5 Code Editors That Help Designers Increase Productivity

5 Code Editors That Help Designers Increase Productivity

Web development, web design, and other related features of computers have changed with its evolution. Similarly, what it takes to be successful in this field is constantly changing. To help you out, here are 5 code editors that will improve and increase your productivity.

On par with advancements in computing, the world of design has seen some drastic changes in recent years. Whereas a designer meant a specific thing 20 years ago, nowadays the term is used to encompass many things. For example, if you’re a designer today, you could be in UX design, UI design, product design, or one of the many others out there.

While they’re all different, all relate to how users interact with a product. Sticking to the three we just covered, UX focuses on how products feel and the process of making the user’s journey as seamless as possible, UI deals with how the product looks and what it communicates visually, and product design touches on both the look and feel of a product.

These changes with design can be equated to what ‘design thinking’ means today. It has become a “human-centric creative process to build meaningful and effective solutions for your users,” and allows designers to understand the business objectives needed to create the best solution. In other words, design has become a multifaceted field that encompasses more than just design.

Further, other advents in technology like AI are changing the game even more. For example, Adobe is applying machine learning and image recognition to graphic web design. Contextually, if you’re editing a website, the software automatically analyzes all inputs and recommends design elements to users. In this way, the role of a designer is evolving from creators of content to curators of content.

With this in mind, it’s up to the designer to use the tools available to them to increase their productivity and take back the reins from automation. Well, here are 5 such tools to lend you a hand.

1: Notepad++

Image Source: Grok.lsu.edu

As you may have guessed from its name, Notepad++ is a powerful code source editor that replaces Notepad on Windows. It’s free, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be using it, runs on the Microsoft Windows environment, and is written in C++. As for the ‘powerful’ part, it uses pure Win32 API and STL to ensure high execution speed and small program sizes, all while using less CPU power than alternatives.

In terms of programming languages, Notepad++ supports most of the ones you’ll need, such as:

  • C
  • C++
  • Java
  • C#
  • XML
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • RC file
  • makefile
  • NFO
  • doxygen
  • INL file
  • batch file
  • ASP
  • VB/VBS
  • SQL
  • Objective-C
  • CSS
  • Pascal
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Lua
  • Unix Shell Script
  • Fortran
  • NSIS
  • SWIFT

Speaking of languages, Notepad++ also supports multi-language functionality with a translated XML file. As for features, you can work with multiple open files in a single window thanks to tabbed editing, and further features include:

  • Syntax highlighting and syntax folding
  • User defined syntax highlighting and syntax folding
  • PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) search and replace
  • An entirely customizable GUI
  • Auto completion for words, functions, and function parameter hints
  • WYSIWYG —> print source code in color
  • Zoom in and out
  • Macro recording and playback
  • A lot more

2: Sublime Text

Image Source: Webcarpenter.com

Straight from the source, “Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose.” You can download and evaluate it for free, but you’ll need to purchase a license if you want to use it for extended periods of time. It’s Cross-Platform, so it’s available for OS X, Windows and Linux, and pretty much everything is Customizable with JSON files that allow you to modify the editor’s behavior, add macros and snippets, extend menus, and more.

If you like saving time, some features you’ll like are Go to Anything, which saves you time as you open files with the minimum keystrokes, Multiple Selections, a feature that aptly lets you change multiple lines at once — instead of making one change 10 times you make 10 changes one time, and Instant Project Switch, which lets you switch between projects instantly.

Other features you’ll find useful are a Command Palette with infrequently used functionality like sorting, changing syntax and indentation settings, a Distraction Free Mode for when you need to buckle down and focus, and Split Editing, a feature that works best with widescreen monitors and lets you edit files side-by-side and with multiple windows.

3: Atom

Image Source: Atom.io

If you like the freedom of customization and a text editor that has been described as a ‘hackable text editor for the 21st Century,’ then Atom is for you. For example, there are thousands of open source packages at your fingertips that add new features and functionalities, and if you’re more of a DIY person, then feel free to build your own.

Feature-wise, Atom’s Cross-Platform Editing lets you work on OS X, Windows and Linux, its Built-in Package Manager allows you to search for, install or create new packages within Atom, Smart Auto Completion lets you write code faster and smarter, Multiple Panes splits our Atom interface to compare and edit code, Find and Replace lets you find, preview and replace text as you type, and the File System Browser allows you to easily browse and open a single or multiple projects in one window.

4: Brackets

Image Source: Beebom.com

Brackets can be described as a “modern, open source text editor that understands web design.” It’s lightweight and powerful, built in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, available for cross platform download (OS X, Windows and Linux), and best of all, is open source and comes with support from a very large and active community.

Jumping in, Brackets supports over 40 different file encodings, its Inline Editors allow you to open a window directly into the code you want to edit, eliminating the need to go back and forth between file tabs, Live Preview gives you a real-time connection to your browser, meaning that you can instantly see changes to HTML or CSS on screen (and instantly push code edits), and Quick Edit will prove a lifesaver in decluttering your coding environment by putting context-specific code and tools inline.

To top it off, Brackets provides something that many find useful: a wide array of extensions. For example, you have:

  • Emmet: High-speed HTML & CSS workflow
  • Beautify: Format JavaScript, HTML and CSS files
  • Git: Git integration
  • Auto Prefixes: Parse CSS and add vendor prefixes automatically
  • Indent Guides: Shows indent guides in the code editor

5: Adobe Dreamweaver

Image Source: Vtc.com

Setting itself apart from the previous four editors is Adobe Dreamweaver, a program that combines visual design with the functionality of a code editor, and which lets you “design and develop modern, responsive websites.”

More than that, Dreamweaver is packed with a modern interface and fast coding engine for creating, coding and managing websites on any sized screen, making it perfect for building responsive sites for the mobile-centric world we live in. Another plus, you can code faster and cleaner with support for common CSS preprocessors and real-time error checking.

Other functionalities and features are OS X and Windows support, Git support, and a preview page that lets you edit in real time without refreshing the browser, and also lets you preview websites on multiple devices at the same time.

Final Thoughts and TL;DR

While there are countless code editors available to you, the five we covered today are some of the best. If you were too busy to read everything, then know that they will, without a doubt, drastically increase your productivity with their many features and functionalities. For your convenience, here they are again:

  1. Notepad++
  2. Sublime Text
  3. Atom
  4. Brackets
  5. Adobe Dreamweaver

This post is written by Matthew, he is a content writer for Aumcore, a marketing agency, and responsive web design firm based in NYC. He has a passion for marketing and all things digital and specializes in web design. He first jumped into the scene with digital sales and has since migrated into the marketing sector.