What Are Text Editors and Why Are They Important?

A few years back, Microsoft wanted their reach to extend to one billion Windows 10 devices. That’s a pretty wide reach when it comes to users who have Microsoft Office installed on their computers.

If you’re using an Apple product, chances are that you’ve already got Microsoft Office installed and likely use Microsoft Word to create text documents.

However, Word isn’t the only text editor on the market. In fact, as coding becomes more and more important in today’s digital world, there are other text editors that can allow people to edit blocks of code more efficiently.

Here’s everything you need to know about text editors and why it’s even important in the first place.

What Are Text Editors?

To put it simply, text editors let you, well, edit text. This could mean anything from editing a simple Word document for a college essay or writing out long blocks of code to use for developing a new program.

Most computers come with some basic version of a text editor these days, or you can access free web text editors online.

If you’re working on an Apple MacBook, for example, then the Notes app is technically a text editor. 

If you’re using a Windows-based computer, then you’re able to use Notepad, which is a basic text-editing program that will allow you to create documents. Aside from that, there are limits to the functions of Notepad or Notes.

If you’re looking to create a higher-level document or need more functions, you’re going to need a more powerful text editor.

This is especially true if you’re getting started with coding.

Choosing your text editor as a coder is one of the most crucial aspects of setting yourself up for success. And, there are hundreds of programs to choose from.

Website text editors, in this context, should provide you with a great user interface and a few features that allow you to easily program.

What’s So Important About a Text Editor?

If you’re just writing an essay for your college communication class, then you’ll probably find that there isn’t much difference between a program like Microsoft Word and one like Atom.

Word allows you to format the document how you need, change fonts, add footnotes, and all of the other basics of document creation.

However, if you’re creating a personal website or doing anything that requires complex coding language, then you’re going to need a few more features out of your text editor.

This is what makes them so important!

Programers, editors, and content creators use text to create websites, programs, and blogs that funnel content to users all around the world.

Without the right program, none of this would be possible. This is why modern-day text editors cater to the needs and language of coding.

It’s also why the best text editors include features such as syntax highlighting, auto-indentation, and tools that help with debugging.

If you’re not new to coding, then you’ll understand what we’re talking about. If you don’t code, then you can still make use of certain text editors as they offer great functions and capabilities for the everyday user, too!

Analyzing the Best Text Editors for Mac and Windows

What are you looking for when analyzing the best text editor for your needs?

For starters, you’ll want to ensure it has the basic features such as:

  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Code Folding
  • Auto-Completion
  • Scripting
  • Markup Languages

Breaking them down by operating system makes them a little easier to understand.

Best Text Editors for Mac

When it comes to the best Mac text editor, you have two main choices: Atom and BBEdit.

Atom is a text editor by GitHub, which is a large hosting company that provides services all over the world. This means that the text editor is pretty complete and has lots of features if you’re editing code.

What makes this one of the best is that it’s easy to use for the average person while also still allowing for lots of customization if you desire. 

You can, for example, add themes, translation plugins, and export tools.

Because it’s a text editor from GitHub, it means that it’s developer-friendly in that the creators understand exactly what kind of tools that programmers and developers need to excel.

BBEdit is just as comprehensive for the basic user but lacks the customization that an experienced developer will need.

However, it’s pretty Mac-friendly. In fact, it was one of the original text editors for Mac, which means the interface is very similar.

Best Text Editors for Windows

It’s difficult to talk about text editors for Windows without mentioning Notepad ++, which is a program entirely fit for Windows users.

One of the biggest pros about using Notepad ++ is that the program size is small and allows you to edit blocks of code at a much faster speed than in other editors.

The text editor works natively with C++ but has built-in syntax highlighters for lots of other programming languages as well.

Sublime Text works great on Windows, as well as Mac and Linux. However, it’s not free, which deters some users from taking advantage of its capabilities.

You pay for what you get, though, which is the luxury of being able to divide the screen into two documents, among other things.

Making Text Editors Work for You

Nearly everybody who works in a modern-day job has to use a text editor on a daily basis.

Whether they’re using text editors to draft up a simple document, jot down a note, or write out the code for the company’s website, everybody edits text.

Depending on the individual needs of the worker, they’ll probably need to eventually upgrade to a text editor that caters to their job function.

Interested in learning how to make text editors work for you? 

Head on over to our tech reviews section to find reviews on products and software that can complement your text editor. Sometimes all you need is a little extra push in order to increase your productivity when writing out text.