Text Editor | Complete Guide

A text editor is used to create, edit and change text files on the computer. You can also find a text editor online free via the internet for opening and editing your text documents on any device.

Text Editor is a computer program that is used to edit plain text documents. It can also create computer programs, edit programming language source code, edit hypertext markup language (HTML), and web design templates, or create web pages.

It was commonly used for document creation in the past but now it is used for programming. Software and website developers frequently used plain text editors to edit, review and write source code.

Text Editor Definition

We can define it as a program that allows you to edit saved documents by adding, erasing, or moving text. It can also manage the graphics and other multimedia files which is the primary function of word processors.

What are the Types of Text Editors?

Several text editors exist in the market and on the Internet. But there are three types of Text editors that used frequently that are:

  1. Plain text editors
  2. Rich text editors
  3. HTML editors

We can see the difference between editors in the text that they produce. It’s challenging to distinguish between a plain text editor and an HTML editor because both of them don’t have any formatting options. However, if any editor can perform well while creating HTML documents, it is an HTML editor.

Difference between Plain and HTML Text Editor

A plain text editor is a program that allows you to create and edit simple text files. It is designed to handle only plain text, which means it doesn’t support formatting, font styles, or images.

Examples of plain Text Editors:

Notepad on Windows and TextEdit on Mac.

An HTML text editor is a program that allows you to create and edit HTML files. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is used to create web pages (Formatting). An HTML text editor can handle plain text, as well as HTML markup tags that are used to format and structure the content of a web page.

Examples of HTML Text Editors:

Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, and Bluefish.

Difference between Rich and HTML Text Editor

A rich text editor and an HTML text editor are both used for creating and editing text, but there are some key differences between them.

A rich text editor, also known as a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, allows you to format text using various font styles, colors, sizes, and alignments.

It also allows you to insert images, tables, and other media into your documents. Examples of rich text editors include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages.

An HTML text editor, as mentioned earlier, is used to create and edit HTML files. HTML markup tags are used to format and structure the content of a web page, and an HTML text editor allows you to insert these tags manually.

Difference between Rich and Plain Text Editor

Plain text editors can write and edit text with only basic options for formatting. However, the rich text editor can write and edit the text in plenty of formatting options including the features of bold, underlined, or italic text.

A rich text editor and a plain text editor are both used for creating and editing text, but there are significant differences between them.

A plain text editor is a simple tool that allows you to create and edit text files with no formatting, such as font styles, colors, or images. Plain text editors are useful for creating documents that don’t require any specific formatting or for coding purposes.


Example of Text Editors

1. Notepad

Microsoft Windows systems include a text editor called Notepad which is used to edit text and create computer programs. However, many programmers nowadays prefer a full-fledged program for that purpose.

2. TextEdit

It is a text editor for Apple devices used for editing documents with rich text created with other word processing programs, such as OpenOffice and Microsoft Word.

3. Emacs

It is a powerful editor that can be used across all platforms. Emacs is a widely appreciated program among users because of its quick commands for routine but difficult tasks.

4. Atom

Atom is an open-source text editor used for both programming and text editing purposes.

5. Vim

Vim is a highly customizable text editor designed to make writing and editing any sort of text incredibly efficient. The Apple OS X and the majority of UNIX systems include it as “vi”.

6. MS Word

It is a widely used word processor created by Microsoft Corporation. It can edit and create any type of text document in various formats such as docx, odt, and rtf.

7. UltraEdit

It is a dynamic and widely used text editor for Windows. Programmers and developers prefer to use it because of its exceptional features like the find and replace function. It can work with many languages such as C/C++, Perl, JavaScript, and PHP.

8. Notepad++

It is currently the most famous text editor among programmers and developers. It is a GPL-licensed source code editor for Windows.

It has a lot of valuable features including support for many programming languages, a strong find-and-replace tool, playback of repeated keystrokes, and a macro-recording function.

9. TextMate

It is an extremely capable MacOS editor for designers and programmers. Through this editor, you can customize the interface according to the theme of your choice, execute shell commands directly from a document, and auto-complete character pairs such as brackets and parenthesis.

What Features Should a Text Editor Have?

All text editors have some features in common and they define a true Text Editing program. 

All text editors have some features in common and they define a true Text Editing program. 

  • It should be simple and easy to use like any word processor.
  • It should have a basic feature to copy, cut and paste the text.
  • It should be capable of working with UTF-8 encoded text.
  • It should have features to find and replace any text in the document.
  • It should have a syntax highlighting feature which makes it simple to read and pick errors from a code.
  • It should have a feature to customize color schemes, text fonts, and the overall appearance of the document.

What is a Text Editor For Coding?

A text editor for coding means an editor that can create and edit many types of files in a programming language.

It is very important to find a perfect text editor if you want to use it for coding purposes. We use these text editors for coding in various languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Here are a few Text Editors that can be used for coding:

  • Sublime Text.
  • Visual Studio Code.
  • Brackets.
  • Notepad++.
  • Vim.
  • UltraEdit.
  • Atom.
  • TextMate.
  • CodeShare.
  • CoffeeCup–The HTML Editor.

Famous Text Editor App

Notepad++ is the most famous Text Editor App that can be used perfectly for both text editing and programming purposes. It can work with various open documents in a single window because of its feature called “tabbed editing”. 

Notepad++ is available as free software. Initially, the project was featured on SourceForge.net, where it received over 28 million downloads. It has received the award of “Best Developer Tool” in the SourceForge Community Choice Awards.

Pros & Cons of Notepad++


  • Its user interface is completely customizable.
  • It has an exceptional feature of tabbed editing.
  • You can type and save any text messages or information relevant to your job.
  • It can open multiple files, even with different language settings in a single window.
  • When a file is stored with a particular file format, we highlighted the code syntax, making it easy to edit.
  • It contains an auto-save feature.
  • It is completely free to use.
  • It has a Dark Theme feature that makes the experience more enjoyable.


  • Incompatible with Mac and Linux.
  • Plain user interface.
  • Because of too many options, it’s necessary to search and locate a specific function.
  • Sometimes it hangs while starting and updating.


What are text message editor apps?

Text Message editor apps are used to customize and edit any text message on the smartphone. Through these apps, you can edit the SMS date, body, message status, etc and you can also add a fake text message to any existing conversation.

What are apps for editing text?

It included Apps that can edit the text of any text document in text editing apps. There are many apps available for editing text such as Notepad (for Windows), TextEdit (for MacOS), and TXT (for Chrome OS).

What are text editor apps for PC?

Here are the best text editor apps for Windows and Mac computers.
1. Notepad++.
2. UltraEdit.
3. Vim.
4. Brackets.
5. Sublime Text.

What are android text editors?

Android text editors are the apps used for text editing on Android devices. Here are the best text editing apps that are compatible with Android devices:

1. Turbo Editor.
2. Source-code Editor.
3. QED.


The text editor is a simple program used on computers to create, edit and open text documents. Besides text editing, you can use them to write or edit programming codes in any computer language.

In the past, they were mostly used to open and create text files but now they are mostly being used by programmers for creating various computer programs through coding.

Currently, there are many Text editors available on the internet for text editing and programming purposes. You can select and use them according to work you want to perform on an editor.

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