Brackets Text Editor

The Toolbox is where I highlight websites, applications, software, and anything in-between to aid you in the magical world of programming.

Before you begin to write your first line of code, you first must have software to write it. This is where you need a text editor. A text editor, simply put, is software that edits text...I know right, it's like rocket surgery.

Text editors come in all shapes and forms, if you have a Mac or PC, you have one automatically installed on your system. These are very simplified barebones text editors with none of the bells and whistles, but they are there.

My favorite text editor is the one I want to show you today, and it's called Brackets.

Why do I love Brackets? Alright...let's count it off....

It's Free.

That's right, free. As in, you pay nothing. No credit card needs to be given, no services have to be signed up for...nothing. What's the catch? Nothing, this software is open source. Meaning a group of developers started it off, left available to you, with the hope that you would add more to it in the effort to make the best product available.

Available to everyone.

Cross-platform? You bet your closing tag this software is cross platform. 

What does that mean? It means that it doesn't matter which operating system you are using, be it Mac, or PC, or even can download and operate this application.

Perfect for beginners.

The first time I used Sublime Text, I have to admit, I was really intimidated. From creating and maintain a file directory to operating the Command Palette. It was just daunting.

With Brackets, the adage of "less is more," really rings true. You aren't bogged down with information overload and it just simply becomes a friendlier developing environment to work with.

Simplicity in a masterpiece form.

It should be noted that this IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is more front end friendly than back end ready. What does that mean? Well, if you are working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the mix of CSS preprocessors like SASS and LESS, you will find Brackets to be perfect for you. However, once you start dabbling in the back end side of things, like Ruby, Python, or will find you will need to switch to another IDE.

However, for now, this is the text editor you want to go with.

Made by Adobe.

I know this may not be a big deal to some, if not most. But for a lot of people who are just starting off with coding, concerns of security can be an issue. 

So the fact that this app is made by a semi-trusted name like Adobe, can be assuring to know that a Russian hacker isn't on the other end syphoning off all your information. Well, I mean, you still have to worry about comrade Yuri, but not as much.

Download --> Install --> Open --> Code.

One of the best features of Brackets that I love that it's good to go straight from the startup. With a lot of text editors, you need to do a bit of configuring before you can actually get going. Which isn't a problem if you are seasoned and know what you are doing.

However, I want to teach my sons how to appreciate the art and craft of coding, and the last thing I want them doing is fuddling around in the Terminal panel of their systems because they need to add a few themes. Yeah, no, not happening. 

With Brackets, you are good to go from the get go.

More extensions than an around the way girl.

Brackets is excellent out of the gates, but let's be honest here, what is good can always be greater. This is where the extensions feature comes in like a lovely dream. From Emmet to JSLint to Autoprefixer to so so many more. Even more awesome, is that as you become more proficient and you reach a certain level in your programming skills, you will find that extensions you had no idea what they were, will now be your goto saviors in your workflow.

Brackets has an expanse library of extensions to aid you in your flow. Created both by the developers of Brackets and from an online community.

Here you can easily manage all of the extensions you've downloaded. If you are used to working with Google Chrome extensions, then you are ready to manage Bracket's extension library.

Add themes to improve your workflow.

Here is something you need to know, when you are programming, you will be spending hours on end, possibly days, staring at your screen. Even more interesting is that every person has a different set of eyeballs, and personal preferences to how they work and what brings them comfort.

For me, I like my work environment to be aligned to the time of day I am working. Meaning, during the daytime, I prefer a light workspace, while during the nighttime, I prefer to spare my looker marbles some serious strain by going with a dark workspace.

Even further, some people enjoy a warm color scheme over a cool color scheme. None the less, with Brackets, you have your choice of hundreds of themes to fawn over.

Care Bear Stare (Light)

Care Bear Stare (Dark)

See your project come alive with each keystroke.

For me, the ability to see my work being developed through live preview is one of the defining elements for this app. Especially working with CSS, having the ability to toggle through declaration values without having to save and refresh is worthy of a hearty fist pump.

Have trouble finding the lines of code for a certain section? No stress, by placing your cursor on the lines of code will highlight it in the live preview. Giving you an idea of where you're working.

Pick your color as easily as you pick your nose.

Speaking of values, side benefit of Brackets is the color picker feature. You know, in case you don't have all of the hexadecimal or RGBa values committed to memory, this tool will help you perfect the perfect look.

It's like opening up a box of Crayola Coloring Crayons, but instead of 64 crayons, you have over 16 million.

There you have it, 9 reasons why I love Brackets as my goto text editor.

I love the simplicity mixed with the flexibility this application offers. It makes me workflow feel less like effort and more enjoyable to do.

I don't know, click the link below, download it for yourself, and share some of your thoughts in the comments section.