's fast and effective at the same time. It has everything you'd expect from a light weight text editor. Syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-completion, tab interface and more.

Recent versions has introduced some limited multi-editing has I mention Sublime Text could do but not as user friendly and well integrated. See it in action here.

It also has a function list panel which can be useful as a quick reference.

Unfortunately, it looks and feels like an older software. It's not as slick as the other two editors but it does work great and offer nice features.

It's a good free solution for Windows users. (It's only available for Windows.)

Download Notepad++

Dec 7, 2015 | comment Comment

Programming without comments

Comments in your code should be avoided at all cost. Why? Because they waste your valuable time and your collaborators time. Good code does not need comments. You may have heard this before, if you did, unfortunately I'm repeating it.

What's good code and why doesn't it need comments?

Good code is code which follows a common easy to follow logic, consistent naming and indentation. Consider the following code:

if (orange == apple) {
    print("You are holding a square");
} else {
    print("You are holding a rectangle");

With some thinking you may have figured what we're comparing here but even if you did can you really figure what's an apple and what's an orange? In this example you would need comments to tell the next programmer what you're talking about. Here's the same code but written by a smarter programmer...

if (shapeWidth == shapeHeight) {
    print("You are holding a square");
} else {
    print("You are holding a rectangle");

Now doesn't it make a lot more sense? This is a very simple example but it serves as a very good example. When you choose descriptive names for your variables and functions the code becomes self documented. No need to spend time commenting everything. It just makes sense.

There are time when commenting is necessary, for example when you're attempting a complex logic which is not common. Try to avoid complex if you can. Often when you feel you need to comment your code, you've made it too complicated.


Jul 25, 2015 | comment Comment