9 Best Alternatives To Notepad++ For Mac Users [2019]

Notepad++ is one of the best text editors and source code editors hosted on GitHub. It supports several programming and natural languages. Its incredible set of features (including syntax highlighting, macro reading, and tabbed editing) makes the tool even more powerful.

Despite its wide popularity across the world, the tool is not available on macOS. You might not see Notepad++ on Apple products unless and until developers go for a commercial project with mac.

macOS does come with TextEdit, an open-source text editor. It is powered by Apple Advanced Typography and has several advanced features.

However, if you are looking for something more, there are hundreds of text editors on Mac that can fulfill all your requirements. Some of those are even better than Notepad++. Below, we have listed the 9 best alternatives to Notepad++ that works seamlessly on Mac.

9. TextMate

TextMate

Price: Free
Plus Point: Multi-line select and editing

TextMate is an open-source general-purpose text editor that supports several languages, markup systems, and workflows.

It has all features common to programming editors, such as regular-expression-based search, folding code sections, clipboard history, and column editing mode. It also supports macros to help users eliminate repetitive work, and an extensive library of plugins to further extend its functionality.

Although TextMate has starting to show its age and gradually falling behind competitors in terms of advanced features, it’s lightweight footprint makes it extremely fast to load and use.

8. BBEdit

Price: 30-day free trial | $49.99
Plus Point: Built-in FTP client, elegant interface

BBEdit is a professional text editor for macOS that provides features for searching, editing, and manipulation of textual data and source code. It is mostly used by web designers and software developers.

The software comes with a complete set of robust HTML markup tools and supports numerous programming languages. In fact, you can create your own custom modules for different languages.

Its intelligent interface provides easy access to useful functions such as syntax coloring, search and replace across multiple files, code folding, FTP and SFTP open and save.

However, the tool doesn’t provide real-time code error checking or debugging facilities, and there are not as many autocomplete options as in other text editors.

7. Coda

Price: Free | $99
Plus Point: Vertical indentation guides, visual tabs

Coda is everything you need to hand-code a website, in one beautiful application. It has syntax highlighting for many programming languages, indentation guides, code folding, fast commenting and shifting of code.

Some features are really great and they are hard to find in other text editors. For example, as you write, ‘Coda Pops’ gives you easy controls to quickly create color and gradients. The Find and Replace has ‘Wildcard’ token which converts RegEx into one-button simple.

It also supports the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro models. This allows you to instantly switch between pixel-perfect preview and editor, open web inspector, jump to a line, and insert hex color using a color picker on the bar.

The layout is great but whenever you open a file, you have to go through multiple prompts (just to go to the files). Some users might find this inconvenient.

6. Komodo Edit

Price: Free | $7 per month for a single user
Plus Point: Excellent autocomplete tool, modern user interface

Komodo Edit is an open-source text editor for programming and web development. Most of its features are derived from an embedded Python interpreter.

Along with a powerful editor, it comes with a visual debugger for inspecting and testing your code. The paid version also adds a database explorer and support for different source code control systems.

The integration of Devdocs.io helps you focus on coding and resolve issues faster. You can highlight any code snippet and trigger the relevant language docs right inside Komodo. It works offline, making the process of looking up documentation much simpler.

The tool uses a large number of computational resources, so if you want to use it you must have a high-performance system.

5. Brackets

Price: Free
Plus Point: Live preview

Brackets is a lightweight yet powerful text editor that has been specifically designed for working in CSS, HTML and JavaScript. It’s an open-source software developed by Adobe Systems and currently maintained on GitHub.

Brackets has a really useful feature named Live Preview: it opens your browser in order to push code edits instantly. You can visualize changes by jumping back and forth between your source code and the browser.

Instead of putting lots of icons and panels on your coding environment, the editor displays context-specific code and tools inline. It also provides a strong extension framework: each extension offers a unique feature.

Although the tool works perfectly for the frontend part of web design, it doesn’t efficiently implement features that can assist in backend development. You won’t really enjoy working with languages such as C, C++, Java, Python, and PHP.

4. UltraEdit

Price: Free | $79.95 per year
Plus Point: Easily open and edit large files –  4GB and beyond.

UltraEdit is a powerful text editor developed by IDM Computer Solutions Inc. It is one of the oldest commercial text editors with more than 2 million users and many Fortune 500 enterprise customers.

It does everything you would expect, such as syntax highlighting, column editing, file/data sorting, log file polling, etc. and also includes unique features that set it apart. For example, it can edit large files that cause other tools to crash. So if you work with large log files and databases, you will absolutely love this editor.

The UI looks great on Retina and other ultra high-definition displays. UltraEdit is specifically built for IT professionals to perform various tasks, ranging from programming and data sorting to advanced file searching and text data reformatting.

The standard toolbar is too detailed: it displays too many options with large and colorful icons. This might annoy users who prefer a simplified and minimalist toolbar.

3. Visual Studio Code

Price: Free
Plus Point: Updated frequently, thousands of extensions are available

Visual Studio Code goes beyond syntax highlighting and autocomplete: it provides smart completions based on function definitions, variable types, and imported modules.

Since it is developed by Microsoft, it comes with plenty of documentation and a large collection of extensions to make some upgrades. The source code is free and open-source. In fact, Visual Studio Code was ranked the most popular developer environment tool in the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey.

You can debug code directly in the editor: just open your code and debug with breakpoints, call stacks, and an interactive console. You can also sync your code between the editor and the server, without downloading any extra software.

The software doesn’t have many cons but it often hogs up tonnes of RAM and processing power.

Read: 15 Best Note-Taking Apps Of 2019 To Boost Your Productivity

2. Sublime Text

Price: Free | $80
Plus Point: Better file organization, low resource threshold

Sublime Text is a feature-rich text and development editor with a Python application programming interface. Multiple cursors, vintage mode, and command pallet are some of the great features that make this tool stand out from other code editors.

Perhaps its most useful function is ‘Goto Anything’ that allows you to instantly jump to words, lines or symbols, with only a few keystrokes. The editor automatically creates a project-wide index of every method, function, and class, using information from syntax definitions.

Sublime text natively supports numerous markup and programming languages. To enhance its functionality, users can add multiple plugins (developed and maintained by a hugely active community) directly from the editor.

The tool is great but there’s a bit of a learning curve for advanced features. Sometimes, user-supplied packages don’t do what is advertised.

1. Atom

Price: Free
Plus Point: Receives regular updates

Atom is an open-source text and code editor with support for thousands of plugins. It describes itself as a ‘hackable text editor’ and what it means is that it enables amateur programmers to create their own text editor without years of coding experience.

Atom desktop application is developed by using web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). It is based on a framework named Electron that allows you to build cross-platform apps using Node.js and Chromium.

Read: 9 Best PDF Editors For Mac

You can select from thousands of open source packages that add new functionalities and features to Atom. It is packed with 8 syntax themes and 4 UI in both light and dark colors. You can customize the tool the way you want and add major features with JavaScript and HTML.

Overall, Atom is modern, advanced, and hackable to the core.  

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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