I am looking for a text editor or interactive development environment (IDE) that will support many languages, including but not limited to C, C++, Lisp, Scheme, Fortran, bash, ksh, zsh, m-files (Matlab and Octave).

I use a separate editor for LaTeX and so far I have tried Geany, VIM, Emacs and Notepad++ on Windows.

I write code mainly on Linux, but would like to have a cross-platform editor if possible and I am willing to purchase software if it can meet my demands. So far the best editor, out of the ones I have tried, is VIM but it has a steep learning curve and its GUI is not that helpful. The features I seek apart from these are support for easy commenting in and commenting out with the use of hotkeys and syntax coloring.

Requirements at a glance:

  • cross-platform
  • syntax highlighting
  • easy commenting in/out blocks of texts by the use of hotkeys
  • support for multiple programming languages, including but not limited to C, C++, Lisp, Scheme, Fortran, bash, ksh, zsh, m-files
  • free is nice, but I am willing to purchase software if it can meet my demands (up to 35$)
  • code folding will be nice to have but it is not a must
  • SynWrite is ok, all but "cross-plarform", but I know someones use it in Ubuntu too (via Wine).
    – RProgram
    Jan 15, 2015 at 22:06
  • 1
    What's wrong with the other options you've tried? I use Emacs for all my coding. It's highly customizable, and you could easily have all the features listed. You could also get excellent communtiy help on Emacs.SE
    – Tymric
    Mar 1, 2015 at 0:12
  • So ... basically you have only one requirement - being cross-platform. Because almost any code editor I know of supports the rest of your requirements.
    – Mikhail V
    Oct 14, 2018 at 4:58

5 Answers 5



Atom is a free open-source text and source code editor for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and Windows with support for plug-ins written in Node.js, and embedded Git Control, developed by GitHub. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. Atom is based on Chromium and written in CoffeeScript. It is used also as an IDE

Screenshot of Atom

and know more about Text Editors @ Wikipedia - List of text editors

  • Well thanks for your comment I will check it out.
    – Vesnog
    Jan 15, 2015 at 10:50
  • Add sublime too , somewhat like atom and native. Mar 1, 2015 at 8:34
  • 320 MB package size for a text editor. Not bad
    – nixda
    Sep 2, 2015 at 21:46

Sounds like a recipe for eclipse


Eclipse has a huge user community, and plugins for everything.

It is a full blown IDE, with great editor, comment/uncomment, integration to compilers and interpreters, the works!


Like others who have answered, I like and use both Atom and Eclipse. But both are quite bloated and take a lot of memory to run.

You say you've tried Vim... I think you need to try it again. :) It has a lot of keystrokes to learn, but is incredibly powerful. You can also use gVim which adds menus and toolbars for common commands. You can also run a lot of commands from within the environment, and setup indexing of files, thereby making it a quasi IDE. Best of all, ALL your requirements are checked with (g)Vim.


CudaText is app like that. It's simple to middle text editor. Your req's:

  • cross-platform: yes
  • syntax highlighting: yes
  • commenting in/out blocks: yes, commands in Edit menu
  • support for programming languages: yes, for 100+ languages, many lexers need to be installed from ZIP files
  • freeware
  • code folding: yes (for many lexers)




It meets all of your requirements and is free. It's a nice, light text editor with highlighting for many languages, code folding, shortcuts for commenting out code - either per line or a selection and is available for windows and linux.

Download here: http://www.scintilla.org/SciTEDownload.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.