When comparing Brackets vs iTerm2, the Slant community recommends iTerm2 for most people. In the question“What are the best developer tools for Mac OSX?” iTerm2 is ranked 2nd while Brackets is ranked 18th. 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 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 Free, open source and cross-platform
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
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.
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.
Brackets is easy on memory usage and it starts up quickly.
Pro Popup previews
Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images.
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 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.
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 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 Extremely customizable
Other than being able to customize the various shortcuts, iTerm2 also lets you customize the colorscheme, font, transparency, etc.
Pro Fine tuning for fonts
It's possible to choose a font and adjust vertical and horizontal spacing.
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 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 Active maintainers
Issues resolved fast by quality contributors.
Pro Supports mouse actions
Has support for mouse actions like clicking, dragging, selecting, etc.
Pro Works well with powerline fonts
Pro Can be configured as a drop-down terminal
Can be configured to work as a drop down terminal like Quake.
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 Split panes
Easy to split panes to either horizontal or vertical sections. Makes it easy to observe multiple console windows.
Pro Works well with tmux
The great mouse and clipboard support that are built-in go really well with tmux.
Pro Cmd+D to split plane vertically
Very handy to use multi-tab.
Pro Completely free and open source
iTerm2 is completely free and open source. It's released under the GPLv2 license.
Pro Cmd+Shift+I to Input all
Wanna SSH your server from multiple tabs, here you go.
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.
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 <but>
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.
<and language support plugins can be added>