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Q: What are some common text editors?

A: From basic text editors to advanced word processing applications, there are many programs available to to view and edit text documents. Several options for the Windows, Macintosh, and Linux platforms are listed below.

Windows

Company Program Price * Notes
AbiSource AbiWord Free Cross-platform, open source word processing program similar to Microsoft Word; supports advanced page layouts and text formatting.
Apache OpenOffice Writer Free Fully equipped word processor that supports formatting, styles, and AutoCorrect; can import images and diagrams.
Boxer Software Boxer $60 Supports macros, color syntax highlighting and printing, HTML editing support, and Regular Expression searches.
Carolina Road Software Jarte Free Free word processor based on the Microsoft WordPad word processing engine; expands beyond the WordPad feature set; saves documents in a format compatible with both Word and WordPad.
CodeLobster CodeLobster PHP Edition Free IDE that supports syntax highlighting and autocomplete for PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS; also includes a PHP debugger for locally validating PHP code.
ConTEXT ConTEXT Free Freeware text editor developed for software developers; includes syntax highlighting for many programming languages.
Corel WordPerfect $299
(w/ WP Office)
Advanced word processor developed by Corel Software; can be used to create reports, letters, resumes, and brochures; included as part of WordPerfect Office.
ES-Computing EditPlus $30 Text editor, HTML editor, and programmer's editor; syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, and scripting languages.
Flo's Freeware Notepad2 Free Basic text editor based on Microsoft's Notepad application; includes programming features such as custom syntax highlighting, regular expression search/replace, and bracket matching.
Fookes Holding Ltd. NoteTab $39.95 Versatile text editor designed to be a replacement for Notepad; can be used for text-processing and well as editing HTML5 and CSS3 files; includes a real-time word counter for SEO purposes.
Geany Geany Free Lightweight text editor that also serves as an integrated development environment (IDE); supports syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-completion, and auto-closing of tags.
HamsterCoders Write! $19.95 Cross-platform, minimalist text editor designed to create notes, to-do lists, writing projects, and texts of any kind; has all the common word processor features packed into a clutter-free interface.
Helios Software TextPad $30 Supports custom commands and macros and efficient find and replace commands.
IDM Computer Solutions UltraEdit $59 Text editor that can be used for coding HTML, PHP, Perl, Java, JavaScript, and HEX files; includes FTP and SSH/Telnet support, code folding, syntax highlighting, and Ctags support.
Just Great Software EditPad Lite Free Compact general-purpose text editor; has a tabbed interface for working with multiple files; includes an advanced search and replace feature that supports regular expressions.
Microsoft Notepad Free Plain text editor included with Windows XP that can open and create new text files; does not support any text formatting.
Microsoft Word $229 The most common word processor in the world; part of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft WordPad Free Basic text editor included with Windows XP; supports text formatting and rich text (RTF) files.
Notepad++ Notepad++ Free Source code editor that supports several programming languages; designed as a Notepad replacement; based on the Scintilla edit component.
PSPad PSPad Free Freeware programmer's editor that supports HTML, XHTML, PHP, ASP, JavaScript, C, Perl, and other languages; includes syntax highlighting and rich text formatting.
Orangeline Araneae Free Text editor designed primarily for Web development; supports syntax highlighting for HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, PHP, and Ruby; also includes a browser preview feature.
SciTE SciTE Free Free source code editor based on the Scintilla source code editing component; supports key commands for navigation and editing.
The Document Foundation LibreOffice Writer Free Full-featured word processor included with LibreOffice; designed to be simple, but is also powerful enough to create complete books with indexes, contents, and diagrams.

Macintosh

Company Program Price * Notes
AbiSource AbiWord Free Cross-platform, open source word processing program similar to Microsoft Word; supports advanced page layouts and text formatting.
Apache OpenOffice Writer Free Fully equipped word processor that supports formatting, styles, and AutoCorrect; can import images and diagrams.
Apple Pages Bundled with macOS Word processing and page layout program that supports text and document formatting; included in the iWork suite, along with Numbers and Keynote.
Apple TextEdit Free Included with macOS; can edit documents in plain text or rich text mode; supports HTML and Microsoft Word formats.
Bare Bones Software BBEdit $199 Professional HTML and text editor; supports syntax coloring and function navigation; AppleScript, Perl, and Unix scripting support.
Bare Bones Software TextWrangler Free General purpose and programmer's text editor; supports advanced text formatting, syntax coloring, and 'grep' searches.
Bean Bean OS X Free Free, open-source text editor for Mac OS X; designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable; supports rich text styles and various types of page formatting.
HamsterCoders Write! $19.95 Cross-platform, minimalist text editor designed to create notes, to-do lists, writing projects, and texts of any kind; has all the common word processor features packed into a clutter-free interface.
MacroMates TextMate $51 Advanced text editor for the Mac developed primarily for programmers; includes customizable syntax highlighting, foldable code blocks, word completion, and search and replace.
Microsoft Word $229 The most common word processor in the world; part of Microsoft Office.
NeoOffice NeoOffice Writer Free Word processor included with the NeoOffice application suite; based on OpenOffice.org, but designed specifically for Mac OS X; can open Word, WordPerfect, StarWriter, and other types of documents.
The Document Foundation LibreOffice Writer Free Full-featured word processor included with LibreOffice; designed to be simple, but is also powerful enough to create complete books with indexes, contents, and diagrams.

Linux

Company Program Price * Notes
AbiSource AbiWord Free Cross-platform, open source word processing program similar to Microsoft Word; supports advanced page layouts and text formatting.
Apache OpenOffice Writer Free Fully equipped word processor that supports formatting, styles, and AutoCorrect; can import images and diagrams.
BSD Vi Free Basic text editor included with nearly all Unix and Linux distributions; operates in either insert mode (for text entry) or normal mode (for typing commands).
Geany Geany Free Lightweight text editor that also serves as an integrated development environment (IDE); supports syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-completion, and auto-closing of tags.
GNOME Project gedit Free Official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment; supports internationalized text, syntax highlighting, search and replace, bracket matching, line numbers, and configurable colors.
Gnu Project Emacs Free Extensible and customizable editor that includes syntax coloring; includes an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language.
HamsterCoders Write! $19.95 Cross-platform, minimalist text editor designed to create notes, to-do lists, writing projects, and texts of any kind; has all the common word processor features packed into a clutter-free interface.
Kate Kate Editor Free Text editor for KDE that includes window splitting and a multi-document interface (MDI); also supports multiple text encodings and regular expression search and replace; includes programming features such as line numbers, syntax highlighting, and auto indentation.
Tarot Osuji Leafpad Free Simple text editor based on the Gimp Toolkit (GTK+) that runs on Linux and BSD; included as the default text editor in Raspberry Pi's wheezy OS; supports line numbers, unlimited undo/redo, and auto-indent.
The Document Foundation LibreOffice Writer Free Full-featured word processor included with LibreOffice; designed to be simple, but is also powerful enough to create complete books with indexes, contents, and diagrams.
University of Washington Pine Free Basic text editor integrated with the Pine (Program for Internet News & Email) e-mail client; includes paragraph justification, cut and paste functionality, and a spell checker.
Vim Online Vim Free Highly configurable text editor based on the standard vi editor; designed to make text editing more efficient for programmers; includes a basic Notepad-like mode called evim or Easy Vim.

* Prices listed are estimated retail prices and may change.

Know of an text editor that should be listed here? Suggest a program.

Updated: July 20, 2017