IDEs vs Text Editors - What's the difference?

IDEs vs Text Editors - What's the difference?


2 min read

In this article, we will discuss the difference between Integrated development environments and text editors so you know which is better for your use case.

Before discussing the difference between integrated development environments (IDEs) and Text Editors lets talk about exactly what they are.

What Are IDEs?

An integrated development environment (IDE) is software for building applications that combines common developer tools into a single graphical user interface (GUI). Some examples of IDEs, include IntelliJ, Eclipse and Microsoft's Visual Studio.

What Are Text Editors?

A text editor, in general, is a piece of software that allows the user to edit text. Text Editors, such as Visual Studio Code, are more advanced that regular text editors like Notepad, since they have features like code highlighting, extensions, and more.

What's The Difference?

The main difference between IDEs and Text Editors is that IDEs have significantly more features and functionality. This makes it sound like they are way better right? Well, it depends on exactly what you code. Using software that has many features that you don't use is pointless and can even make you less productive. If you code a compiled language such as Java or C#, using an IDE is definitely the better choice since you will utilize many features.

However, if you're a web developer who uses languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, using an IDE is just overkill and totally unnecessary. You need to evaluate your own situation to determine which you should choose. Personal preference also plays a key role in determining whether to use an IDE or text editor since you want to use something you like and are comfortable with.

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