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May 29, 2018

Getting to Grips with Brackets: A Modern Open Source Text Editor

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Brackets is an Adobe project perfectly suited for front-end website development. It’s made by the same people responsible for Photoshop, which is probably part of the reason why Brackets has such an amazing UI design. Well-suited to web developers and designers alike, Brackets is a powerful but lightweight text editor.

The Adobe team use JavaScript to blend a range of unique visual tools into the editor experience, so you can always have the tools you need when you need them most. What’s more, while the support is there, it doesn’t get in the way of your creation strategy. Here are just some of the things that we like about Brackets.

It’s Designed for Developers

While there are plenty of text editors on the market today, they don’t all care much about web developers and their needs. On the other hand, Brackets is specifically optimised for designers who feel comfortable writing in CSS and HTML. It’s also well-suited to any JavaScript developers who might be building complicated apps that target everything on the open web, including the browser.

Additionally, because it’s built in CSS, HTML and JavaScript, Brackets also gives developers the opportunity to customise and extend their experience. In other words, you get the editor that’s designed for you with APIs and extensions perfectly suited to your needs.

It Works Everywhere

Another great thing about open web standards in your developer tool? It means that Brackets can run almost anywhere you choose. While the company behind Brackets focused on making a tool for the desktop first and foremost, they’re also supplementing that version with a Brackets option that runs entirely in the browser too.

The Brackets community can even provide you with tips on how to run the tool in your tablet, so that you can design and develop your solutions on the go.

Inline Editors and Live Previews

Brackets is all about making the development process easier for today’s web professionals. With it, you can avoid jumping between file tabs by opening a window for the code that you’re most interested in. If you want to work specifically on the CSS that’s responsible for a specific ID, then all you need to do is place your cursor on that ID and push command /Ctrl E to see all the CSS selectors within that window.

The Live Preview option also means that you can get a real time connection in your browser and make changes that you instantly see through HTML and CSS. You can also see where your selector is applied in browser pages by placing your cursor over it.

A Simple Process and UI

The Brackets team makes developing web pages and applications simpler. They don’t believe in cluttered toolbars and floating panels that might distract you from your creative work. Instead, they want to give you a tool that makes you as productive as possible. Brackets believe that the best things happen when it’s just you and your code. With that in mind, they offer a “Quick Edit” solution that helps you to maintain designs with ease.

Since every project has interrelated files from CSS, HTML and JavaScript to manage, it’s easy to keep a map of how all those files connect. If you want to tweak a style on a HTML element or apply something, all you have to do is locate the right style sheet, and Brackets displays all the CSS classes that apply to your element inline.

Exceptional Support

There are plenty of things that help to set Brackets apart as a text editor solution. For instance, it allows you to work with pre-processors in a simple yet effective way. With Brackets, developers can use Quick Edit with their SCSS and LESS files, to make their lives a little simpler.

However, one of the most important components that helps Brackets to appeal to today’s developers is its exceptional level of support. If you’re going to commit to a text editor, then you need to know that it’s going to be supported continuously in the future. Brackets has a huge advantage here because it’s backed by Adobe and has a thriving open source community to tap into too.

Ultimately, your choice of text editor will come down to your personal expectations and preferences. However, if you’re looking for a front-end solution that comes with plenty of useful technology to tap into, then you’re sure to enjoy the experience you get from Brackets. It’s the simple solution for any developer.

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