Visual Studio Code vs. Sublime Text: How to choose

Do you want a maximum-flexible editor with just the right IDE features, or the fastest and most efficient editor you can find? You can have both

Visual Studio Code vs. Sublime Text: How to choose

In my comparisons of JavaScript editors and JavaScript IDEs, my top recommendations often include Sublime Text (as an editor) and Visual Studio Code (as either an editor or an IDE). Neither is restricted to JavaScript, or even JavaScript plus HTML and CSS. If you step back and look at the bigger picture, Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code are two of the best multi-language, multi-OS programming editors—Sublime Text for its speed as much as its convenient editing features, and Visual Studio Code for even better features and speed that is almost as good. Both products run on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

You can use Visual Studio Code forever for free, and it is mostly open source. You can evaluate Sublime Text for free, but the code is proprietary, and if you use Sublime Text continuously you should buy a user license for $80, and possibly a Sublime Merge license for $99. If you don’t license Sublime Text (or Merge) you’ll see an occasional nag screen. (I’m not the only Sublime Text user who doesn’t bother to enter the license on every machine I have—the nag screen is easily dismissed.)

What is Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code, or VS Code for short, is a lightweight but powerful source code editor that runs on your desktop and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js and has a rich ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, and Go) and runtimes (such as .Net and Unity).

VS Code has IntelliSense code completion for variables, methods, and imported modules; graphical debugging; linting, multi-cursor editing, parameter hints, and other powerful editing features; snazzy code navigation and refactoring; and built-in source code control including Git support. Much of this was adapted from Visual Studio technology.

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