When comparing XtraFinder vs nvALT, the Slant community recommends XtraFinder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” XtraFinder is ranked 28th while nvALT is ranked 32nd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Old full-size color labels from OS X < 10.9
Pro Adds useful toolbar items
XtraFinder provides useful options for toolbar such as: Launch as Root, New Terminal Here, New File..., and Select...
Pro Additional right-click options
Xtra Finder provides additional options when performing the right click.
Pro Custom hotkeys
Pro Copy Path
Pro Can open a terminal in set position
XtraFinder can open up a terminal from the right-click menu in given path with "New Terminal Here".
Pro Dual panel
Split the Finder window into to windows to achieve better file handling.
Pro Colored icons in the Finder sidebar
Pro Powerful search syntax
nvALT has a simple text box at the top (similar to that of a web browser) and when you start typing inside it, nvALT immediately displays a drop-down box of all the notes that contain the text you are searching for. The more you type, the more the search is narrowed down.
Pro Powerful note-taking features
nvALT is not only used for simple text editing but also as a powerful tool for taking notes, TODOs, phone numbers and every other piece of information that can be stored in a plain-text file.
This is because nvALT is not designed only as a tool to write text, but also as a powerful search and organize tool for plain-text files.
Pro MultiMarkdown 3 support
Has built-in support for MultiMarkdown 3.
Pro Right to Left support
Con Doesn't work on recent macOS versions without a workaround
This tool doesn't work on recent macOS versions, except if you try workaraound that may or may not work. It involves disabling System Integrity Protection and details on how to do it can be found on the XtraFinder website.
Con Not very powerful as far as text editing goes
nvALT's strength is its search feature. It has some basic text-editing features such as cut, paste, find-and-replace and so on. But it doesn't have any advanced text manipulation features available in other editors.