How do I Choose the Best Programming Editor?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
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In computers, software use is managed by an application called a programming editor. To choose the best programming editor, a computer developer must consider what he is trying to accomplish with a particular software application. There are editors for databases, programming languages and operating systems. Each editor provides the developer with a software tool to save and manage specific program files.

The most basic programming editor is a text based editor. This includes text pad, Word pad®, and the basic disk operating system (DOS) editor. A basic text editor provides a text-based scratchpad for developers to create scripts and text files.

There are also many freeware versions of text editors available on the Internet. These programs offer good overall functionality and can be used by most software code. The freeware editors don’t typically offer good support because the original developers may no longer be available.

When considering an advanced programming editor, it is best to look at some open source options. These editors offer robust features and are also free for use. Open-source is a form of software that is developed and managed by a community of software engineers. Theses engineers develop the software for the good of the development community. Overall product support is generally acceptable because the development community can be contacted directly. Eclipse® is an example of an open source editor that is freely available on the Internet.


Most modern programming is performed using advanced editors called an integrated development environment (IDE). This type of editor provides developers with an integrated environment that is used for writing, testing and deploying complex software code. The IDE approach is the most powerful tool in the area of editors. It provides a holistic view for the management and organization of code.

There are multiple IDE type editors available today. Visual Studio® is an IDE that is designed to support the Windows development environment. This tool enables Windows®-based programmers a full-featured application that can build and test most Microsoft® software applications. The editor supports multiple programming languages including .Net, Visual Basic and Microsoft® Visual C#.

A good quality programming editor should include automated insertion options. This is a development technique that inserts stubbed versions of logic, which save the developer critical typing time. Each editor has limitation on what code can be added but some editors offer custom insertion options.


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