Best Mac Text Editor For Web Development

If you build websites, you’re going to want a text editor that’s powerful and highly customizable.

So which text editor should you choose? It depends on what kind of Mac computer you have.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best options for Mac text editors for web development.

Best Mac Text Editor For Web Development

15 Best Text Editor for Windows and Mac in 2022 [Free And Paid]

If you have a coding project you want to make on your Mac, like an app or a website, you’ll need a program to write out the code in. These programs are called text editors. Text editors let you write and execute code in different coding languages. They can be pretty simple, or come with lots of options like automatic color coding and formatting.

Whether you’re coding for the first time, or have been doing it for years, there’s a Mac text editor for you. We’ve compiled our favorite Mac text editor apps below; read on to find the best one for you!

1. Vim

If you want a text editor on your Mac with a ton of power and not too many bells and whistles, you want Vim. Often called the “Programmer’s Editor,” Vim can handle pretty much any project and programming language you throw at it.

As a program that’s great for programmers, though, Vim comes with a bit of a learning curve if you’re new to coding. Vim automatically color-codes syntax so your code is a bit easier to read, but it doesn’t make suggestions or point out bugs or typos to you. It also doesn’t have a very robust Graphic User Interface, or GUI, if you’re used to those—though MacVim has more of a GUI than Vim for other operating systems.

At least it’s a widely used program, so if you have questions, you’re likely able to find answers with a web search. But you have to be willing to put in the legwork and learn the program.

In our opinion, if you already code, Vim is a great editor to work on your code without any unnecessary frills. For those still learning, Vim will be harder to grasp right away, and you might prefer a different text editor app on this list. But it’s worth figuring out if you want to make the effort!

Download: Vim for Mac (Free)

2. Emacs

Since we’re talking about Vim, it makes sense to talk about its great rival in the classic text editor war—Emacs. Emacs, like Vim, is a Mac text editor aimed at the code-savvy. It color-codes syntax, but beyond that, it’s a tool, not a learning platform.

Also, like Vim, Emacs has a packaging system that allows you to download and install extensions to it. These extensions can allow you to have things like a syntax checker and a bug hunter, but you have to download and install them separately. And only so many extensions exist.

Emacs does set itself apart from Vim a bit by having some other functions, like a being calendar, a news reader, and having project planning capabilities.

These extra functions might help Emacs edge out Vim for you as your text editor of choice. Or, they’ll seem unnecessary, and make Vim all the more appealing. It’s up to you and how much you want your text editor to do beyond let you write and edit text and code.

Download: Emacs for Mac (Free)

3. Atom

For Mac users newly learning to code, we’d highly recommend the text editor Atom. Atom has a very user-friendly GUI, and many features that are helpful to first-time coders.

The autocomplete feature can help you remember code syntax you might have forgotten, as well as help you write code faster. Atom also allows you to easily find and replace text in your code, as well as work in multiple panes. There is also a great new user guide for Atom that’s easy to follow as a new coder, and we’ve found much of its documentation relatively easy to follow as well.

Atom also has some nice customization options, including extensions you can download from within the app (instead of finding them separately like with Vim and Emacs), and themes you can utilize to make your windows more fun to look at and work in.

Atom is great for new coders, but its system is as robust and hackable as Vim and Emacs, so it’s a text editor you can grow with as you learn. It also allows in-program GitHub access, editing, and sharing, if you’re coding with others. Long-time coders with set workflows may not like the autocomplete feature, but if you want a powerful and pretty editor that can offer users a bit of help along the way, you’ll love Atom.

Download: Atom for Mac (Free)

4. Sublime Text

Another great text editor for new coders using a Mac is Sublime Text. Like Atom, Sublime Text offers autocomplete for your coding, but adds syntax definitions to that in case you need to look up a term or remind yourself what a bit of code does. The definitions can even appear in a few different forms—you can get a quick definition in a popup window beside the term, or click through to get a full definition in a side-by-side pane.

These are amazing features for learning, as you can check things as you code, or open code projects in the program to study them. There are still features for the more advanced coders in Sublime Text, though, including easy view splitting and tab switching, and multiple selections, allowing for quick variable changes.

Atom has a bit more appearance customization, but Sublime Text still has Dark and Light themes, and can work well with many GPUs and eGPUs, if you’re thinking about getting an eGPU for your Mac mini.

Sublime Text might be even more beginner-friendly than Atom, but its definition and autocomplete features may become more annoying than helpful as you learn. Still, if you want to easily navigate windows with your keyboard and like its look, Sublime Text is awesome.

Download: Sublime Text for Mac (Free)

5. VS Code

The last text editor we highly recommend getting for your Mac is Visual Studio Code, also known as VS Code. Boasting in-app debug options and a smart autocomplete system, VS Code aims not just to help new coders, but to increase the speed of advanced coders.

With Git (you can and should install Git on your Mac if you’re working on an evolving code project) and other SCM providers accessible for review and commits right within VS Code, this is an editor that wants to simplify your workflow as much as possible. Many extensions are available for VS Code, too, so you can let it make you even more efficient with different projects. VS Code’s built-in features truly don’t feel in the way here. To us, they feel like time savers.

VS Code does feel a little less novice-friendly than Atom (with whom it shares a lot of source code) and Sublime Text. But growing into VS Code could really help you and your coding speed long term.

To us, VS Code is the best middle ground of a text editor being a tool and an instructor. That makes it best for the intermediate coder: someone looking to hone skills but who occasionally needs help with a bug. Is that you? If yes, check out VS Code for sure!

Download: VS Code for Mac (Free)

best text editor for web development


Atom is one of the most popular web development text editors and web application company developers. The app is open-source and was created by developers from the GitHub team.

Atom has quite extensive functionality. In particular, the developers have provided the following features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code completion
  • Code collapse
  • Support for dozens of languages
  • Support for different version control systems.

Atom contains a package manager that provides access to many extensions and tools written by the community and developers of this text editor.

But the main distinctive feature of Atom compared to other modern text editors is its extensibility. Thanks to its well-designed infrastructure, API, and engine, writing your own tools or add-ons for Atom is much easier than for other analogs.

Atom supports the Teletype option (codeshare) so that multiple web developers can build the same project simultaneously. In addition to that, the user can install IDE packages to turn a text editor into a full-fledged development tool or to support diverse capabilities of various development languages.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is an official text editor for web development from Microsoft, which explains why it is one of the most popular solutions for web developers. According to Microsoft, it has a userbase of 14 million people as of 2021, while Statista reports there 24 million developers worldwide. The service is supported not only on Microsoft OS but also on Linux and Mac. Visual Studio Code has a fairly large set of tools for creating and debugging code.

Microsoft specialists have provided opportunities for integration with other services. One of the prominent features of VS Code is Live Share. It creates the option of joint work on code for several experts. This way, you don’t have to pass the code to multiple developers one at a time.

The VS Code functionality also offers auto-completion, GitHub integration, syntax highlighting, and many other useful features. In addition, there is a collection of add-ons that provide an additional set of options and allow app creators for hire to customize the editor according to their needs.


The Notepad++ code editor has become a classic for developers. The first version appeared in 2003 on Windows, and today it is available only for this platform. The program is time-tested and has won its large audience. According to Stack OverFlow research, 30.4% of developers use this service.

A distinctive feature of Notepad++ is its speed. It’s really very fast. It works well with various programming languages “right out of the box.” However, this editor is most often used for HTML

Notepad++ supports editing in different tabs. In addition, it allows you to expand functionality using external extensions. For example, you can add syntax highlighting, macros, compiler integration, indentation, and more.


Vim is considered one of the most powerful console coding text editors available today. It is preinstalled on almost any UNIX. An interesting feature of the service is the ability to fully control it by only using the keyboard. Although, if you prefer to work with a mouse, then of course you can use that too.

Vim is a text editor for developers who have quite a lot of experience. However, if you manage to master it, you will open up new opportunities. You can solve problems with Vim in just a few minutes that would take hours in other programs.

Immediately after installation, Vim is unlikely to surprise you with any features. It will perfectly cope with the text, but for more complex tasks it has to be configured. Fortunately, the program provides a large number of various add-ons, plugins, and options, so the functionality of Vim can become the most extensive among all the services on the market. Another important advantage is the fact that Vim uses only a part of the system memory and loads instantly.


This is not just a text editor, but a whole family of editors united by common ideas for various operating systems. This is one of the oldest yet still very powerful editors.

The first release of this editor was for the GNU operating system and it happened 45 years ago. Nowadays, it contains over 10 thousand built-in commands that can help automate work.

The key feature of this editor is self-documenting: each command, variable and internal function have a description in the help library.

Like Vim, it can be expanded with countless add-ons and has a large number of ports on different platforms. However, in order to master it, you will probably need even more time than to master Vim.


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