I am trying to design my first website, and I was wondering if there was a free FTPs-compatable text editor out there for me to use.

My requirements are:

  • must be free
  • must be compatible with OS X Yosemite
  • must support FTPS or FTPES (are they the same thing?)
  • must allow on-server file editing, i.e. you don't have to download the file, edit it, and re-upload it.
  • must have syntax highlighting for HTML and CSS (and javascript, but thats not a requirement).

I have already tried TextWrangler and found that it doesn't support FTPS, only SFTP. And yes, there is a difference.

If you find anything, even if one of these requirements are not met, please post it as an answer.

  • I'm not sure it's possible for an FTP client to edit on the server without downloading and reuploading. You might want to look into SSHing into the server and editing (in vim/nano or an editor of your choice with x-forwarding). Alternatively, you could look into a web-based IDE to be hosted on your server like Codiad
    – Huey
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


It is important to remember that the only way to edit a remote file without downloading it first, it has to get into your RAM somehow, and uploading it afterwards is to run the editor remotely, e.g. vi in a ssh session, but you could try the Remote Target Management plugin for Eclipse, note that this will actually be using the ssh connection as ftps does rather than ftps itself. On SSH enabled targets you get a file explorer that lets you browse to the remote file, edit it, and "save it back" without being aware of any download/upload cycles.

  • Should allow reasonably transparent download, edit, upload from within Eclipse
  • Free
  • Multi-platform java so should work on most/any OS-X variant.
  • Eclipse has syntax highlighting, folding, etc, for HTML, CSS & Java, among a plethora of other languages some via plug-in.

Brackets is currently my favorite text editor for the following reasons:

  • it is free and completely open-source
  • there are numerous plugins available if you want to customize it (here is a link to a great FTP/S plugin I found.)
  • it is made by Adobe (a.k.a professionally made)

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