When comparing Atom vs Sketch, the Slant community recommends Sketch for most people. In the question“What are the best web design tools?” Sketch is ranked 4th while Atom is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Sketch is:
Sketch is hugely popular among designers so there are a lot of well maintained community [resources](http://www.sketchapp.com/community/) for everything from iPhone frames to iOS/Android UI elements & icons.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extensive list of packages
Atom has a built-in package manager and an extensive list of packages.
Pro Built-in package management
Atom was built from the ground up with the community in mind. Package management is therefore a first class feature.
Atom can run on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Due to its modular design, almost any aspect of the editor can be changed. Even seemingly core packages, like those taking care of search and replace functionality, can be forked on GitHub, and changed and replaced in the editor.
The documentation for creating new plugins is also great, making it easier for developers to jump in and create plugins for Atom.
Pro Free and open source
Atom is free, open source, and written in C++, LESS, and CoffeeScript.
Pro Beginner friendly
One of the goals of Atom is to be a text editor for both experienced and beginner programmers. You can add keyboard shortcuts, change themes, install plugins, and change core settings by clicking through a GUI, or by manually editing config files the old-fashioned way. It has the added advantage of being built using the same engine that powers Google Chrome, so actions like opening and closing tabs feel familiar, even to new or non-programmers.
Pro Embedded Git control
Atom will highlight folders, files, and lines that have any uncommitted edits made. It also integrates really well with GitHub.
Pro Multi-line select and edit
Multiple cursors and column selection allow 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 allows for selecting vertically.
Pro Command Palette support
The Command Palette permits fuzzy searching all available functions, settings, snippets, etc.
You can theme and customize Atom to your liking.
Pro Allows for instant file switching
By pressing Ctrl or Command + T and using fuzzy search, you can look for a file in your project.
Pro Command line integration out of the box
Installing Atom adds two command line commands -
apm. The first one runs the application itself while the second is the Atom Package Manager that's used to add and remove various components from the package listing. While these features can be set up with other editors as well, Atom takes care of them out of the box.
Pro HiDPI support
Atom has built-in HiDPI support with zero scaling issues.
Pro Modern feel and very customizable and extendable
Pro Vim plugin turns Atom into a modernized vim
Pro Best support for Arduino with Platformio
Arduino is the most important platform for developing embedded systems.
Pro Could also used as an IDE
Atom qualifies to be a good IDE because of the packages like linters, atom browser and hydrogen
Pro Active community with a lot of resources
Sketch is hugely popular among designers so there are a lot of well maintained community resources for everything from iPhone frames to iOS/Android UI elements & icons.
Pro "Artboards" are great for working on multiple views simultaneously
Artboards let you easily work on multiple views side by side. Great for having a separate artboard on each page for the various responsive sizes.
Pro Vector based yet pixel aware
You can rescale assets without quality loss, easily export x2 assets for retina designs and design high quality icons & artwork. Being pixel aware lets you set a grid and snap objects to it as well as round to the nearest pixel edge to clean up your layers.
Pro Designed specifically for web and mobile UI design & workflows
Sketch is essentially a version of Photoshop built from the ground up to suit the workflow of web designers.
Pro Makes it easy to export assets
Sketch has a built in exporter that supports PDF, JPG and PNG.
Pro Clean UI
Reactive panels keep the UI for Sketch clean from the sort of clutter the panel system in Photoshop suffers from. The panels in Sketch change based on the object in question, saving you from having to have a multiple separate panels.
Pro Built-in grid system
You can set the square grid to whatever dimensions you like as well as set thicker lines every x blocks. You can also configure the color of the lines to make them as obvious or subtle as you wish and toggle the grid with a keyboard shortcut (crtl+g).
Pro Symbols and shared styles
Sketch lets you re-use the same design in multiple places, with changes synced throughout the various places it is used. You can also create text styles to sync typography changes.
Pro "Mirror" makes it really easy to test designs on multiple devices
Mirror lets you connect your iPhone to sketch and see how your current artboard looks on mobile. It's really useful as you can live check changes which lets you rapidly iterate mobile design.
Pro Easily align layers with smart guides
Holding down alt will show the smart guides that show the distances between any layer you hover over to nearby layers or the edges of the artboard. Very useful for checking your spacing or aligning layers.
Con Very slow startup time
Atom is very slow to startup, which is a big disadvantage if you are accustomed to using it to make quick changes on your files.
Con High memory usage
Atom has a relatively high memory usage, especially when compared to some other text editors not based on Electron. For those who develop on the go, this also tends to mean shorter battery life.
Con Has difficulty with large text files
Tends to crash or hang with large >(10MB) text files, making it less useful as a general text editor.
Con Slows down exponentially with plugins
Extending it needs sacrificing responsiveness
Con Doesn't handle RTL (right-to-left text) well
Text can't be highlighted and manipulated properly, cursor isn't displayed visually according to where it is logically (you have to type to find out), and similar issues.
Con Not known when a new window will open
It's not really clear why and when a new window is opened when you open a file out of the tree view.
Con No text UI
Con Not suitable for older computers
Atom requires a lot of system resources to run, so it will most probably be painfully slow on an older machine.
Con Bloated. Too many packages, too little productivity.
Unable to use package to even convert a C file to PDF.
Atom is not a native application. As such performance is subpar and the lag is especially noticeable on larger projects. It also opens a surprising amount of sub-processes and leaks a considerable amount of memory.
Con Missing additional touches
As Atom is still relatively new, it's missing nice little touches that other text editors have implemented over the years. From simple ease-of-use items like middle-mouse button multi-cursor select, to the ways pasted information from a spreadsheet is interpreted in multi-select situations.
Con Crash and data loss
I lost unsaved changes 2 times when the app crashes.
A bugreport about that was closed automatically after some time, nobody cares.
Con Doesn't recognize some keyboards
Con No Linux version
Sketch is currently only available on Mac, which can make it hard to collaborate if you have teammates using Linux.
Con License based payment model
Sketch has recently decided to cease development of major version (2.0, 3.0, 4.0) with free updates in between, and has switched to a license based subscription model. A yearly license costs $99 and includes the latest version of the Sketch software, plus a year of free updates. After this license expires, you can renew for another year of updates - or continue to use the current software without updates.
Con No Windows support
Con Buggy releases and lack of quality assurance
The fast rate of change means new releases often break files and cause havoc. Duplicate symbols are really bad in the latest releases so you have to keep updating.
Con Very feeble raster tools
You have to go elsewhere if you want something more complex than basic vector masking of raster images.
Con Limited compatibility with Photoshop and Illustrator
Although it is possible to export certain Adobe file types in Sketch, compatibility is mostly hit and miss. For example, some elements seem a little offset in Adobe products.