Text Editor

When writing code, you need a plain text editor to edit your files. For some languages and environemnts, you might use an Itegrated Development Environment (IDE) with a text editor built in (RStudio, Spyder, MATLAB). For others, you’ll want to use a plain text editor.

There are many options, but we’ve listed a few we use below that include code highlighting functionality and other nice features. You are welcome to use any plain text editor you’re comfortable with.


If you just need a basic text editor for a workshop, and don’t think you’ll use it otherwise, there’s one online you can try: https://www.editpad.org/

Mac OS X

  • BBEdit: has an unlimited time free mode; license is $50
  • Atom: free (open source)
  • Sublime: free trial; license is $80


The built-in Notepad program is a plain text editor, but it’s not one that’s friendly for writing code. Instead, we recommend you try:


If you’re using Linux on your own laptop, we assume you already have a favorite text editor.

If you’re working in a remote Linux environment (e.g. Quest), we suggest you use vi/vim.