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Friday, July 5, 2013

Best Notepad++ Alternatives for Mac OS

I ❤ Notepad++.  Its a powerful, fully-loaded, and free text editing application that has been an invaluable tool for writing code in a variety of programming languages.  The only caveat: it's only available for Windows operating systems.  With the acquisition of my shiny, new Macbook Pro, I was incredibly disappointed to find out Notepad++ could not be installed on Macs; so much so I almost returned the Macbook.  Since I couldn't find a better laptop to meet my needs (and aesthetic desires), the quest has begun to find a comparable and preferably free text editor that runs on a Mac operating system.  I was surprised to find the list of candidates quite long.  Here are options I found, unfortunately not all options are free:

BBedit ($50)
Coda ($75)
Crossover (Windows emulator, $60) + Notepad++
Espresso ($75)
Komodo Edit
TextEdit (the basic text editor pre-loaded on your Mac)
TextMate (€39 or about $53)
TextWrangler (free lite version of BBedit)
Smultron ($5)
SubEthaEdit (€29, or about $43)
Sublime ($70)
Tincta (free, Pro version for $16)
WINE (Windows emulator) + Notepad++

Apparently the market is saturated with Notepad++ "replacement" text editors for Macs.  The predominant text editors most recommended online are highlighted in bold.  While looking into the options, it became apparent there really is no one best Notepad++ replacement text editor.  It all really depends on what the user is using Notepad++ for and the options they need it to do (plus a bit of personal preference in user interface).  I have tried a few of the above options and am still not completely satisfied.  I am secretly hoping the folks responsible for Notepad++ are cooking up a way to install it on Macs.  The emulator approach to installing Notepad++ on a Mac also seems interesting.  I will have to try it when I have some free time.  In the meantime, I am curious what has been working best for you other Notepad++ lovers who have made the switch to a Mac.  Also, if you are aware of other text editors not mentioned here, please share!


  1. I got Espresso bundled with something or other and I like it. I also have TextEdit and I like that as well. I had Fraise for a while but didn't get on with it.

  2. parallels > windows7 > coherence mode > notepad ++