10 votes

I need a good text editor on Windows 10

Disclaimer: I'm on Windows 10

I keep hopping between text editors because I can't find one that suits my needs. I need something simplistic, non-bloated, beginner friendly, open source, and preferably with Dracula theme. I'll list off the ones that I've tried that I don't like too much:

  • Atom
  • Vim
  • Emacs
  • Notepad++
  • VS Code

Honestly, I'd really like something that's like very similar to Sublime but FOSS. Is there one like that?

45 comments

  1. [5]
    mian
    Link
    Really hard to respond constructively to this without hearing why you didn't like the things you didn't like or what you're actually using these for--language, workflow, etc.

    Really hard to respond constructively to this without hearing why you didn't like the things you didn't like or what you're actually using these for--language, workflow, etc.

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      I didn't like lots of them because they were way over my head. I needed something minimalistic and simple. Does that help? Sorry if I'm not giving enough information.

      I didn't like lots of them because they were way over my head. I needed something minimalistic and simple. Does that help? Sorry if I'm not giving enough information.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I can see that argument for Vim and Emacs but Notepad++, VS Code, and Atom are all pretty straightforward.

        I can see that argument for Vim and Emacs but Notepad++, VS Code, and Atom are all pretty straightforward.

        10 votes
        1. PopeRigby
          Link Parent
          I get overwhelmed very easily

          I get overwhelmed very easily

          2 votes
      2. laxative-agent
        Link Parent
        I found Notepad2 and SciTE to be great minimal open source text editors. EDIT: And while I havent used it, Ive heard good things about Programmer's Notepad, also open source.

        I found Notepad2 and SciTE to be great minimal open source text editors.

        EDIT: And while I havent used it, Ive heard good things about Programmer's Notepad, also open source.

        2 votes
  2. [2]
    Sheep
    Link
    May I ask what you disliked about Notepad++? It seems to have all the features you want. You can make it as simple looking as this, it's open source, and it has a dracula theme (which I am using...

    May I ask what you disliked about Notepad++? It seems to have all the features you want. You can make it as simple looking as this, it's open source, and it has a dracula theme (which I am using as you can see). Did something about it just throw you off completely or?

    11 votes
    1. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      I found gedit by looking through the draculatheme page. That looks similar to Notepad++ but even more simple. So I might use that.

      I found gedit by looking through the draculatheme page. That looks similar to Notepad++ but even more simple. So I might use that.

      5 votes
  3. [31]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I really can't think of anything like what you want, except for Sublime. Visual Studio Code has the Sublime Text Keymap and Settings Importer if that helps, but I get the feeling you want to stay...

    I really can't think of anything like what you want, except for Sublime. Visual Studio Code has the Sublime Text Keymap and Settings Importer if that helps, but I get the feeling you want to stay away from VSCode or Electron.

    Is there any particular reason you don't want to stick with Sublime?

    5 votes
    1. [28]
      PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      Well. I just really like my software to be open source. It makes me feel cozy inside. It also makes me feel like I could have more say in development if I wanted to. I don't know if that sounds silly.

      Well. I just really like my software to be open source. It makes me feel cozy inside. It also makes me feel like I could have more say in development if I wanted to. I don't know if that sounds silly.

      3 votes
      1. [27]
        onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        Then why are you using Windows? (I don’t mean to be antagonistic, but this seems like a cognitively dissonant stance to take.)

        Then why are you using Windows? (I don’t mean to be antagonistic, but this seems like a cognitively dissonant stance to take.)

        12 votes
        1. [26]
          PopeRigby
          Link Parent
          Well...I'm a hypocrite. Also gaming isn't good enough on Linux for me to switch over yet. That's pretty much the only reason I'm on Windows. I know it sounds stupid :/

          Well...I'm a hypocrite. Also gaming isn't good enough on Linux for me to switch over yet. That's pretty much the only reason I'm on Windows. I know it sounds stupid :/

          3 votes
          1. [25]
            orangse
            Link Parent
            Have you ever considered dual booting? I feel like that solves your problem pretty handily.

            Have you ever considered dual booting? I feel like that solves your problem pretty handily.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              332
              Link Parent
              I think this is good advice considering OPs specific requirements, but it's pretty funny that "I need a good text editor on Windows 10" somehow ended up in "You should dual boot linux".

              I think this is good advice considering OPs specific requirements, but it's pretty funny that "I need a good text editor on Windows 10" somehow ended up in "You should dual boot linux".

              8 votes
              1. PopeRigby
                Link Parent
                It is kind of funny, but I've actually been wanting to do it for a while.

                It is kind of funny, but I've actually been wanting to do it for a while.

                6 votes
            2. [16]
              PopeRigby
              Link Parent
              I have considered that. I just don't really know how to and I'm worried it will take up to much space.

              I have considered that. I just don't really know how to and I'm worried it will take up to much space.

              3 votes
              1. [15]
                ntgg
                Link Parent
                A lot of Linux distributions, like Ubuntu or Manjaro, have dual booting built into their installers. It is super easy to set up, and very easy to remove if you don't like it. I currently have a...

                A lot of Linux distributions, like Ubuntu or Manjaro, have dual booting built into their installers. It is super easy to set up, and very easy to remove if you don't like it. I currently have a 100 gb windows partition and a 400 gb Manjaro partition on my laptop, but I started with just an 80gb partition and slowly moved everything over.

                5 votes
                1. PopeRigby
                  Link Parent
                  Hmm. I'll probably do that when I have more time.

                  Hmm. I'll probably do that when I have more time.

                  1 vote
                2. [13]
                  PopeRigby
                  Link Parent
                  Which distro should I use?

                  Which distro should I use?

                  1 vote
                  1. [5]
                    332
                    Link Parent
                    I'd say Ubuntu or Mint would be the easiest ones to deal with coming from windows.

                    I'd say Ubuntu or Mint would be the easiest ones to deal with coming from windows.

                    6 votes
                    1. [4]
                      PopeRigby
                      Link Parent
                      What about GNOME 3?

                      What about GNOME 3?

                      1 vote
                      1. loto
                        Link Parent
                        Gnome 3 is a desktop, rather than a distribution, which is an important distinction - unlike on windows where there's 1 desktop/window manager, on Linux they can be installed/removed reinstalled...

                        Gnome 3 is a desktop, rather than a distribution, which is an important distinction - unlike on windows where there's 1 desktop/window manager, on Linux they can be installed/removed reinstalled like regular programs. Most distributions come with a desktop already (i.e. Ubuntu comes with gnome 3 by default nowadays, Mint comes with cinnamon (I believe? I may me mixing it up with another), but can both be used with other desktops) and there's a ton of others out there if you want to try more. In all honesty, it doesn't matter which one you choose first a whole lot - you can usually swap desktops later if you'd like, so you won't be locked in if you choose something you don't end up liking. Hope that helps a bit :)

                        5 votes
                      2. [3]
                        Comment deleted by author
                        Link Parent
                        1. PopeRigby
                          Link Parent
                          Oh. As you can tell I know next to nothing about Linux.

                          Oh. As you can tell I know next to nothing about Linux.

                          2 votes
                        2. PopeRigby
                          Link Parent
                          So what is a desktop environment? What's the difference between that and a distro?

                          So what is a desktop environment? What's the difference between that and a distro?

                          2 votes
                  2. [7]
                    loto
                    Link Parent
                    Ubuntu, Mint and Manjaro are all solid choices for starting out. I'd personally lean towards Ubuntu/mint, as that's what I started with, but manjaro's more up to date as it's rolling release, and...

                    Ubuntu, Mint and Manjaro are all solid choices for starting out. I'd personally lean towards Ubuntu/mint, as that's what I started with, but manjaro's more up to date as it's rolling release, and eases the process of setting up an AMD/NVIDIA card

                    2 votes
                    1. [6]
                      PopeRigby
                      Link Parent
                      I think I'll use Manjaro. Thanks for the suggestion!

                      I think I'll use Manjaro. Thanks for the suggestion!

                      2 votes
                      1. [5]
                        apoctr
                        Link Parent
                        Keep in mind that as Manjaro is rolling release, there is a higher likelihood of updates borking your system than on traditional "stable release" distros like Ubuntu. That likelihood is still...

                        Keep in mind that as Manjaro is rolling release, there is a higher likelihood of updates borking your system than on traditional "stable release" distros like Ubuntu. That likelihood is still pretty damn small, but keep it in mind.

                        Manjaro specifically, they're also always in the middle of some (usually overblow) scandal/drama over poor security practises, moreso than other distros, which may be something to keep aware of.

                        2 votes
                        1. [4]
                          PopeRigby
                          Link Parent
                          Really? Damn. Guess I'll use Mint then. Are they secure?

                          Manjaro specifically, they're also always in the middle of some (usually overblow) scandal/drama over poor security practises, moreso than other distros, which may be something to keep aware of.

                          Really? Damn. Guess I'll use Mint then. Are they secure?

                          1 vote
                          1. [3]
                            apoctr
                            Link Parent
                            I'm not aware of any issues, but there might be some. Best to research it if you care strongly about security practises.

                            I'm not aware of any issues, but there might be some. Best to research it if you care strongly about security practises.

                            2 votes
            3. [6]
              babypuncher
              Link Parent
              I found having to reboot my machine every time I switch between playing a game and doing anything else really annoying. I just boot Windows and do Linux-specific work in a VM or WSL. I don't...

              I found having to reboot my machine every time I switch between playing a game and doing anything else really annoying. I just boot Windows and do Linux-specific work in a VM or WSL.

              I don't really get the Windows hate (beyond the fact that it's not FOSS), especially now that WSL is a thing.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                orangse
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Well the op did say that he likes open source software, so that's a pretty big reason to use Linux imo. WSL is fairly limited as well because: It doesn't do X applications without extensions which...

                Well the op did say that he likes open source software, so that's a pretty big reason to use Linux imo. WSL is fairly limited as well because:

                • It doesn't do X applications without extensions which is a huge hit in my book for personal use
                • WSL performance is horrendous. Summarizing those benchmarks, it's anywhere from a 10x to a 20x performance loss on many common operations. Compiling any sort of large codebase is pretty much impossible and for that matter any sort of large file I/O. Maybe its just me, but I don't see anybody that has to compile a >100,000 sloc codebase doing it on WSL anytime soon. Tbh, even in my own personal use for smaller 5,000-10,000 sloc codebases I've noticed pretty unusable performance hits. small edit: I should note that normally I'm compiling C++, which already has disgustingly bad compile times. Multiply that by 15... I would actually jump off a bridge.

                A VM definitely works, it just has its own performance hit as well, though not as bad as WSL from what I've seen.

                5 votes
                1. babypuncher
                  Link Parent
                  OP is also saying that he finds Notepad++ overwhelming so Linux might not be the right operating system for them.

                  OP is also saying that he finds Notepad++ overwhelming so Linux might not be the right operating system for them.

              2. vord
                Link Parent
                About WSL....it's only available on Window 10 Pro, not Home....that can be a non-starter for a lot of people. Also, WSL has a ton of idiosyncrasies that make it harder to use than the reverse...

                About WSL....it's only available on Window 10 Pro, not Home....that can be a non-starter for a lot of people. Also, WSL has a ton of idiosyncrasies that make it harder to use than the reverse scenario (running a windows VM on linux).

                As far as the windows hate...I'll share my particular tipping point that resulted in me beginning the Linux migration in my house. I say this as someone who uses Linux extensively on servers, but had given up trying to run it on desktop machines around 2008.

                It started with annoyances present in Windows 10 that were not present in old versions: Nvidia drivers being wiped out on several Windows updates, ads in the start menu, re-enabling of intentionally disabled settings, over-simplified configuration menus to the point of being useless, constant pointless notifications, and many more that just piled on over time.

                But the tipping point was when I installed Pihole, and saw the graph of all the traffic Microsoft was attempting to send out. It was utterly astounding to see how many calls were being made to their telemetry servers, despite using many of the supposed "privacy" settings. That's when I decided enough was enough, and made it my mission to eliminate Windows from my house.

                Progress on that front is looking promising. I'm 6 months into using Linux exclusively on my primary machine. Linux on the desktop has made tremendous leaps and bounds in the last decade since my last serious attempt, at least for someone who has some technical inclination. The fact that it is possible to install and run a vast majority of Windows-only games now with a few clicks is astounding. Games that utilize Windows-only anti-cheat don't work, along with DX12-only titles (do any actually exist?), but a huge percentage of other games do. That is amazing progress, especially when combined with the vastly expanded availability of Linux-native games.

                5 votes
              3. [2]
                AshySlashy
                Link Parent
                Windows updates have screwed me big time multiple times, especially since 10. Update 1809 left my windows partition unbootable, and trying to install it fresh resulted in an error about being...

                Windows updates have screwed me big time multiple times, especially since 10.

                Update 1809 left my windows partition unbootable, and trying to install it fresh resulted in an error about being unable to find media drivers. I tried everything to fix it. Eventually had to plug the HDD into an entirely different PC, install windows on that, then switch it back. Worked just fine after that. Also back when I dual booted off the same drive, Windows kept wiping grub from my Linux install when it updated. It shouldn't have been an issue with my hardware, everything in my PC is reasonably modern.

                Also as the other poster mentioned, WSL has terrible performance. You'd be better off running a headless VM and SSH'ing into it.

                1. babypuncher
                  Link Parent
                  I do run a VM for performance-sensitive work, or use Windows versions of the software I'm using (like x264). Mostly I just use WSL for easy access to Linux utitlities that I've grown used to over...

                  I do run a VM for performance-sensitive work, or use Windows versions of the software I'm using (like x264). Mostly I just use WSL for easy access to Linux utitlities that I've grown used to over the years, since all of my actual development work these days is in .NET.

                  I have had my own fair share of Ubuntu and other distros completely fucking up a machine after an update or even refusing to install a bootable environment on certain hardware, that is hardly just a Windows problem. I have one machine with a Gigabyte motherboard that is only two years old and no variant of Ubuntu will install properly on it, just giving me a black screen on first boot after install. The only way I eventually got it to work was to install Ubuntu to the target drive from a VM and manually set up GRUB 2 on the UEFI partition of my boot drive.

                  I'm not trying to claim one OS is better than another, I'm just a firm believer that every OS sucks, even the golden child that is Linux.

    2. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Coming in here to agree that sublimetext is the best. I've tried most of what's on this list and nothing beats sublime IMO. /u/lumbo7332

      Coming in here to agree that sublimetext is the best. I've tried most of what's on this list and nothing beats sublime IMO. /u/lumbo7332

      2 votes
      1. PopeRigby
        Link Parent
        It's true, Sublime is really good. I just wish it was FOSS ):

        It's true, Sublime is really good. I just wish it was FOSS ):

        4 votes
  4. Nitta
    Link
    Hands down VS Code. Notepad++ is a nice robust choice for quick edits or huge files, but Code is the tool for doing projects. It looks nice, has themes, opens and searches the whole folders, and...

    Hands down VS Code. Notepad++ is a nice robust choice for quick edits or huge files, but Code is the tool for doing projects. It looks nice, has themes, opens and searches the whole folders, and is packed with features.

    4 votes
  5. 666
    Link
    Before VS Code I used to use Geany and it was pretty good. It doesn't have a Dracula theme but you can pick one of the existing themes as a base and replace the colors with those from the Dracula...

    Before VS Code I used to use Geany and it was pretty good. It doesn't have a Dracula theme but you can pick one of the existing themes as a base and replace the colors with those from the Dracula color palette. It isn't as powerful as VS Code, don't expect something like Intellisense, it's more similar to Notepad++.

    3 votes
  6. [3]
    LiberHomo
    Link
    I know it's painful but I still recommend taking the time to learn vi(m). A full install of vim comes with vim-tutor which will show you the basic commands. Once you learn even very simple vi...

    I know it's painful but I still recommend taking the time to learn vi(m). A full install of vim comes with vim-tutor which will show you the basic commands. Once you learn even very simple vi commands (even just d, y, $, 0, G, and ?) it is far more efficient to use than notepad for simple text editing.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      I'll give it another shot

      I'll give it another shot

      2 votes
      1. joelthelion
        Link Parent
        The other benefit is that you can make it as complex as you want. With the right plugins, it can become a full-blown IDE, but since you only add what you need, it stays lean and fast. You don't...

        The other benefit is that you can make it as complex as you want. With the right plugins, it can become a full-blown IDE, but since you only add what you need, it stays lean and fast.

        You don't need to learn all that much to get started with it. As @LiberHomo said, vimtutor plus one day or two to get used to the basic motions is all that you need. Then you can learn as you go as you stumble on something painful to do with what you know.

        2 votes
  7. Alatar
    Link
    Vscodium?

    Vscodium?

    2 votes