When comparing SciTE vs Brackets, the Slant community recommends Brackets for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” Brackets is ranked 8th while SciTE is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Brackets is:
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
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It's property files allow for fine tweaks of its behavior, at a global or per language / project level. These textual settings might be confusing for those used to preference dialogs, but prove to be powerful, flexible, and fine grained.
With less than 2 MB of binary on Windows, SciTE starts instantly. Plus, if you don't need all the config, syntax files, blah, there's a 678k standalone .exe version. Nothing is going to beat that for lightweight and start-up times. Stick it in a folder that is already on your PATH.
Pro Built-in shell
The console window can show the result of ran commands (like build current file, reporting warnings, and errors), but also accept interactive shell commands.
SciTE works on Windows and Linux, and it also has a commercial port on MacOS.
Pro Powerful syntax highlighting for numerous languages
Lexers providing folding and syntax highlighting are based on code, not on regular expressions. They support context, nesting, special rules, etc.
Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to.
Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
Pro Free (except on Mac) and open source
SciTE is written in C++, with lot of contributors, both to the core and to the numerous lexers.
Has a simple graphical user interface
Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
Pro Built-in browser live-updating
Brackets will automatically refresh the browser and load the latest saved version of a file open in the browser. This works with php as well. Editing a css will even highlight the tag that's currently being worked on. However, it only works with Chrome.
Pro Built-in extension manager
The functionality of Brackets can be extended via a simple-to-use extension manager. The extension manager also has a considerable number of extensions and themes.
Pro Actively developed
Brackets is being actively maintained and developed.
Brackets is easy on memory usage and it starts up quickly.
Pro Can style a tag without switching over to the stylesheet
A feature called "Quick Edit" allows the user to select a tag in (a html file, for example) and edit the associated style without switching over to the css document. It also supports SASS and LESS pre-processors.
Pro Can be hacked by any front-end developer
Pro Vim mode
Vim-style editing is already built in the text editor.
Pro Drag and drop support
Brackets supports drag and drop of text, as well as multi / rectangular selection.
Pro Popup previews
Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images.
Pro Support for Adobe PSD content
A default extension allows for the extraction of PSD resources, such as images and styles. There's good integration for placing extracted resources into source.
Con Missing file browser
SciTE's greatest weakness is perhaps the file browser. It does not really have one, just a poor substitute which works a little bit like a terminal window with
dir commands to show the files in a directory.
No extensions, Themes.
Con Hard to config
The configuration is mainly a file-based config, which can be unintuitive and difficult to use for new users.
Con Still missing some elementary text editor commands
Some gaps have to be filled by plugins, while these features should be built in.
- Jump to matching brace (bracket / parenthesis);
- Gutter selection of lines;
- Recall previous searches / replacements;
- Autofill of search field with text under caret (text has to be selected);
- Show whitespace / end of lines / indentation guides / right margin;
- Selection to upper / lower case;
and some more.
Con Problematic updater
Though the website says there is an update available, the updater in Brackets may give you an error, resulting in you having to download updates manually.
Con Supports only web languages by default
Brackets is built for web development and that's where it excels at out of the box. Other languages that have a CodeMirror mode can be added as well.