I'm looking for a programmers' editor. I know Xcode and I use it for application programming but I'm looking for something that will:

  • Syntax highlight PHP, SQL, Javascript (including jQuery) and CSS not required but would be nice; also Lua, Python, and Perl
  • IntelliSense type stuff, start typing and get all the functions/objects/variables it could be and any parameters. Xcode does this well for C/C++/Objective-C but looking for languages that are listed above.
  • Would be nice if it worked with projects and not just files
  • Integrated with SVN, CVS, or GIT
  • Had upload-to-server functionality built in

I am aware of Coda but am looking for other options before I drop 100 bucks.

  • 1
    For alternatives to Code you may want to check alternativeto.net/software/coda/?platform=mac - they are ordered by people preference.
    – sorin
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 8:09
  • Considered going to a full IDE? I believe Netbeans can do all you ask for. Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 15:03
  • PHP Storm, see my answer below
    – toesslab
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 20:50
  • More vim users than emacs users? Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 20:54

17 Answers 17


BBEdit by Bare Bones fulfills all of your requirements. Pricey but 100% worth it.

  • 1
    +1. It's so nice not being the only BBEdit fan (for once).
    – Dori
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 2:40
  • 1
    +1 BBEdit is the only thing I use for non-Cocoa programming. Of the posters requests, the only thing it doesn't have is Git integration. Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 5:59
  • It's worth adding that BBEdit is now down to $50, with a price until October 2011 of $40.
    – David
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 12:32
  • 1
    +1. Used it for decade+. Intellisense type stuff: look into Ctags (BBedit supports it): "Ctags is a program that generates an index (or tag) file of names found in source and header files of various programming languages. Depending on the language, functions, variables, class members, macros and so on may be indexed." BBedit uses these indexes like intellisense.
    – radarbob
    Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 2:46
  • BBEdit is great, I'm not an advanced user but it solves problems for me that TextMate and Xcode can't. Try opening multi-megabyte files of raw data in TextMate... (which I bought first) Commented Apr 10, 2012 at 4:47


Doesn't address all of your needs but I think it's pretty snaz.

  • Been a TextMate user for over a decade. Couldn't recommend it enough.
    – forquare
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 22:54

An editor that gets overlooked a lot is MacVim. It's based on the venerable vim editor, from *nix, and can do everything you asked via plugins.

I show it supports 176-ish different languages, including all the ones you mentioned.

I regularly do lookups of existing methods, variables, random text phrases via a CNTRL_N or CNTRL_P mapping which searches all the open files and pops up a list of the hits.

Vim calls its projects "sessions", which stores all the files, window settings, macros, etc., for later reloading. From vim's "direct" mode, :mksession path/to/sessionfile will create it. Sourcing it later from the command-line is simple: vim -S path/to/sessionfile.

There's a great plugin called VCS, that handles my SVN stuff:

...CVS, SVN, SVK, git, bzr, and hg within VIM, including committing changes and performing diffs...

Upload to server functionality is handled by the netrw plugin.

vim does have a steep learning curve, the vimtutor, which comes with the app, can help jump-start you. Also, there are active users here and on SO's sister sites, plus on the vim IRC node on freenode.net.

Probably the most awesome thing about vim, is its available in an interfaced version on Mac OS as MacVim, on Linux using gvim, on Windows, and from the command-line of any of those OSes. vim on any of them will use the same commands, same plugins, same themes, etc., within the limitations of those environments. I bounce back and forth from Mac to Linux all day long and have at least one vim window open somewhere.

And, lest anyone think I'm not familiar with the Mac-only alternatives, I own all my copies of Coda, BBEdit and TextMate, and use them. I go way back with BBEdit, and actually used to occasionally demo it at MacWorld. It's great, but I use vim with the same settings everywhere, and none of the other editors can do that. So, if you need that cross-platform compatibility, look into it.


Eclipse has addins for those languages and does all of the things you mention


One more thing. Sublime Text 2

  • I miss any sort of version control integration, but what I see of Sublime Text 2 is very good.
    – EmmEff
    Commented Jan 7, 2012 at 3:31
  • 1
    There are plug-ins for a lot of things, including git, svn, sftp (with remote edit), code completion and more.
    – Hoshts
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 7:46
  • Sublime Text is more of a modular IDE than a text editor. Install the modules you want, avoid the cruft of the ones you don't want. REPL support for the shell and many popular languages, version control integration, linting, build systems, task management. You can spend the majority of your day in it after you install the plug-ins you need. Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 19:43

Smultron is one of my favorites, along with TextWrangelr. Both are free.


ActiveState's Komodo is an excellent cross-platform IDE (it's based on Gecko, so feels as native to OS X as Firefox does).

It includes all of the features you mention. There's also a free, open-source, version, Komodo Edit that includes nearly all the features (e.g., no source code repository integration).


NetBeans is my development environment of choice. While it's not my text editor for regular files - I'm using TextWrangler or vim on the shell for that - it is the most usable IDE I've come across so far.

It has great code completion, supports various languages, has a great formatting engine, extremely well done and easy to configure debugging functionalities and a very good SVN integration.


Ultraedit is now available for MacOS X. I haven't tried it yet. But if it comes with the same features as the Windows version (which I use on a daily basis as part of my job) it is absolutely a good recommendation.

It can do all the stuff you are asking for with the exception of providing an integration with software configuration management. Man, would I love to see this implemented.


jEdit do some of your requests, but not all of them, and it's also free.

You can read here its feature and languages that it supports.

jEdit Screenshot


i'd go with Fraise, which used to be Smultron. works with very many languages and has a minimalist interface. syntax highlighting.


Beyond up-voting @philip's BBedit recommendation, I am compelled to emphatically endorse BBEIT: BBEdit Simply the best coding editor I've used PC or Mac. I've not used VIM but I've been coding since before DOS existed, so I understand the speed of all-keyboard-all-the-time editing. I'll give you that and yet stand by my BBEdit endorsement.

P.S. Did I mention I like BBEdit?


I'd second the recommendations for Sublime Text and the JetBrains products (I use WebStorm extensively in my job). If you want something free, atom is well worth a look. It's fairly bare-bones, but has a wide selection of plugins that should encompass what you need.


It has been mentioned, but only in passing:

Atom (https://atom.io/) is open source and developed by GitHub. Integration with github is superb and it is particularly interesting these days since there is a lot of development with new features and new ideas regularly. I think it will cover your whole list of requirements through extensions (packages - https://atom.io/packages).


For me Jetbrains PHP-Storm is simply the best & most complete IDE!

It has a lot of good and usefull features though it stays simple to handle and setup.

It's available for Linux, OSX and Windows. .


  • PhP 5.x
  • Javascript (JSLint, JSHint code hints)
  • Lua, Perl and Python plugins do exist. (checked at JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA plugin Repository)

  • Intelligent and configurable code completion in all languages mentioned:

    • Object calls

    • chaining methods

    • method list on objects

    • namespace proposition when typing or creating

    • all kind of syntax errors

    • Intelligent searching & replacing in files and directories, also with regular expresions

    • etc...

  • Project based


    - Automatic upload when saving or when leaving the window (when Alt+Tabing to the browser)

    - Upload external changes, coming from the terminal/console, SCSS/SASS compiler, etc.

    - Remote/local file comparison by timestamp or content with the option to merge

  • GIT, Mercury and CVS fully integrated. For SVN at least one plugin exists at the JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA plugin Repository...

  • Local files comparison & merging, (2 files)

  • Console/Terminal
  • Debugging
  • Editor code style settings
  • etc


  • About 100 $ for a personal licence.

    installable on several machines, but usable only by one machine at the time in an internal network.

  • It's written in Java, so it needs quite a lot of memory and CPU.

    PhpStorm 9.0.0 system requirements:

The absolute minimum!!!

Intel Pentium III/800 MHz or higher (or compatible)

512 MB RAM minimum, 2 GB RAM recommended

1024x768 minimum screen resolution

A 24 inch late 2009 iMAC with a 2.66 Ghz Core Duo, 4 GB RAM and Mavericks installed is definitively too slow to get the work done in time!

I'd recommend as a minimum 8GB RAM on a OSX Mavericks and 16GB on a windows machine. Linux should stand with whatever you have ;-)


These are some of my favorites from a front end designer's standpoint:

  • Coda
  • Espresso
  • Sublime Text
  • TextMate
  • Atom (my personal choice currently)

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