Using Adobe Brackets as your default Code Editor




..or at least this should be one of the main reason. The others are less obvious and more technical, and I really suggest you to keep reading if you’re still not convinced.


Before digging into it a bit of story about Brackets

Brackets is an Open Source code editor specifically built for web designers and front-end developers by Adobe. It’s released under the MIT License and the source code is hosted on GitHub. And that’s already super cool.

I started using Brackets during the release of the version 0.23 Spring, and it was….ok…sort of. It was really basic with just a bunch of features, kinda glitchy and with a really minimal interface. At that time I was using mostly Dreamweaver, so I was expecting from Brackets all the things that I used to have, like a built-in FTP, Database integration, snippets, pre-made code, project manager and whatever. I was intrigued but not impressed and I put it aside, waiting for him to grow: and I was right.

Currently at the release 0.44 Brackets is my default code editor, and I use it both for personally and professionally. What did change my mind? There you go!


Light, Fast and Reliable

Thinking about Open Source is thinking about bugs, unfinished features and slow updates…mostly, but not with Brackets. This software is stable, surprisingly light and totally reliable during heavy workflow. Sometimes of course a crash or a freeze happens, but relaunching the program will reopen all your files, keeping also the unsaved changes. Another really nice feature is the ability to refresh the entire application, just hitting CTRL+R (CMD+R) will refresh Brackets like a web page, solving sometimes weird sketchy slowdowns.




Built with the same code you build your stuff

Did I mention that Brackets is built with HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT? No? Well it’s freaking true! No weird Object Oriented scripts or closed proprietary languages that just the name will let you think of some sort of mopping apparel, this Application is entirely based on code that you know and you use everyday. How cool is that?


Open, seriously open

Brackets is so open that you can edit its source code and change its structure on the fly. Don’t you like the left sidebar? Edit the HTML! Don’t you like the colour highlight for selected files? Change the CSS! Don’t you like the way how he makes your coffee? Change the JAVASCRIPT….err…wait what?!


Natively Cross Platform

DO you have a PC and you wanna try Brackets? Cool, go to the website and download it. Oh damn, your computer just exploded and now you’re stuck with a temporary Linux machine and you wanna still use Brackets? No problem, go to the website and download it. Oh, did you decide to buy a Mac and you wanna still use Brackets? No problem, go to the website and download it. Oh, did you just buy a Blackberry?…so sorry.




Extensions, extensions and more extensions

Maybe Brackets is not one of the most complete App with a lots of built-in features, but with a bunch of extensions you can expand it and tailor it for your needs. FTP sync, Git integration, Themes and QuickDocs are just few of the super cool extensions you can install for free inside Brackets. Also the extensions are based on HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT, so if you wanna have some fun you can easily create your own extension to power up your code editor.


Serious and growing community

Currently the Brackets has 14,968 commits, 131 branches and 240 contributors, and these numbers are growing every day. Developers are savvy and demanding, users are excited on every release and every day new features are added to the always evolving roadmap. This is a young-ish project that is growing really fast and and gaining a lot of deserved attention.


Are you still not convinced? Well, even if you don’t want to change your current workflow, at least I strongly suggest you to give it a try. Also let me know if you feel the same as I do for this editor or you still can’t live without your favourite application and why.

And now, there comes the links:


Thank you for reading, talk soon….hey, did I mention that is free???

  • Jozef Sedlak

    Hi Alec, I love you tutorial WordPress 101. I am following it using Bracket editor. Just to speed up my typing, I am using extensions “Brackets WordPress Hint and Brackets WordPress Functions Hints”.

    The extensions make my Bracket editor slow, while typing, or hitting an “enter” button etc. Would you have any idea why? I am using latest MBP computer, this should not be a problem.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Jozef, thank you so much for your comment.
      I’m really happy you’re following my tutorials, and you’re using Brackets to do it, that’s amazing!

      Your issue is really odd. I’m personally using the same extensions and I’m on MBP from 2011, and I’ve never experienced any slow typing.
      Did you update Brackets to version 1.5?

      I suggest you to completely delete Brackets with all the extensions and reinstall it again.
      Happy Coding!

      • Jozef Sedlak

        Hi Alessandro, I have tried to reinstall my Brackets, but did not work. I read about this issue a while ago, but a I had a very old MBP (2007) so I thought that’s the problem. Now I have purchased a new one and the problem still persists. 🙁
        I downloaded “Atom”, seems to be a very good sub for Brackets. What do you think?
        Thank you anyway for such a quick response.
        Have a great week!


        • Ah, damn! That’s really unfortunate, sorry to hear that.

          Atom is slowly becoming a good alternative. At the beginning was really buggy and unstable, but now with version 1.1, looks really promising.

          You could also try LightTable

          Let me know how it goes.
          Happy Coding!

  • Jozef Sedlak

    Hi Alec, I am still following your wp101 tuts, and came across another problem. Not sure how to fix it. I am currently on video 14, walker class. Everything is working fine, until I add an argument (‘walker’ => new Walker_Nav_Primary() ….. to wp_nav_menu. The navigation menu disappears. Do you have any idea what could have gone wrong? Normally I type the code as I followed, so just to make sure I did not miss anything from your code, I copied it from the github. See the attachment pls.
    Thank you Alec.

  • Alan Dodds

    Hi Alec. Been following WP 101 … thanks for putting these videos together. A couple of questions. I guess you are using Brackets, but with which Theme? And … how do you get the parameters to appear when you add a WP function? Browser? Thanks Alan

    • Hi Alan, thank you so much for following!
      This post it’s almost 2 years old, and since then Brackets lost a lot of ground compared to other competitor. Currently I use Panic Coda, but it’s a paid app limited to OSX.
      I made a video recently with a list of the best 5 free IDE you can use, and each on of them has custom themes, plugins and extensions to achieve my same result.
      Check this:

      • Alan Dodds

        Thanks for your swift reply 🙂 I have been using BBEdit as my main editor for some time, but I can’t find any code completions for WordPress. I’ll take a look at Panic Coda.

        Thanks again