When comparing Sublime Text vs iTerm2, the Slant community recommends iTerm2 for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” iTerm2 is ranked 1st while Sublime Text is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose iTerm2 is:
iTerm has autocomplete features built in. It remembers your past commands and when you are writing something on the terminal, simply pressing `Control-;` it will show you a drop down menu of suggestions from which to choose.
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Pro Comfortable to work with
Sublime Text has a minimap on the side that provides a top-down view of the file and keyboard shortcuts for most actions. It also supports a large number of languages and general text editing features out of the box.
Pro Functionality can be easily extended
Sublime Text uses TextMate's syntax declaration files to support new languages, it has all its menus and keybindings generated from JSON files, and it can be scripted to add new features using Python.
If Sublime Text doesn't support a desired language or feature, it's usually not long before someone implements it themselves - examples include the plugin package manager and the 'open in browser' command.
Sublime Text is very lightweight by default. Customization occurs on the fly thanks to Package Control.
When you start using Sublime Text, it doesn't drown you in keyboard shortcuts or non-intuitive use-concepts. However, high-level functionality can still be easily accessed when the need for it arises.
Pro Multi-line select and editing
Multiple cursors and column selection allows for versatile ways of editing.
ctrl + d will select the current word and each time the command is repeated, it adds the next occurrence of the word to the selection.
ctrl + click or
middle-mouse click will place another cursor in the place that's clicked. Cursors can then be controlled together. This also permits selecting vertically.
ctrl + shift + l will place a cursor on every highlighted line.
Pro Consistent cross-platform
Sublime Text looks consistently the same across Windows, OS X, and Linux.
Pro Offers Command Palette
Command Palette allows for fuzzy searching all available settings, snippets, etc.
Pro Fully customizable
Sublime Text allows for all sorts of customization to help users change almost everything in the editor: Key Bindings, Menus, Snippets, Macros, Completions, and many more. Essentially, just about everything in Sublime Text is customizable with simple JSON files. This system gives the user flexibility as settings can be specified on a per-file type and per-project basis.
Pro IDE features without the cruft
Sublime Text, while being lighter-weight than an IDE, still supports many IDE features.
- Text from the current file is used to provide autocomplete.
- Project Support (folder browsing, scoped history, build-system declarations).
- Refactoring support is emulated through multi-select, project-wide find and replace, and regular expression search.
- Syntax-aware selection and GoTo for quickly jumping to locations in the project.
- Snippets and Macros.
- A Python console for everything else.
Pro Regex commands
Regex commands help describe a certain amount of text.
Pro Distraction free editing mode
Distraction free editing takes over your screen and removes every UI element so you can focus on code.
Pro Easy to get started
All you need to do when starting up is to install a package manager and modify user configuration.
Pro Permits instant file switching
Open Goto Anything by pressing Ctrl or Command + P and by using fuzzy search you can look for a file in your project. The file will load even without pressing enter, so you can make sure you've found the correct file without committing.
Pro Has tons of plugins available
Pro Very fast
Sublime is quick to start and never slows down. The UI is always responsive and you know what is happening in the background.
Pro Projects support multiple folders and git repos
Pro Allows for Vim-style editing
Vintage mode is Vim-style editing that's already built into the text editor.
Pro Support for TextMate themes and window decoration themes
Sublime Text compatibility with Textmate bundles is good, but excludes commands, which are incompatible. In general, Sublime Text syntax definitions are compatible with Textmate language files (.tmLanguage extension).
Pro Installable package manager
The package manager is a plugin and can be swapped with something else custom.
Pro Customizable keymapping
From menus to commands, assign key maps to almost anything.
Pro Portable settings
Settings are modular and can be shared.
Pro Haxe and OpenFL integration via plugin
Both of these programming interfaces are cross-platform, open source, and easy to use.
Pro Highly Theme-able
Create your own theme with online editor.
Pro Dynamic Build System
Choose from many build systems or craft your own.
A Sublime license can be bought but it can still be used for free. However, a pop-up appears when you save multiple times.
Pro Multiple languages are supported
Pro Direct server upload
Provides command line shortcut for server upload.
With lot of functionalities, where other editor even not think to provide.
Pro Autocomplete is built-in
iTerm has autocomplete features built in. It remembers your past commands and when you are writing something on the terminal, simply pressing
Control-; it will show you a drop down menu of suggestions from which to choose.
Pro Extremely customizable
Other than being able to customize the various shortcuts, iTerm2 also lets you customize the colorscheme, font, transparency, etc.
Pro Complete out of the box
Unlike most terminal emulators, iTerm2 comes with a pretty complete set of features. It has built-in search, autocompletion, tabbed navigation, Growl support and even a built-in clipboard manager for various API keys and such.
Pro Fine tuning for fonts
It's possible to choose a font and adjust vertical and horizontal spacing.
Pro Can immediately open files inside a text editor
You can Ctrl+Click on a file path to open said file in a text editor.
Pro Supports mouse actions
Has support for mouse actions like clicking, dragging, selecting, etc.
Pro Active maintainers
Issues resolved fast by quality contributors.
Pro Works well with powerline fonts
Pro Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
Pro Completely free and open source
iTerm2 is completely free and open source. It's released under the GPLv2 license.
Pro Any key can be mapped to any function
Using the Preferences Menu you can set up hotkeys to map virtually any action you can think of to a single key or a combination of them. This is extremely helpful as it allows you to use shortcuts to edit commands you are typing in the terminal and while most terminal emulators have shortcuts for this sort of thing, few of them let you define your own.
Pro Cmd+D to split plane vertically
Very handy to use multi-tab.
Pro Can be configured as a drop-down terminal
Can be configured to work as a drop down terminal like Quake.
Pro Works well with tmux
The great mouse and clipboard support that are built-in go really well with tmux.
Pro Supported by many applications as a terminal app selection
If an application has terminal integration, there is high probability it allows iTerm2 to be selected.
Pro You only need to type in commands once
iTerm2 can store up to 4M of history of commands you already used. This, coupled with the built-in search features makes it possible to type a command only once and then search for it through the history for subsequent uses.
Pro Cmd+Shift+I to Input all
Wanna SSH your server from multiple tabs, here you go.
Sublime Text protects and copyrights its code and is thus not the freedom-ware some would like it to be.
Although paying for something good is far from a Con, having the competition this editor has and still have to pay for it is definitely a Con.
Con Inadequate language support
Sublime Text offers poor support for Far-East languages in Linux.
Con Annoying whitespace management
All too often it does the wrong thing with indentation on otherwise blank lines.
Con Loading big files on Windows is slow
Here's a rough comparison: a 70 MB file takes about 2 seconds to load in Notepad++, whereas the same file in ST3 takes over 10 seconds to load.
Con Often crashes due to poor quality plugins
Some plugins are quite buggy, meaning that installing many can become quite a problem regarding stability.
Con Interruption while work
"Purchasing" messages box interrupts while saving file.
Con No printing of files
Sublime Texts offers no way of printing the files it edits.
Con No toolbar
Sublime Text is more focused on keyboard users, meaning it doesn't come with a tool bar. Even plugins can't toggle bookmarks using the mouse.
Con Not a full IDE
It does not necessarily function on a project level
Con Slow development
While development has yet to stop on Sublime Text, it is significantly slower than its competitors Atom, VSCode, and others.
Con Not quite as fast as Alacritty or Kitty
Comparing these 3 terminals on the same machine/config, iTerm stands out as the slowest of the bunch. The difference may not be noticeable to all users.
Con Doesn't support Snow Leopard 10.6.8
Some people still use SL.