How to edit technical text files

The straightvisions logo as SVG file in the text editor Notepad ++

Each operating system has a simple text editor.

This is not an Office application such as MS Word or Open Office, but a program that allows editing of plain text files – without formatting options, such as bold or italics.

In web programming, we work daily with text files, e.g. programming logic (PHP), styles (CSS) or graphics (SVG).

The text editors like Notepad++ for Windows and TextMate for Mac, which often structure the content in color, depending on the file format, offer some comfort.

To edit a file in a text editor, open it in such a program – save it after editing – done.

It is important that complex file formats do not accidentally enter errors – it is best to secure the original file before you start editing.

For professionals: IDE

integrated development environment

Simple text editors are usually just the beginning – if you regularly edit more complex projects, you need an integrated development environment.

There are many to choose from, such as PHPstorm or Visual Studio. Basically, they are still simple text editors – only with countless convenience functions, highly expandable and individually configurable.

They assist the development, for example, by syntax checking, code highlighting and auto-complete, so that you no longer have to remember every function name of a programming language in detail.

They also map logic checks or allow the code to be checked for logic and style errors via tools – up to the generation of a complete documentation of the source code.

If you spend more than 2 hours a day with a text editor, you should take a look at the advantages of an IDE and possibly discover some helpers that make everyday life easier.