When comparing Slate vs nvALT, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” Slate is ranked 24th while nvALT is ranked 34th. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
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 Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.
Con Missing features
Unable to perform all tasks of software it was meant to replace.
Can not move windows between 'Spaces' (virtual desktops).
Con Video fail
Demonstration video failed to highlight any of the advantages of the windowing system. Or at least, the advantages were so subtly intrinsic that no-one who didn't already use the system could appreciate them.
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.