Operating Systems like MacOS and Windows are preinstalled with default text editors, Notepad for Windows and TextEdit for MacOS. Unfortunately not only do these text editors have limited functionality but also they got that boring look.

As a developer or programmer working on a significant project, a text editor with additional functionality plus the enticing look and feel is one of those things you need to keep that project going. As most of the programmers prefer to code in a dark environment, today I’ve compiled for you a list of the best text editors with the dark theme.

Revealed functions of text editors

  • View content of computer files for example text, PHP, HTML, CSS, Java, and other editable files.  
  • Create or write programs and other files from scratch. This includes writing HTML pages, Java programs and may other files.
  • Edit format for specific files including changing font styles and editing hyperlinks

Its time we dive into our list of the best text editors with a dark theme.

Atom

atom screenshot

Atom is a free open source text editor initially developed by GitHub. It is cross-platform which means you can use it on whatever Operating System you use including Microsoft Windows(minimum of Windows 7), MacOS(minimum of macOS 10.8) and Linux.

Atom was developed with web technologies which include Electron, CoffeeScript, JavaScrip, Less, and HTML, Its developers call it the “Hackable text editor for the 21st century”.

Apart from the support for all operating systems, Atom has various functionality including embedded Git for easy version control. Despite the fact that it was released not a long time back, the contribution from a variety of developers worldwide has made it a perfect text editor.

Other than its default dark and nice theme, Its highly customizable with support for many other themes and plugins. With a vast of programming languages supported, Atom should work very fine for any programmer.

Top features of Atom editor

  1. Atom package library. This is a very powerful feature which allows the user to manage and install new packages together with plugins and themes.
  2. Be aware of the situation. I call it that because it basically makes the user aware of the file status, that is, the newly created files and the edited files. Newly created files are are shown in green while the currently edited files are shown in orange.
  3. Multi-line cursor. This is one of my favorites. With this feature, you can have a cursor on multiple lines and edit them simultaneously. To select multiple lines, hold down the shift key and then use the mouse to put the cursor at the preferred locations. This will save you development time.
  4. Atom style sheets. With the style sheets, you can customize the editor to your preferences from code.
  5. Shell commands. Atom allows installation of shell commands such that any operation in the editor can be done directly from the OS command prompt. An example of the operation can be creating or opening an existing project in a particular directory.
  6. Cross-platform with support for Windows, macOS and Linux.
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Languages supported include;

CSSJavaScriptHTMLPHPJSON
JavaCoffeeScriptC#C++C
RubyRacketSQLScalaPython
TypeScriptXMLShell scriptsPerlMustache
Property listsMakeLessCOBOLClojure
DGithub Flavoured MarkdownObjective-CTOMLSass

Atom’s other features include an Auto-completion, multiple panes (multiple screen layouts) and a flexible file browser.

Sublime Text

sublime text screenshot

Sublime Text is another great text editor with roots in C++ and Python. Sublime Text, like Atom, is a cross-platform with support for Microsoft Windows, MacOS and Linux.

It has a free version which can later be upgraded to a paid version to get some additional functional features. Its light weight enables work perfectly on both resource strained and powerful computers.

Top features of Sublime Text

  1. Simultaneous editing with multiple cursors. This feature allows you to make changes to multiple lines of code at the same time. To use this feature, just hold down the Ctrl button and use the mouse to put the cursor wherever you prefer.
  2. The Multiple selection feature. With this feature, a user can make various selections at a single time. To use this feature, hold down the Ctrl button and then select text at different locations.
  3. Multiple copy and paste. This feature allows the user to simultaneously copy text or code from various locations and then paste them at a single location.
  4. Find in files. Other than the usual find feature, with this one, you can find a file that contains a specific text or code line.
  5. Another powerful feature that I can not forget is the package manager. This allows you to manage your packages, themes, and plugins. Not to mention the Emmet package which I highly recommend for web developers. It accelerates the development process.
  6. Cross-platform with Windows, macOS and Linux support.

Programming languages supported by Sublime text include ;

ActionScriptAppleScriptASPBatchC
C#C++ClojureCSSD
DiffErlangGoDOTGroovy
HaskellHTMLJavaJavaScriptJSON
LaTexLispLuaMakefileMATLAB
Objective-COCamlPascalPerlPHP
PythonRRailsRubyRust
ScalaSQLTCLXMLYAML

Visual Studio Code

visual studio code screenshot

Visual Studio Code is an open source text editor developed by Microsoft. Technologies used for its development include TypeScript, JavaScript and CSS to make app and web development easy for on any platform.

Visual studio code is a cross-platform with support for Windows(Windows 7 or later), of course its developers, MacOS (macOS 10.9 or later), and Linux. The text editor is entirely free for all platforms.

The perfect look of the editor makes some confuse it for an IDE as it provides unique functionality like code debugging which is most common in IDEs.

Top features of Visual Studio code

  1. Zen mode which closes all menus and windows and lets you concentrate on the code in full screen mode.
  2. Multi-root work spaces. This features allows you to open various projects at the same time in the editor
  3. Embedded Git control. Unlike most of the text editors that require the user to manually download Git, Visual Studio code has Git built right in so you won’t need to hustle with installation.
  4. Built in debugging feature for identifying syntax and logic errors. This comes along with a break point feature which helps you inspect specific lines of code.
  5. Auto completion with intellisense. Automcompletion is one feature that speeds up code writing. The Intellisense feature enables you know the syntax required for various functions, so you don’t need to google for information about a particular function.
  6. Wide programming language support
  7. Code bookmarking
  8. Command pilette for accessing additional features
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In 2018, Visual Studio code was ranked by Stack Overflow as the most popular developement environment. This means it should be perfectly confident while getting yourself a copy.

Programming languages supported by Visual code studio include;

CC++C#ClojureCoffeeScript
CSSDDockerfileF#Go
GroovyHandlebarsHLSLHTMLINI
JavaJavaScriptJSONLESSLog file
LuaMakefileMarkdownObjective-CPerl
PHPPowerShellPug JSPythonR
RazorRubyRustSCSSShaderlab
Shell scriptsSQLSwiftTypeScriptVisual Basic
BatchXMLYAML

Brackets

brackets screenshot

Another perfect text editor with a cool dark theme and owesome features is Brackets. Brackets is an open source source text editor originally developed by Adobe Systems.

Although the default theme in Brackets is “Brackets light”, the dark theme is easily available in settings. To change to the dark theme, click on the view label at the top menu, then themes, and select “Dark theme ” from the current theme field.

Brackets mainly focuses on web development acceleration in the popular languages of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and others. Its cross-platform feature enables work on Windows, MacOS and Linus operating systems.

One of the most popular features of Brackets is its live preview, as code can be edited and reflected directly from the web browser. This is one great feature that significantly reduces the time taken in development. Brackets also supports a variety of themes plus of plugins.  

Top Features of Brackets editor

  1. Live preview feature. As discussed earlier, with this feature, when a user clicks on an element in the browser, the code displaying that particular element is highlighted, and as the user edits code, the changes are applied instantly in the web browser.
  2. Split view. The editor allows the user to split the main window into two parts thus two files can easily be edited simultaneously.
  3. Theseus integration. Theseus is an open source java script debugger that enables the user to debug code by specifying breakpoints in code. It can be installed through the extension manager.
  4. Quick edit. With the quick edit feature, you can for example edit CSS code to which an HTML element is linked without having to manually navigate to the CSS code location. To to this, click on the HTML tag and press Ctrl + E, this way a snippet code of CSS will be opened for editing.
  5. Availability of extensions. Being an open source editor developed with the mostly used web technologies, there is a vast of contributions which add functionality to the editor.
  6. JSLint. The feature is available for inspection of JavaScript code on saving. It displays results in a panel below the main window.

Brackets supports a total of 38 programming languages

Enock Lubowa
A technologist who writes for both the geeks and non-geeks. I am an entrepreneur and software developer with a Computer Science background. Discuss complicated stuff with me via my social handles below.