You’re about to write your first line of code, so it’s time to download a code editor!
There are a lot of different editors and it largely boils down to personal preference. Most programmers use complex but extremely powerful IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), such as Eclipse, PyCharm, etc. As a beginner, however, that’s probably less suitable; our recommendations are equally powerful, but a lot simpler.
Our suggestions are below!
Gedit is an open-source, free editor, available for all operating systems.
Sublime Text is a very popular editor with a free evaluation period and it’s available for all operating systems. There is currently no enforced time limit for the evaluation (so you can evaluate it for a while) but you will be prompted every day to get the license.
Atom is an extremely new code editor created by GitHub. It’s free, open-source and available for Windows, OS X and Linux.
You might be wondering why we are installing this special code editor software, rather than using something like Word or Notepad.
The first reason is that code needs to be plain text, and the problem with programs like Word and Textedit is that they don’t actually produce plain text, they produce rich text (with fonts and formatting), using custom formats like RTF (Rich Text Format).
The second reason is that code editors are specialized for editing code, so they can provide helpful features like highlighting code with color according to its meaning, or automatically closing quotes for you.
We’ll see all this in action later. Soon, you’ll come to think of your trusty old code editor as one of your favorite tools. :)