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Choosing the Best JavaScript Editor From 6 Options

Do you know which profession can never go extinct in today's world? Web development! As the internet becomes mainstream, more…

By Testim,

Do you know which profession can never go extinct in today’s world? Web development! As the internet becomes mainstream, more and more people are gaining a decent online presence. You might find it hard to believe, but right now, someone somewhere is making an online bank account for the first time! Fascinating, isn’t it?

Now that we’ve established that web development is a necessity, it’s time to learn another interesting fact. A majority of web pages on the internet use JavaScript. Even after you design and structure a site using HTML and CSS, the site is static. So, what do we do to breathe life into a website? We use JavaScript to make the pages dynamic and interactive. In other words, we can consider JavaScript to be the soul of a site! But where will you write the code? JavaScript editors.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at some great JavaScript editors. We’ll also talk about choosing the best from the list to fit your needs. So, let’s dive into these in detail.

Why Do We Need a JavaScript Editor?

Before we look at the editors, though, let’s first answer why we need a JavaScript editor in the first place.

Do you know where almost all programmers spend a lot of time? On a code editor! A code editor is for editing the source code of different programs. If you’re using JavaScript, you’re going to need a JavaScript editor. JavaScript imparts a visually pleasing appearance to your web pages. Fast loading, dynamic content generation, all that makes a website lively is done by JavaScript. Back in the old days, developers used only Notepad++ for writing JavaScript codes.

But when the size of projects became huge and more features came into play, developers needed something new. They needed features like Git integration, auto-complete, plugin support, etc. Since a basic text editor is unable to provide these supports, the need for a code editor arose.

In today’s world, there are several code editors that help developers to push their code in Git. Many editors have plugins to beautify the code or IntelliSense to auto-complete the code. In the next section, we’ll discuss six popular JavaScript editors. We’ll also discuss the features and find out which one is the best to choose for your needs.

6 Best JavaScript Editor Choices

When you get used to a code editor, it’s really difficult to switch later down the road. After all, how many times will you keep learning shortcuts for optimizing development? So, it’s better to allocate some time up front for choosing from the best JavaScript (JS) editors. Let’s take a look.

1. Atom

Before diving straight into the features of Atom, let’s first understand what Electron is. Electron is a framework to build cross-platform apps for desktop with JavaScript. In short, Electron is the base of Atom.

Atom is one of the leading source code–based editors for JavaScript. And do you know what the best part is? Atom is free of cost! The editor is available for multiple operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux. This open-source editor is also super easy to install. Other features include smart completion of code and an instinctive file system browser.

Atom facilitates the easy integration of GitHub and Git control. The editor also supports plugins written in Node.js. HTML, CSS, and JS are some languages the interface supports. Besides this, Atom has a feature called fuzzy finder. Fuzzy finder makes you work faster by enabling instant switching of files. Want more? You can extend the ability of Atom by adding packages like Minimap, auto-close HTML tags, and linter.

Pros

  • Git Integration
  • Cross-Platform Support
  • Multi cursor support

Cons

  • Sometimes unstable
  • Lack of Code Execution
  • Slower than other top editors

2. Visual Studio Code

If we were to talk about the best integrated development environments (IDEs) for JS development, Visual Studio (VS) Code is the first thing that comes to mind for many. This open-source editor is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. IntelliSense support enables automatic completions while the user is coding in HTML, CSS, JS, or PHP. Moreover, code refactoring is another feature that this editor flaunts. On top of that, the editor generates both native and managed code. As for JS, this code editor gives built-in support. Some other features include TypeScript, Node.js, and JavaScript debugging tools.

Also, VS Code has a peek feature. This feature allows you to expand a function in-line and take a look at the code instead of directly navigating in the line where the function is defined. Task Runner is another great feature VS Code offers. It enables the use of Gulp, Grunt, or MSBuild for tasks related to setup.

The built-in Git support allows you to run commands like publish, commit, push, pull, and rebase. Apart from that, you can customize and extend Visual Studio Code with additional features and plugins.

Pros

  • Low Memory Consumption
  • Console Integration
  • Task Management

Cons

  • Sometimes Laggy
  • Lacks support for some popular programming languages
  • Poor Source Control

3. Eclipse

One of the biggest Java IDEs is Eclipse. But full-stack developers often use Eclipse for JavaScript coding. However, for JS, you need to install some specific plugins. Of course, the extensible plugin system makes usage handy. An integrated development environment ensures optimum performance. In addition to performance, developers can be assured of stability and robustness. You can also automate and reproduce identical workspaces when you set up the Oomph Project.

The accurate performance of JavaScript Development Tools is the highlight of Eclipse. A brand-new Docker UI helps to build Docker images as well as containers with the Docker CLI. Almost all packages support Git integration. Another striking feature is automated error reporting. With this feature, the IDE can send the bugs found in the IDE to eclipse.org.

Pros

  • Powerful Project Management
  • Advanced Debugging
  • Good Auto-Complete

Cons

  • Most changes require a reboot to take effect
  • Complex for beginners
  • Poor Customer Support

4. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is another open-source JS editor. It’s cross-platform, which offers a lot of room for customizing. The interface is free of any clutter. So that makes the editor user-friendly. Some of its great features include an impressive speed boost and improved pane management. Go to Symbol and Go to Definition are some other features. You can also download packages such as SideBar Enhancements for copy, paste, move, and rename.

Setting up everything can take some time initially. But once you have it up, Sublime Text is sure to provide a smooth experience. Also, if you’re thinking of trying out Sublime Text, here are some plugins you must install: DocBlockr, SideBar Enhancements, JsFormat, and SublimeLinter.

The best part is that you can try all the features you want free of cost. This JS editor also offers a trial version so that developers can have an insight into how it works. Once the trial period is over, for accessing the complete features, you pay $80 for three years of usage.

Pros

  • Distraction-free editing mode
  • Easy to work with multiple projects
  • Automation Support

Cons

  • Poor Library stack
  • Poor debugging
  • Lack of default printing

5. Brackets

Adobe is the creator of the open-source code editor Brackets. This lightweight and fast JS editor offers built-in support for JavaScript. Brackets is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Function finding and quick project switching are some notable features it offers. With the help of these features, the users can search for different project files while typing in real-time. The Extract feature converts details from PSD into CSS.

One of the best features that Brackets flaunts is Live Preview. You can see how any changes in the code are working in real-time. The feature is just like Adobe Dreamweaver. You can also enhance the ability of this editor by installing plugins. Some useful ones include Autoprefixer, code-folding, Markdown Preview, Smart Highlighting, and Snippets.

Pros

  • Simple User-Interface
  • Code Minification
  • Live Browser Preview

Cons

  • High Launch Time
  • Difficult Project Management
  • Low Performance while working with large files

6. NetBeans

NetBeans is a multiplatform IDE that uses modules for JavaScript app development. The best part is that the time gap between the installation of NetBeans and its use is less than with other editors. Some of NetBeans’s features are syntactic and semantic highlighting code, smart code completion, and Subversion. Others include Mercurial and built-in Git support.

Here’s another convenient feature for you! It’s super easy to modify the workspace of NetBeans. Apart from that, you can just drag tabs and reposition them in the app frame. And of course, as we all know, every developer has a different development style. In NetBeans, you can customize the toolbar buttons according to your method and convenience. And do you know another handy feature? Users can create keyboard shortcuts of their own!

Pros

  • Powerful for Automation
  • Impressive Refactoring
  • Good Service Management

Cons

  • Consumes more system resource
  • Poor Integration Support
  • Irritating Pop-ups

Time to Choose the Best JavaScript Editor

In the previous section, we discussed the six best JavaScript editors. Now comes the hard part—choosing the best one. This is just like choosing the best operating system. A Windows user will obviously say that Windows is best and won’t go for any other system. On the other hand, Linux or Mac users will find Linux or Mac much better than any other operating system.

When it comes to JavaScript editors you have to consider a few factors before choosing one:

  • Flexibility
  • Integration Support
  • Good project management
  • Performance
  • Advanced Debugging

But when it comes to JS editors, depending on your needs, the fight for the best always comes down to two: Visual Studio Code and Sublime Text.

If you’re an experienced coder, you’ll find no better option than Sublime. In fact, all the features that VS Code offers have been there in Sublime for ages. The editor is fast and easy for organizing and searching through files and codes. Moreover, you can easily jump to any symbol or function with shortcuts. Without taking your hands off the keyboard, you can write codes and jump around files. But for novice coders, Sublime will take some time getting used to. Another disadvantage is that Sublime is only an editor. There’s no option to test your code.

If you’re new to coding, you’ll find the features of VS Code much more user-friendly. You can pick up the shortcuts and every other feature quite easily. Moreover, for Angular or Node developers, the inbuilt command line interface is very useful. VS Code also provides you the option of debugging your code if you have Node.js installed. Also, since VS Code is developed by Microsoft, you don’t have to worry about support. There are loads of documentation and video tutorials that explain all the features and usage guidelines. On the other hand, Sublime’s blogs, forums, and documentation are hard to find. Sublime is useful only if you know what you’re about to do.

Enhance Your Work Environment’s Efficiency With a JavaScript Editor

If you’re a developer, you’re likely looking forward to making your work environment pleasant and more efficient. In this case, a great JavaScript editor is the way to go. Personally speaking, we can’t always definitively judge and compare between text editors and decide that a certain one is the best. The opinion varies from user to user and by each user’s needs.

A good way to choose the best JavaScript editor among the top picks is to spend some time with each. This will help you understand the different features and, eventually, make the correct choice. So, what are you waiting for? Select the best JavaScript editor and boost the efficiency of your work environment!

Why limit yourself to knowing about text editors? Here are some useful links for you to know more about web development:

This post was written by Arnab Roy Chowdhury. Arnab is a UI developer by profession and a blogging enthusiast. He has strong expertise in the latest UI/UX trends, project methodologies, testing, and scripting.

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