13 Advantages and Disadvantages of Text Editor over IDE for Programming

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13 Advantages and Disadvantages of Text Editor over IDE for Programming

Many of the programmers are confused over IDE or text editor. Which one is good for coding?

Both has its pros and cons. In this post, I will mention all the advantages and disadvantages of text editor and IDE. It will help you to choose best one for you.

Why should you use text editor over IDE (Integrated Development Environment)? It’s more like what are the advantages of using text editor over IDE. And vice versa…

First of all, you should know the difference between the text editor and IDE.

Difference between the Text Editor and IDE:

IDE comes with more programming features than the text editor. Some of the features include auto-completion of keywords and inbuilt function names, highlighting of syntax…

When you start learning programming languages, your intention is not to complete the project. It is more about how much you understand programming methodology.

But the question is, do you really need those programming features in your learning phase?

Not at all!

In fact, there are many disadvantages of it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Text Editor over IDEs:

Disadvantages of using IDE:

  1. Auto-completion of the keywords like the variable name, function name… obstacles your learning. When the line of code gets autocompleted, you did not think about it.
  2. You will be distracted seeing cumbersome menu options on IDE, icons, and dozens of toolbars which you don’t require now.
  3. You will not understand the compilation and procedure involved to execute the program when you do it by simply clicking on “Execute” button.

Advantages of using Text Editor for Coding Practice:

  1. There will no more distractions. Single toolbar and some text editing option are the things you really interested now.
  2. After saving your programming in the text editor, compile and run the program from command prompt. It will give you a true sense of programming and execution flow.
  3. Not having auto-completion feature with the text editor, you will be grounded and taught yourself what to write on next line of the code. This thought process is the must thing one should hone for learning and mastering any programming language.
  4. We are not using auto-completion feature, and we humans do mistakes. When you compile your program through command prompt, you may get the code syntax or semantic error. Analysing and fixing these bugs improve your debugging skill.
  5. You can ask any experienced programmer or developer, they spend most of the time debugging defects and fixing, rather than writing first-hand code. Developing debugging skill makes your career go rosy.

If you are learning programming language use, text editor. You need to do programming stuff manually like compiling, execution or writing code without auto-completion. Doing it manually, you will get the true sense of programming.

If you are doing some project stuff, go with IDE. There are certain advantages of IDE over the text editor.

Advantages of IDE for Programming:

  1. Many of IDEs are developed specifically for one programming language. To give you an example, PyCharm is the best IDE for Python programming. Eclipse is most suitable for Java programming.
  2. IDE comes with some preinstalled libraries for the specific programming language.
  3. It also supports for external plugins. If you need the interface for external tools like debugging tools, you can use their plugin.
  4. It has syntax highlight features. It makes your development easy and faster.
  5. IDE also provides console where you can see the execution result. In case of error, you can see the error detail. It is easy for debugging fixing the defect.


These all are the advantages and disadvantages of text editor and IDEs.

Keeping it simple. If you are new to the programming, I would recommend using text editor over IDE software. It may not have all the fascinating programming features. It is good for learning.

If you are learning any programming languages, you can find 50+ coding questions for practice.

If you are working on the project and want to get the development faster, you may need those programming features comes with IDE. Pick the best IDE software for your project programming language.


  1. According to my knowledge after reading this article, a text editor is good for beginners for learning. For project development, IDE is good.

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