What Are Notepad++ Alternatives on Mac?

Notepad++ Alternatives on Mac
So, you’ve switched to a Mac and suddenly realized that your beloved Notepad++ isn’t available. It’s a common scenario that leaves many users scrambling for a good replacement. But don’t worry; Mac has a wealth of text editors that can stand toe-to-toe with Notepad++. Whether you’re coding, scripting, or just writing notes, we’ve got you covered with some of the best alternatives.

Why Notepad++ Isn’t Available on Mac

Notepad++ is a popular text and code editor for Windows. However, it’s not natively available for macOS. This absence is primarily due to Notepad++ being built on the Windows API, which doesn’t translate directly to Mac’s Unix-based system. But the good news is, Mac users aren’t left in the lurch. Several powerful alternatives can match, and even surpass, Notepad++’s functionality.

Key Features to Look for in a Notepad++ Alternative

Before diving into the alternatives, it’s crucial to know what features to look for. Here are some key aspects that make a great text editor:

Code Syntax Highlighting

A good text editor must support syntax highlighting for various programming languages. This feature helps in easily identifying elements of your code, reducing errors and improving readability.


Auto-completion saves time by predicting what you’re going to type next. This feature is particularly useful for coding, where you often use long and repetitive commands or variable names.

Plugins and Extensions

Plugins and extensions can significantly enhance the functionality of your text editor. They allow for customization and added features, making the editor more versatile and powerful.

User Interface and Customization

A user-friendly interface and customization options are essential for a comfortable and efficient workflow. You should be able to tweak the editor to fit your needs perfectly.

Top Notepad++ Alternatives for Mac

Now that we know what to look for, let’s explore some of the top Notepad++ alternatives for Mac.

Sublime Text


Sublime Text is a highly popular text editor known for its speed and sleek user interface. It supports a wide range of programming languages and offers powerful features like multiple selections, split editing, and a command palette.

Pros and Cons


  • Extremely fast and responsive
  • Supports numerous plugins and extensions
  • Highly customizable


  • It’s not free; the full version requires a license
  • Some users find the default settings too minimalistic

Visual Studio Code


Visual Studio Code, or VS Code, is an open-source editor developed by Microsoft. It offers integrated Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and a wide range of extensions in its marketplace.

Pros and Cons


  • Free and open-source
  • Extensive extension marketplace
  • Built-in terminal


  • Can be resource-intensive
  • Some features might feel overwhelming for beginners



Atom, developed by GitHub, is known for its hackability. It allows you to customize everything to suit your needs. It supports cross-platform editing, built-in package manager, smart autocompletion, and more.

Pros and Cons


  • Free and open-source
  • Highly customizable
  • Strong community support


  • Slower performance compared to some competitors
  • Uses more memory



Brackets is an open-source editor primarily aimed at web developers. It offers live preview, preprocessor support, and focuses on visual tools that are perfect for front-end developers.

Pros and Cons


  • Free and open-source
  • Live preview feature
  • Easy to use


  • Limited plugins compared to others
  • Development has slowed down



TextMate is a versatile text editor for macOS. It supports numerous programming languages and offers features like foldable code blocks, recordable macros, and extensive customization options.

Pros and Cons


  • Lightweight and fast
  • Highly customizable
  • Supports a wide range of languages


  • Mac-only
  • Fewer plugins and extensions compared to others

Comparing the Alternatives


When it comes to performance, Sublime Text and TextMate stand out for their speed and responsiveness. Atom, while highly customizable, tends to be slower and uses more memory.

Ease of Use

For ease of use, Brackets and TextMate are particularly user-friendly. VS Code and Atom might feel overwhelming for beginners due to their extensive feature sets.

Customization Options

Atom is the king of customization, allowing you to tweak almost every aspect of the editor. Sublime Text and VS Code also offer substantial customization options, while Brackets and TextMate are more straightforward.


Switching from Notepad++ to a Mac doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your text editing needs. With robust alternatives like Sublime Text, VS Code, Atom, Brackets, and TextMate, you’ll find a tool that meets your requirements and enhances your workflow. Each editor has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth trying a few to see which one fits your style best.


What is the best free alternative to Notepad++ for Mac?

Visual Studio Code is one of the best free alternatives. It offers a comprehensive set of features and an extensive extension marketplace.

Can I use Notepad++ on Mac with Wine or other emulators?

Yes, you can use Wine or other emulators to run Notepad++ on Mac, but it may not provide the best user experience.

Is Sublime Text better than Visual Studio Code?

It depends on your preferences. Sublime Text is known for its speed and simplicity, while VS Code offers more features and extensions.

Which text editor is best for web development on Mac?

Brackets is an excellent choice for web development due to its live preview feature and preprocessor support.

Are these Notepad++ alternatives suitable for beginners?

Yes, editors like Brackets and TextMate are particularly beginner-friendly, while VS Code and Atom may have a steeper learning curve.


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