Free Programmers' Editors, IDEs, ASCII Text Editors

ASCII Text Editors, IDEs, Syntax Highlighting Editors

Free Programmer's Editors, Integrated Development Environment (IDE), ASCII Text Editors

This page lists free programmers' editors, also known as source code editors, Integrated Development Environment or IDEs, ASCII text editors or plain text editors, syntax highlighting code editors and the like. They are useful to programmers and web designers for writing the source code of a program or writing the HTML/PHP/Perl code for a website.

Note that certain specific types of editors have their own separate pages:

In addition, commercial programming editors like the EditPad Pro are not listed below.

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Free Source Code Editors, Plain Text Editors, Syntax Highlighting Editors


This source code editor supports syntax highlighting, search and replace with regular expressions, bracket/brace matching, column editing, hexadecimal file viewing, HTML/XML validation, macros, undo/redo, project/session support (where you associate certain settings for each project), bookmarks, etc. This is a Windows program.

Text Editor Pro

This text editor features syntax highlighting, code folding, multi-caret and synchronized editing, text comparison, JSON/SQL/XML formatters, etc. This is a Windows program.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Microsoft Visual Studio Code is an open source programmer's editor with syntax highlighting, code completion, snippet management, refactoring (available only for certain languages), multiple selections, column/box selection, global search and replace, zen mode (where all the distractions of the user interface are hidden), etc.


Atom is an open source text editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It has the usual features of a programmer's editor, including syntax highlighting, auto-completion, code folding, matching of braces, automatic indentation, search and replace (including searching through a function list), built-in integration with git (a version control system) and GitHub (a project hosting web host), spell checking, etc. The editor is designed to be extensible, and you can create plugins for it using a wide variety of languages including C/C++, C#, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, etc. It is built on top of Chromium (the open source version of the Chrome web browser), and released under the MIT licence.


CudaText is an open source text editor that supports syntax highlighting for numerous languages (eg, C, C++, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PHP, Python, etc), code-folding, multiple carets (cursors) and selections, auto-completion for certain languages (eg HTML and CSS), customizable hotkeys, different character encodings, search and replace with regular expressions, etc. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and FreeBSD.

TED Notepad

This Windows editor is meant to be a Notepad replacement with some additional features. It appears to only be able to edit a single file at a time (like Notepad), in that every time you open a new file, it replaces the existing one in your window. Besides the usual editing facilities, it supports drag and drop from explorer (drag a file onto the editor to open it), favourites, ASCII and Unicode character encoding, multi-line searching, multiple clipboards, extensive hotkey support, text case conversion, sorting, etc.

RJ TextEd

RJ TextEd is a Unicode source code editor (and hence also text editor) that supports syntax highlighting, code folding, support for HTML with integrated preview of your web page and HTML code validation, spell checking, auto-completion, templates, binary file support, built-in FTP with synchronization, the ability to convert files between code pages, Unicode and text formats, etc.


SciTE is a syntax highlighting editor that uses the open source Scintilla editor library. It features syntax highlighting for a wide variety of programming languagues, the ability to select rectangular regions of text, the facility to compile or run programs directly from the editor's output pane, built-in support for certain compilers (C/C++ compilers like gcc, Visual C++, Borland C++, Python, PHP, etc), support for sessions, folding for many languages, Unicode support, etc. Platforms supported include Windows and Linux. The program is open source.


Notepad++ is a source code text editor with syntax highlighting (C, C++, Java, C#, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, ASP, SQL, Objective-C, etc), multiple document handling using tabs, auto-completion of keywords (customizable), regular expressions in the search and replace function, macro recording and playback, brace and indent highlighting, collapsing and expanding of sections of code (to zoom in and out of pieces of code such as to provide an outline overview of your text/code), etc.


This is an open source C++ integrated development environment (IDE), that is, it is an editor that is primarily designed for you to write programs in C++. It supports the GNU C++ compiler, Microsoft Visual C++, Digital Mars, Borland C++, Open Watcom C++, etc. (You can find these compilers on the Free C/C++ Compilers page.) Other features include syntax highlighting, code folding for C++ and XML files, code completion (via a plugin), class browser (via a plugin), tabs, integration with the GNU debugger (GDB), the ability to import Visual C++ projects and workspaces, the ability to import Dev-C++ projects, etc. The IDE is extensible via plugins. The editor works on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License.


AkelPad is a simple Notepad replacement with support for multiple documents, editing of files larger than the Notepad limit of 64K, Unicode, multi-level undo, search and replace operations, column text selection, etc. Plugins for the editor include syntax highlighting facilities, auto-completion, keyboard macros, script execution, etc. This is an open source editor for Windows.

CUTE User-friendly Text Editor

CUTE is a text editor that is extensible using Python. It supports projects, syntax highlighting of various programming languages (C, C++, C#, Java, Python, JavaScript) as well as HTML (etc), multiple documents (tabbed or child frame), ctags, auto-completion, search and replace with regular expressions, bookmarks, undo/redo, has an integrated file browser, themes, key macros, etc. Binaries (executables) are available for Linux. The source code is released under the GPL.

Anjuta DevStudio

Anjuta is a programmer's IDE for Linux with an editor that has syntax highlighting, code folding (or code hiding), automatic code formatting, autocompletion of code, line number display, text zooming, calltips for Linux/GNOME function prototypes, automatic indentation, etc. It also has an integrated debugger (gdb), application wizards to create GTK, GNOME and terminal applications, dynamic tags browsing, project management, etc.

VIM (VI clone)

VIM, or VI Improved, is an editor in the spirit of the Unix "vi" editor. It has many extensions and has a special mode that allows it to mimic the Unix "vi" exactly. There are versions for a multitude of operating systems, including Win32, Unix, DOS, MacOS, OS/2, VMS, etc.

GNU Emacs Editor

This is the well-known GNU Emacs editor. Some swear by it while others detest it. It is the butt of many jokes and the reason for many flame wars (ie, heated arguments) between its adherents and detractors. It has so many features unrelated to text editing (for example, you can read email and browse the web with it, among many other things) that it has been joked that it would be a great operating system if only it had a good text editor. There are binaries for a multitude of operating systems (including the various flavours of Unix, Macintosh, and, would you believe it, DOS). It is supposed to be very configurable, and supports a number of computer languages.

jGrasp Programmer's Editor (previously GRASP)

This programmer's editor comes not only with the usual syntax highlighting support for programming languages, it also supports Control Structure Diagram (CSD) - that is, it displays control structures which allow you to understand and follow the program logic more easily. Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Java, and VHDL are supported. Since this program was written in Java, it runs on systems with a Java virtual machine, such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and so on.


Notepad2 is a lightweight text editor that comes with syntax highlighting, undo, redo, a toolbar, handling of favourites, support for Unicode, UTF-8, Unix, Mac and DOS/Windows files, the ability to handle different code pages, and numerous other functions. It comes with source code.

Open Perl IDE

Open Perl IDE is an integrated development environment for Windows that allows you to write and debug Perl scripts. It has a syntax highlighting editor which you can customize and it also allows you to debug your Perl scripts from within the IDE (for example, you can insert breakpoints, view and edit variables, etc). Open Perl IDE is open source and released under the Mozilla Public Licence.

#develop (SharpDevelop)

#develop is a free Windows IDE for C# and VB.NET programs. It is released under the GNU GPL. I think the program is no longer being updated, since the source code repository is marked as archived.

Jedit Open Source Programmer's Editor

Jedit is a programmer's editor written in Java, so it runs on platforms that support Java, like Windows, Unix, Mac OS X, VMS, Linux, etc. It has syntax highlighting, a macro language, extensible plugin architecture, autoindent, word wrap, etc.

syn Text Editor

syn is a syntax highlighting programmer's editor that supports numerous programming languages. It has autocomplete facilities, drag and drop editing, customizable shortcuts, unlimited undo and redo, highlighting of matching braces, etc. You can also extend its features using Microsoft's Active Scripting. This is a Windows editor. It does not appear to be maintained any more.

Crimson Editor

This free programmer's editor supports syntax highlighting (HTML, C/C++, Perl, Java, Matlab, Latex, PHP, Delphi, ASP, Euphoria, Ada 83, etc), multiple documents (tabbed interface), multi-level undo/redo, word wrapping, spell checker, ability to execute user-defined tools and macros, edit remote files via FTP, find and replace, multi-byte support, auto-indent, etc.

POW Programmers Open Workbench

This integrated software development environment for Windows allows you to generate native Windows applications using Oberon-2, and it includes an Oberon-2 compiler. The IDE also supports Java and C/C++. The Oberon-2 compiler is a full implementation of the language and comes with the Oberon-2 library OPAL which allows you to create Windows programs without having to directly access Windows API. The program is no longer being maintained (and has not been updated since 2000).

Yudit Unicode Text Editor

Yudit is a Unicode text editor for Linux that has direct True Type support. The website claims that you can easily edit Unicode text without having to learn a new keybinding. It also supports the older non-Unicde character sets like ISO 8859, KOI8, JIS, GB, BIG5, KSC, EUC, and HZ. UTF-8 is its default encoding. You can enter any language's characters either by configuring your keymap, or by Unicode number, SGML name or RFC 1345 mnemonic.

Kdevelop IDE

This XWindows C/C++ IDE has project management; a dialog editor which will generate the dialog box source code for you; a class browser; an integrated debugger; application wizards that can generate menu bars, toolbars, status bars, a mini KDE application, a Qt-only based application, a C/C++ terminal application; integrated editor with syntax highlighting; integrated Unix tools; a powerful help system; a class generator; etc.


This syntax highlighting editor (for many languages and HTML) comes with source code and supports the Linux, Win32 and OS/2 platforms. It handles large files, has multiple levels of UNDO, support for an external spell checker, regular expression searching, support for executing a compiler, etc. It handles multiple documents but it loads them in split windows: the current version (at the time of this writing) does not support overlapping windows.

Elvis (VI clone)

Elvis is a VI clone with syntax highlighting, multiple files in multiple windows, integrated support for FTP and HTTP, etc. It has ports to Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS/2, MSDOS

Jed Programmers' Editor

A programmer's editor that can be used even on remote terminals. The editor is supported on Linux. I'm not sure about other systems.

RHIDE IDE for GNU based systems

[Update:: this software appears to be no longer available.] RHIDE is an IDE for the GNU family of compilers that runs on MSDOS, Linux and Windows.

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