Notepad++ is a free and open-source text editor, while Sublime starts at $100. Notepad++ is fairly barebones; Sublime offers several premium features. Sublime can handle 4,500 packages, far above the 450 offered by Notepad++.
Every text editor has something to offer that’s just a little different than the next. This difference can make or break the experience, and making your decision on which to use is most dependent on the way you think. Some text editors focus on fast editing for larger projects, while others hold a focus on the simplicity that is often sought-after by beginners.
New coders must understand that there are also different types of text editors. There are simple editors that allow coders to simply write and edit lines of code, and then there are Integrated Development Environments (IDEs).
Notepad++ and Sublime are both IDEs, which means they not only allow coders to write and edit code, they may also utilize plug-ins and have access to automatic debugging tools. When it comes to the battle of Sublime text vs Notepad++, you may find yourself contemplating your skillset and resources (such as computer power and budget) in order to make a decision.
Perhaps the greatest difference between Sublime and Notepad++ is the price point. Notepad++ is an open-source editor and offers everything for free. On the contrary, Sublime sits at nearly $100 for its software license. While Sublime does give its users the ability to use a free version of its text editor, it will consistently ask that you buy the license at a dizzying price, especially considering other text editors are either free or nearly so.
Taking into account more than just your finances, take a look at the computer you have at your disposal. Notepad++ is a lightweight program designed only for Windows. This is a great starter program for those with older Windows computers, who may just be starting their programming careers and don’t yet have the need for a more sophisticated device to carry them through their coding journey.
Meanwhile, Sublime is a multi-platform tool capable of running on Windows, Linux, and Mac. This means that Sublime is not limited to a Windows interface, but can operate even on a Macbook. Although it is slightly “heavier” than Notepad++, Sublime is still considered a lightweight program that will hardly stress your computer.
The type of project will be the largest determining factor of how useful one text editor will be over the other. Notepad++ is a small program designed for small projects. It’s a great text editor for fresh coders to learn the basics, supporting only 600 packages (folders) with minimal extra features. Notepad++ allows users to learn to code without being overwhelmed by all the other opportunities coding has to offer. By eliminating so many plug-ins and features, it does, however, limit just how big a project someone can effectively create on Notepad++. Therefore, if you’re working on a larger task, you’ll find Sublime to be a far more reliable option.
Sublime’s package manager supports 4,500 packages and has a few extra functional components that place it ahead of Notepad++ and its package control system. For one, while both Notepad++ and Sublime offer tabbed file editing, Sublime is designed to code, clean up, and edit as much text as possible at one time. Sublime allows you to “zoom out” to look at your entire block of code on the same screen, and then change multiple variables at the same time. Sublime also allows for more plug-ins, more folders, and is, overall, faster. Sublime is a very slick editor in terms of capacity but it still allows beginners the space to learn how to code at a breathable pace.
In terms of text editing experience, both editors have syntax highlighting, find and replace, keyboard shortcuts, and regex (regular expression) features. However, Sublime’s UI is more customizable, while Notepad++ has an outdated interface (which is a pro or a con depending on what you like).
The programming language will dictate the end result of a project. Therefore it is important to ensure that, first of all, you are using the correct language for the expected outcome, and secondly, that your text editor supports the language.
Both Notepad++ and Sublime are compatible with most basic languages such as HTML, Java, Python, and C++. Notepad++ runs nearly 80 languages and can compile C++. While this is impressive for such a little program, Sublime offers even more services to coders. Sublime can run over 80 computer languages and compile both C++ and Python. The plug-ins that Sublime offers allow coders to work with even more languages to compile and run their code.
There will be some cases where you are required to download a separate program to compile the code into a usable format. Sublime provides Build Systems that allow users to compile their code by utilizing their computer’s operating system. While using Notepad++, you will have to use a separate window with a program ready to compile the language you’re hoping to run. However, Notepad++ creates very simple commands that allow users to quickly send the code to those compilers.
The Big Decision
Notepad++ is one of the oldest open-source code editors and has been listed as one of the best text editors for the Windows operating system. It’s a simple, easy to understand IDE for new coders and will not overwhelm its consumers with long lists of shortcuts or complex plug-ins. It is, however, a very simplistic program that makes larger projects harder to complete.
Meanwhile, according to sources such as Kinsta, Tech Radar, and Tech Times, Sublime is consistently listed as one of the top ten text editors. Sublime is slick, high-performance, and packed with functional elements. However, the IDE is also quite expensive, bearing an $80 price tag for the full license. However, the fact that Sublime is cross-platform and can operate on virtually any operating system, versus Notepad++ which operates only on Windows, may offset the cost.
The choice between these text editors really depends on the coder. Are you a beginner, or are you getting ahead in your programming journey? Which computer and software do you use? What languages do you know, and do you know what your end goal is? All these will be determining factors in choosing between Notepad++ or Sublime. Regardless of your pick, persistence in learning and the desire to develop your skills will pave the way for your career. A text editor may be an important tool, but your mind is still the greatest tool in possession.