Weekly Poll: What’s Your Text Editor of Choice?

Everyone needs a text editor – whether it’s for in-depth coding, or jotting down a quick note. There are plenty of scenarios throughout the day that don’t require a full-blown word processor, and there’s no shortage of different options available for the Mac.

Much of your decision will likely come down to specific requirements. Do you need a simple syncing solution? Maybe Notational Velocity would fit the bill. Is full-screen, distraction free writing important? Take a look at WriteRoom.

We’ve written about this extensively before, looking at 10 Versatile Text Editors for OS X.

Personally, I flutter between TextMate for coding, and Notational Velocity for everything else – I love knowing that everything I’ve written will be easily accessible through Simplenote.

I’d love to know what your preference is – feel free to leave a vote above, or share your thoughts in the comments!


  • http://blog.kimsokol.com Kim

    TextEdit for quick notes, Espresso for coding. Really, a lot of these seem to have different uses entirely…

  • http://thevalledesign.com Esteban Valle

    Seriously, you didn’t include Pages or Microsoft Word. I imagine these have probably 70% market share right now.

    • http://www.sprocket.co.nz Duncan Heal

      Those are word processors, we’re talking text editors. Totally different things.

      • Eduardo

        Totally different things. SERIOUSLY. Because espresso (which is for coding only) and textedit (writing notes, essays, etc.) have a lot more in common than word and textedit.

      • jeezus

        Ya, cause you can totally compare BBEdit to TextEdit… no, actually you can’t.

  • DJRiful

    There are different categories in this post of software seriously. I’m not sure if you guys are just listing plain basic text editor or just coding editor + upload + download abilities.

    I’m using Espresso, excellent for coding and designs but one flaw that .FLV files over 4MB will do a loop uploading…

  • Quine

    TextMate is so amazing. It’s probably my favorite program ever.

  • http://www.sprocket.co.nz Duncan Heal

    I’ve just made the switch from TextMate to Espresso due to TM’s slowness over networks. There’s a trade off but Espresso is holding up. Looking forward to Version 2 in the next few months.

    I wish BBEdit would modernise, just feels so old these days. Coda is bloated and feels like a kid’s IDE.

    • http://www.bradendouglass.com Braden

      As I read the 2.8% on the BBEdit response I thought the same thing. Miss the hay-days where any bit of text on the Mac was written in this program.

    • http://dpanov.net Dimitar Panov

      Is there any info about version 2?
      Last time I read the forums, the devs wouldn’t give any info as to when or even if version 2 will ever be released.

  • Louie

    textmate is amazing

  • http://nova-fusion.com Michael Ebens

    TextMate. Use it tonnes everyday for programming, document writing… pretty much the whole lot.

  • Yifan

    vim is the best text editor for everything. :p

  • http://www.elblogolico.com.ar eMancu

    What about MacVim ? That’s a real text editor!

    • Sascha

      +1 for MacVIM

      • http://www.kubecki.com/ James Kubecki

        +2!

    • chrism

      +2 for MacVim
      +1 for Aquamacs

    • http://www.pobox.com/~meta/ mathew

      Yeah, ludicrous that vim wasn’t included in the options.

  • http://www.asianeficiency.com/ AE Thanh

    I voted for other, namely Fraise. It’s free, simple and fast.
    For coding I use Coda but anything else I use Fraise.

    • http://www.siteoptimo.com Pieter

      @AE Thanh, Fraise is a discontinued fork from Smultron.

      Smultron all the way. I just like its simplicity and mac feeling. All the other apps are so bloated. When you know the code, it’s just faster.

  • http://thefreelancepinoy.com Stephanie

    For basic text editing/note-taking, I’d stick to TextEdit. It’s easy to use for writers like me. :)

  • http://blog.zvikico.com/ zvikico

    TextMate was my tool of choice (for coding/html) until I came across Sublime Text 2. While TextMate is a great tool, it has some shortcomings and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Sublime Text 2 is off to a good start.

    • Pieter V

      Exactly the same, discovered Sublime Text 2 alpha is available for mac 2 weeks ago, tried it, and I think I switched.

  • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

    As a writer, OmmWriter is my personal favorite. It’s now on Windows, too, which of course influences my decision since I don’t have a Mac.

    I really wish I could use Notational Velocity on Windows 7. Does anyone know of an alternative? The ones listed for Windows at Simplenote’s site aren’t anywhere near as polished…

  • http://www.rpgrafik.com Rasmus

    Does anyone know if panic is a dead fish?

    I mean, no updates for a looooooooooooong time!?

    • http://www.rebatesense.com RebateSense

      They better release something soon or I want my money back.

  • bakje friet

    TextMate + LaTeX = Winning

  • Bruno

    OK i really love TextMate, but the lack of updates are a serious issue, textmate2 == vaporware.

  • http://nataliaventre.com Natalia Ventre

    I use Espresso for coding and OmmWriter for other texts. For me code and creative writing are different categories, I never use the same app for both, because I look for different features.

  • Kevin

    For almost 4 years now I’ve been using Textmate. Have tried numerous different applications but I always go back to TM. But TM2 reeeeally needs to be released :(

  • http://emanset.com Bora DAN

    i use Espresso. it is perfect editor for me. espresso’s interface is simple and useful. im lovin’ it

  • http://vorbb.vc Blair Beckwith

    This was a tough one; I use a few editors for various things, and it seemed like there was some inconsistencies in what was considered as poll options. For example, is MarsEdit not just as much of a text editor as Coda?

    Anyways… I’m torn between Textmate and BBEdit for my primary editor. I *want* to like Textmate more, and I own licenses for both, but I have a hard time supporting vapourware like Textmate2. It’s just not coming.

  • Margaux

    I use a bit of everything: TextEdit for quick notes, or stripping styles from copied text; Coda for quick web file edits when opening Dreamweaver would take too long; Coda or BBEdit for find & replace edits to markup; BBEdit to copy HTML markup and figure out syntax errors and missing/redundant closing tags; TextMate for Ruby on Rails projects; OmniWriter for editing long (1000+ word) docs… It really depends. I find none of these tools is adequate for all of these things. Tried Espresso, but hated it.

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