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What text editor to use when editing Vanilla files

vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
edited September 2014 in Tutorials

I notice that this topic has not really been explored and I feel it is important to bring it up.

People generally use the text editor that comes with their system whether it is a mac or a pc those editors are not good enough for editing certain files.

The mac editor TextEdit is good for simple text or rich text editing but it lacks many capabilities and can render your files useless or insert unwanted elements or white space. The same can be said for NotePad that comes with windows.

If you are going to be editing Vanilla themes, you will run into problems editing a tpl by using the editors I mentioned above. You need to use a good text editor that can handle all types of files. Some even have error detection so you can learn how to fix errors when you edit.

I personally use SublimeText , which is free to try and costs around $75 dollars. I think it is worth every penny because of the way it has helped me learn what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong so I can fix things faster. It is easy to read and has line numbers.


Here is a list of free editors


Here is a list of the best editors money can buy





  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2014

    gedit or geany to write code.

    sometimes netbeans ide to re-format code, indents, etc

    I used to use vi with type in commnds y g etc. (still the best along with sed for doing complex changes), hated emacs.

    notepad++ once in a rare while.

    Anyone else ever use Wordstar :) my first "powerful editor" on a pc

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2014

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
    edited September 2014

    Yes that is very helpful , thanks the more links to these you can post the better :)

  • what do think about Zend Studio :D

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    I prefer the look and feel of Notepad++ so I’m really using it quite often, but only for easy tasks. What I do not like about it is, that a search across files blocks the editor and you’ll have to wait until its finished. That’s the main annoyance why I’ve started looking for alternatives!

    The best alternative I found by now is Sublime Text, though not for its own features but mainly for those packages:

    1. SFTP - sine qua non. I never want to have to work with an editor that has no FTP Client
    2. PHP CodeSniffer - I'm using the guidelines that vanilla staff has put on GitHub to make my plugin code formatting future proof and that feels great :-)
    3. DocBlockr - CodeSniffer wants my code to be commented, so I need a tool to help me doing that
    4. SublimeCodeIntel, SublimeLinter, SublimeLinter-php, IntelliDocs - great tools to bring IDE features to an editor
    5. TrailingSpaces, Function Name Display, Emmet, FileDIffs, BracketHighlighter - little helpers, not really needed but handsome

    I use NetBeans IDE for debugging, but you were asking for text editors...

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    Internally, we prefer PhpStorm and NetBeans as our IDEs. For lighter work, Atom and Coda are both nice. I sometimes resolve merge conflicts and do other light work in vim.

    I did a slow years-long tour of every IDE I could find before settling on PhpStorm. It still has its design issues, but once I learned the shortcut keys for switching key views (cmd+1 files/cmd+3 find/cmd+7 functions) and toggling projects (cmd+`), we got along fine.

    I use a separate SFTP client: Transmit. I rarely need to transfer files because nearly all development is thru localhost + GitHub.

    @VanillaFan said:
    what do think about Zend Studio :D

    It's awful. I'm sure it works great if you can stand an IDE interface designed by engineers.

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