What is an Editor?

In computer science, an editor is a program to create and edit files. It is like a desk, where you can write down and organise your thoughts and ideas. Similar to the way a desk contains various tools and materials such as pens, paper and paper clips, an editor offers various functions and tools for creating and editing files. Tip: To code more efficiently,, it is better to use an IDE instead of an editor.


Early editors were usable only from a command line. A command line is a text-based user interface that allows you to send commands to an operating system or application. Instead of using a graphical user interface, only the keyboard is used. Later, editors appeared that also provide a graphical interface and changes to the text are immediately visible.

What editors are available?

Just as there are different writing utensils, there are also different editors that have a different purpose. These can be available online and offline.

Text Editors

A text editor is used for creating and editing text. This editor is usually included with the operating system (for example, the Windows Editor) and belongs to the standard scope. The focus is on the creation of notes or the editing of a source code.

HTML editors

An HTML editor is a program used for creating and editing HTML code. It is an editor with advanced features for exactly this use case. For example, while writing, the code line can be completed automatically.
A variant is the WYSIWYG editor (“What You See Is What You Get”), which immediately shows how the result will look on the website.

Other editors

There are editors for very many different applications: From hex editors and audio editors to graphics editors.


Editors are equipped with basic functions. These include:

  • Insert
  • Delete
  • Overwrite
  • Search and replace
  • Formatting

Some editors can be extended by plugins.


  • Notepad and WordPad
  • TextEdit
  • Emacs – Vi and Vim
  • Atom
  • Ed
  • NEdit
  • Pico
  • Notepad++