How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: Which Text Editor Do You Use? [Poll]

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Text editors are wonderful all-purpose tools to have on your system for taking notes and more. This week we want to know which text editor you use.


While working or browsing we usually have notes of some kind that we need to save for later such as an address or that perfect bit of code. For most people a simple text editor gets the job done nicely, but others need something a bit more powerful for their work. It all depends on your individual activities and needs when using a computer.

Each operating system will have some kind of basic text editor installed with it. Do you only use the basic text editor that came with your system or install others that are focused on programming and/or have extra features? Perhaps you install more powerful text editors to use alongside the basic text editor that came with your system. Let us know in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=”3696802″]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 09/22/10

Comments (77)

  1. Diego Ruiz

    I use PSPad, a free and powerful text editor

  2. steve19137

    I use Geany. It’s another open source editor, and I’ve been using it as my editor of choice for learning Java in prep for Android development. I like it in comparison to Notepad++ because I can open an empty .java file with nothing written in, but it will highlight the syntax correctly, so it’s really great for a visual personality and a beginning programmer.

  3. Zack

    I use gedit mainly. I main in Ubuntu, but when I happen to be in Windows and am programming something else than C++, I use Notepadd++.

  4. Velkoor

    I use SciTE if I’m ever editing text.

  5. anon

    Geany in Linux, Textpad in Windows.. (other)

  6. Howard

    I’ve been a loyal user of NoteTab Pro for awhile

  7. Alek Davis

    How come PSPad gets never included in text editor surveys?

  8. Philip

    REAL programmers use butterflies.
    (I use Notepad++ for most stuff)

  9. Kurt

    i bought a license for helios’ textpad ( waaaay back in 1996 and i’ve pretty much been using it ever since. feature wise, it’s fairly similar to notepad++ and while it does carry a $30 pricetag (and really, back in the day, there weren’t that many truly good text editors), i’ve gotten updates for some 14 years on that outlay — which seems pretty reasonable to me. :)

    one thing that always stood out with TP for me was it’s downright burly search features. i’ve massaged tons of spreadsheets and html by just using TPs search and replace features.

  10. Geezer

    Notepad, and when I really need it, WordStar in non-document mode. It is just more powerful than anything more recent that I have seen.

  11. Christopher Masiello

    I use NotePad++ on Windows and Smultron on Mac

  12. Lady Fitzgerald

    Notepad. It’s the default editor and is adequate for my needs (I’m not a programmer). If I need to do some serious .txt editing, I just open the file in MS Word.

  13. Juliana

    I use Notepad2. Pretty feature-rich but fast and light on system resources at the same time.

  14. Dr. Cell Phone

    Notepad++ is great in terms of code editing though only minor HTML and PHP works however Eclipse the best platfrom or an IDE for those who are interested in Application Development. Gedit on Linux is great!!


  15. thenonhacker

    I think PSPad and UltraEdit-32 should be in this list.

    And BTW, here are the text editors I used from Past to Present:

    – MS-DOS Editor
    – Notepad
    – EditPad
    – UltraEdit-32
    – PSPad
    – Notepad++ <– My current editor!

  16. mattb

    I use UltraEdit on my work machine (Windows). I used Textpad in the past, which was alright.

  17. João Henriques

    Emacs is superior in every aspect. It’s not just a text editor, it’s much more than that. I find it unfair to compare such a powerful tool to plain text editors.

  18. Gary

    I use UltraEdit. Should be on the list.

  19. Incendium

    Sublime Text on Windows, Vim on Linux.

  20. jcard21

    I’ve used TextPad for years (10+).

  21. marriop

    Crimson editor…still the best imho.

  22. EdMenje

    I have been happy with Crimson Editor. Syntax highlighting when working on HTML/CSS and JS (it also supports additional programming languages I don’t use. Opens multiple files with tabbed browsing and can find&replace on all tabs (great for updating links on multiple pages of a site) The highlighting is configurable as is the work area background (great for reducing eye strain during long coding sessions) and since I added a context menu via regedit I can use it to open and edit files like log files, ini, xml and unknown extension files. It’s portable so I can use it on any machine via USB drive. I’ve never seen anyone else mention this one in any polls like this one.

  23. Asian Angel

    For me it is a combination of different text editors: EditPad Lite, Editra, gEdit, Notepad, Notepad++, & Other. ^__^

  24. EdMenje

    marriop posted while I was still writing my previous comment so yes…someone else has mentioned Crimson Editor and beat me to the punch.

  25. Midnight

    Metapad for me! Full featured and works great! :D

  26. Jack

    IMHO QuickFox Notes is the best

  27. Martin

    I use Notepad2!

  28. glaeven

    Fraise on Mac, Notepad++ on Windows.

  29. Todd

    Sublime Text: multi point editing, mile high view, programmable with Python.

    Also CLS;Alt+Enter;COPY CON: the original DarkRoom.

  30. Cary A

    I’ve use TextPad for years… tried a bunch of others, but TextPad can handle practically anything I throw at it. If I’m not sure, I open TextPad, drag n drop, and almost always get a good result. Years ago, I dragged about 100 contacts from Windows Address Book into TextPad, and they were all formatted perfectly for editing. Also, TextPad can sort alphabetically, etc.

    For freeware, I use Notepad2 by Flo’s Freeware.

  31. Jon

    Just the included Windows Notepad. I don’t do anymore PHP or HTML editing so I don’t have the need for anything more advanced.

  32. anthony

    gedit is fine, and then I found geany….

  33. trm96

    I use Notepad in windows, text edit in OSX, and gedit in Linux.

  34. Ron

    Since I want to utilize my 64 bit OS, for freeware, I use 64 bit Notepad2 by Flo’s Freeware. Still waiting for an update for it. It uses very little resources and is adequate for what I do. Anyone know how I can create an HTML link in it though so I can click on it from Notepad2?

  35. grim404

    borland codewright I know I’m old but I just love it.

  36. whitey ford


  37. Steve

    I use Windows and Notepad mostly to strip out graphics or formatting when needed. But I also make good use of Edit.Com in my DOS windows (I know, command-line) expecially when editing macros or filling in a template for a quick batch file.

    If, for example, I need to edit the formatting codes (Tab, CR/LF, etc.) then I usually fire up the MS-Works word processor or even Word and use that for search-and-replace.

    Edit.Com and Notepad come with the OS, and I know what they can do and how to use them. And most Windows computers come with MS-Works pre-installed and that has a common Microsoft search engine. Like I said, I know what these can do and I know how to use them.

  38. Kev

    I use gedit on Ubuntu and good old Notepad on Windows XP, Vista and 7

  39. hasi the great

    Ubuntu : Gedit and also I use nano frequently in terminal based activities. I prefer it to vi editor cause it provides color coding .

    Windows : Good ol’ notepad.

  40. GUiHKX

    Nano :)

  41. f4ll3nl0rd

    I use vi in UNIX-kind systems and Notepad++ in Windows

  42. Ishango

    I’ve used load of text editors to find the right one. I mostly use Emacs or GVim for programming and most of my text editing now. I think I tried all of the text editors mentioned above in my search.

    I use Total Commander Lister (not really an editor) and TextPad for performing analysis on huge log files (from about 850 MB up to about 1,5 GB). There are few editors that can handle such a large amount of text without slowing my machine down.

  43. bf

    Little known application called Notepad GNU. Used to use EmEditor.

  44. neko


  45. Manzel

    What about Notepad?

  46. Manzel

    I meant Notepad2.

  47. ShakiestNerd

    UltraEdit is my go to editor in Windows. It’s not free, but worth the price. They now have a Linux version available.
    But, in Linux Gedit has met my needs so far.

  48. Danny

    SciTE right now.

  49. KB Prez


  50. Bjarnovikus

    I use Notepad++ on my windows operating system but on my ubuntu installation I just love the simplicity of gEdit :) It’s easy to use and fast (and allows to upload directly to my FTP).

  51. Chardante

    Linux User: Gedit in gui … vi in terminal

  52. Dennis

    I can’t move away from Notepad++ because of it’s tag highlightling feature (put your cursor in an opening tag and NP++ highlights the closing tag)

    I’ve never been able to get the FTP plugin to work though. Has anyone had success using NP++ to work on remote files?

  53. aziz

    I use notepad++ as it fulfill my seo work

  54. hotmud

    Textpad!!! Love it!!

  55. Don

    UltraEdit. Wow, can’t believe you didn’t include it.

  56. Mark

    EditPlus, but also Notepad++ on occasion.

  57. Nikos

    Notepad2, all the way… i use it for many years and never plan to change it…

  58. Edgar

    Geany, Intype.

  59. Rich

    I use EmEditor, especially because it can quickly open huge files (hundreds of MB), like log files.

    Oh, and it’s a really good editor too.

  60. Melody

    I use crimson editor and have not found anything that will compare

  61. Gyffes

    Kate on Linux (although geany’s nice)

    Textmate on Mac

    NPP on Win machines.

  62. Steve Bubendorf

    I use EmEditor. I love it!

  63. abd al Shakur

    nano or joe

  64. John

    I just recently switched from PSPad to Notepad2 on Windows. While PSPad has great features for developers and I would recommend it for that purpose, it can be a little “heavy” if you’re just trying to replace Notepad. As a Notepad replacement, I find Notepad2 to be perfect. Its design is clean, its features are useful, it’s easy to configure and it’s fast.

  65. 1berto

    Notepad++ is a monster, sadly there is no linux version :(

  66. Eli Gundry

    Textmate on Mac, e text editor on windows, and vim when it matters.

    Gotta have my snippets.

  67. Mr. BSD

    WTF happened to ee? ee is the best.

  68. Thomas Masterson

    It depends: on windows, I use notepad for REALLY basic stuff, but I mostly use NoteTab for LaTeX and STATA programming; on Ubuntu, I used to use emacs a lot, but I mostly do LaTeX at work now, and STATA discontinued their command line interface, so I mostly use Gedit.

  69. OliverK

    Can’t believe you guys don’t have an option for Geany!!

  70. Saulo

    Vim forever!

  71. v1dz

    There is one text editor which you haven’t listed.
    Bend editor .
    Available at :)

  72. TJ

    gedit in linux, editor2 (from the xplorer2 people) for fast-loading, light editing in Windows and UltraEdit for heavier editor jobs in Windows – has tagging, sorting, very powerful search, etc. Nowadays I’d probably use Notepad++ since it’s open source, but UltraEdit was the best around back then and it still is a very powerful, capable editor. And I’m used to it.

    gedit has some of the best features of editor2 and UltraEdit. I like that editor a lot.

  73. phinix

    I use MadEdit on Windows XP and 7. It’s really fast to load, and easy to change font style and invisible character style.

  74. T.J. Barbour

    Programmers Notepad 2

  75. pseudoscion

    for code i use notepad2 or sublimetext. For basic text files i use jujuedit, from the guy who made drivey It is small, fast, handles huge files well, and supports syntax highlighting. This is probably my favourite and mist used utility on my pc

  76. Bink


    I’ve been writing code and practically everything else in UltraEdit for more years than I count on both hands.

    Runs on Win, Linux, Mac.

    Has too much power to even begin listing here.

  77. Jill

    TextPad is my favorite one!

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