When comparing Sublime Text vs SourceTree, the Slant community recommends Sublime Text for most people. In the question“What are the best developer tools for Mac OSX?” Sublime Text is ranked 4th while SourceTree is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Sublime Text is:
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.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
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.
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.
Sublime Text is very lightweight by default. Customization occurs on the fly thanks to Package Control.
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 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 Easy to get started
All you need to do when starting up is to install a package manager and modify user configuration.
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 Distraction free editing mode
Distraction free editing takes over your screen and removes every UI element so you can focus on code.
Pro Has tons of plugins available
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 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 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 Informative branch visualization
In addition to color-coded branches and icons that tell if a file has been added, removed or modified, SourceTree also displays the number of commits that are ahead and behind the remote branch.
Pro Built-in Git-flow and Hg-flow support
Git-flow and Hg-flow provide a consistent development process by defining a strict branching model that is great for managing large projects.
SourceTree allows setting up and integrating into repos that follow this model. Clicking the Git-flow / Hg-flow toolbar button will give you access to actions for starting or finishing features, releases or hotfixes depending on the current state of repository.
Pro Simple yet powerful
SourceTree allows you to do advanced Git operations while making them straight-forward for those who are still adjusting to Git.
Pro Comprehensive layout
SourceTree has three main repository views: file status, history, and search.
File status view shows status of currently selected repo. It's split into two areas - file list and diff-view.
History view tracks changes made to the currently selected repository. It's divided into three sections. The top section has a graph with progression of commits, branches, and merges. The bottom section shows commit details, files changed, and differences committed.
Search view allows looking up commit messages, users, files changes, branches, and commit SHA.
There's also a toolbar at the top that allows switching between the three views, as well as giving access to git commands (such as commit, checkout, reset, stash, add, remove, fetch, pull, push, branch, merge, and tag).
Pro Allows chunks and lines selection during commit
SourceTree automatically splits the changes to be committed into chunks allowing committing (or discarding) each chunk separately. Furthermore, the user can even select specific lines. This greatly increases the flexibility of the user in that matter.
Pro Quick setup
Once installed, SourceTree will automatically try to look for and set up repos that are worked on. SourceTree will also detect if git-flow is used and what is the current development state as long as default git-flow branch names are used.
The software tracks all relevant repositories in the bookmark's window. Repositories can be added to the list by creating new ones, adding a local folder, supplying a clone URL or integrating with remote services such as Bitbucket or GitHub.
Pro Supports Git LFS
Pro Built-in integration with Stash and Bitbucket
Sourcetree integrates with repositories hosted on Bitbucket, Stash, GitHub, and Kiln.
Pro Supports Git, Mercurial, and Subversion
Allows managing Git & Mercurial repos side by side. It even allows Subversion interoperability via git-svn or hgsubversion plugins which set up a bridge between either Git and SVN or Mercurial and SVN respectively.
Pro git terminal
Comes with own built-in git termnal independant from other git installations and updated regulary. It's especialy good for git beginners who would like to use advanced git functions, but are not ready yet.
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 No printing of files
Sublime Texts offers no way of printing the files it edits.
Con Interruption while work
"Purchasing" messages box interrupts while saving file.
Con Inadequate language support
Sublime Text offers poor support for Far-East languages in Linux.
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 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 Annoying whitespace management
All too often it does the wrong thing with indentation on otherwise blank lines.
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 Requires an account to install and use
Need an Atlassian account to install.
Con Can sometimes be slow
Some operations can be slow. If you know what you want (e.g you want to touch a file, add it, commit it, and push it) you can do it much faster on the command line. However you're often not going to know what you want, so the visual diffs (for example) help massively.
Con Always slow
Con Does not allow offline installation
Upon installation, the splash screen prompts you to login. There used to be a workaround for you to manually deploy this application in an offline environment, but they've patched it as of 188.8.131.52. It now does a dial-home on each start-up. Since it cannot reach the server, it throws an error to the user, and raises alerts to compliance.
Atlassian's final decision was that they are not going to support this feature at all. Quoted from their staff:
"We’ve never officially supported any form of pre-installation on device management capabilities. [...] As you know, last year, we removed the notion licensing and asked our developers to register the product by creating an Atlassian account. That said, SourceTree has always been a tool for the individual (emphasis mine) developer."
Con Terrible for resolving merge conflicts
It's hard to tell when you are in a conflict state, let alone what to do if it happens.
Con Unstable and terrible UX
The Windows version of SourceTree is riddled with bugs, causing some users to find it unusable.
These include failing to refresh, frequent freezing, and slow performance. The recent redesign (February 2016) has made the UI difficult to navigate.
Con Requires users to be online when starting up
As of 2.3.5, it needs to dial home on every start-up, else it raises alerts to compliance.
Con DEPRECATED -No dark theme
Dark Theme is now available on Windows as well as the MacOS version.
Con Chews CPU
Con Not even possible to change the password
There are tickets about this issue sitting there for years and marked as medium priority. I experienced this since version 1.8. Up until now, there has been no fix. If your company's policy is going to enforce you to change your password, it means you need to remove all the repos and clone them again everytime you change the password. This is the worst ever experience.
Con The UI of version 2.0+ is so terrible
Tab looks good if you have no more than five repos. If you have a lot, you will know my pain. The source tree will not remember the order of the tab you drag. Everytime you restart the app, it will go back to whatever it likes.
Con Has trouble with Github's Yubikey integration
When your 2FA is a hardware key, it is difficult to find a way to bring up the ability to use anything but a pre-programmed password function on the Yubikey, which doesn't add much to security all things considered what a hardware key is supposed to do.
Con Crashes frequently
Stops responding every 5 minutes.
Con Browsing folders is troublesome
Choosing files of specific folders for check-in is troublesome.
Con Login problems
Frequently unable to log in, despite the correct password.
Con Uninstalling won't remove the installation completely
If You decide to uninstall, you'll have to manually go to the folder inside the system and directly delete the files. If you uninstalled to reinstall fresh, this is a big issue.
Con Poor UX for interactive rebase
The interactive rebase window is a pain to use, with poor UX, such as not refreshing the list once a change is made. It's a downgrade from
git rebase --interactive.
Con Can't select install location
You can't select the install location (anymore). This is terrible for enterprise environments. It insists to install into "Users/<Name>/AppData/Local". What? Where? Why not "Recycle Bin" or Windows Temp?
Con Often rebuilds the graph visually noisy
E.g. after a reset command, the graph disappears and reappears after a few moments.
Con Flawed installer
Enforced registration process doesn't work, shows failure when connected to Bitbucket. Windows are too small to display installation text and options. Installs unwanted icon on the desktop. Slow and unresponsive at times.
Con Not always recognizes changed files
Seems to not always recognize changed files, which means that they will not be pushed to remote origin either. This means if you switch branches, the files will be overwritten and you lose your progress. Very annoying.
Con Blame MS Office's word correction dictionary to be the source of the slowness while it's not
It's so obvious that ever since 2.0, it will try refreshing each of the repo a few minutes. If you have a lot then it will drive you crazy. When you try to expand a branch node, it refreshes. Try again, OOPS, it refreshed again. Sometimes, it will take you five minutes to select the node you want.
Con Varied speeds across different versions
For example, the Windows version is quite slow is comparison to the Mac version.
Con Information density can be a bit much
It's possible to become overwhelmed with the information density presented in SourceTree. This is especially the case in history view, as it includes a lot of data presented in various ways.
Though this is great for getting a comprehensive overview of everything that's happening in one place, it can take some getting used to.
Con No auto stash
Con CRLF on Windows is a nightmare
There is a bug in 'Discard hunk' and 'Discard lines' constantly interrupting the work flow with inserting wrong line endings. Click here for more details.