I have been using the Atom text editor for quite a while and I am mostly happy with it. I also tried VS Code and the JetBrains IDEs and were pretty satisfied with them as well. Atom is open source and mainly developed by GitHub, the official description is:
A hackable text editor for the 21st Century
It is possible to edit all settings via text files, and it is highly configurable with packages (= plugins). In the following post I will list my most used packages and editor functionalities.
CTRL + SHIFT + p is the most important shortcut you should definitely remember. Every functionality can be reached with it by typing its name into the search field. It also displays the shortcut for the respective functionality. With
CTRL + p you can browse all files of your project.
CTRL + SHIFT + m shows a preview of a Markdown file. That is useful for editing READMEs and documentation. I also use it for writing this blog post.
Atom has many prebuild code snippets. For example if you are editing a markdown file and you type
The package project-manager can store all you different projects. It basically remembers which folders are in the files overview, and which windows and tabs are opened.
The package Minimap displays an “overview” of the text file on the right side of the editor. This is very handy for navigating through long files.
The package atom-beautify helps to format code properly (Shortcut
CTRL + ALT + b). It takes care about proper indentation, removes whitespace or unnecessary empty lines and much more. Many programming languages are supported.
The file-icons package creates nice icons in the file panel.
Find and Replace
Atom contains a useful find and replace function. The short cut
CTRL + f searches for a phrase in the current file. The
CTRL + SHIFT + f searches the whole project. It is also possible to replace the selection.
Atom has a build-in git integration. If the project uses git, at the bottom right some git specific buttons are shown. I typically use them for viewing my changes, staging files, writing commit messages and to push/pull. For more complex git operations I still use the command line.
The package atom-ide-ui contains many advances functionalities. I find the build-in terminal very useful, because I can edit files and execute them in the same window. I before I needed a separate terminal window for this.
The low speed of the editor is the biggest drawback I have encountered so far. Also it sometimes freezes when it tries to open big files. In rare cases the git functionality loses track of the repository. A simple restart fixed this issue for me. All in all, I am very satisfied with the Atom text editor.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or feedback.