Background:

Text editors are programs developers write their code in. Though you might not have a text editor downloaded on your own computer, you’ve more or less used one. On Codecademy, we have a mock-text editor on most screens. It’s the area you write your code in – usually on the right side of the screen or in the top, center section.

Text_Editor_Setup

While it’s possible to write code anywhere, the code-specific text editors – like the code editor you’ve used on Codecademy – do a couple really helpful things. These include:

  1. Highlighting syntax according to the language being written
  2. Indenting code automatically

This quick article walks you through the steps required to set-up Sublime Text, a hugely popular text editor (and a favorite of developers on the Codecademy Team). If you fall in love with Sublime Text (as millions of others have) don’t forget to buy it!

Quick Guide to Using Sublime Text (Mac)

Download

  1. On the Sublime Text download page, click on link for OS X (OS X 10.7 or later is required).
  2. After it downloads, open the application either from your browser’s download section or from Finder.
  3. Move Sublime Text into your applications folder.
  4. Click on the “S” icon to get started on your first code file.

Writing Code
Explore the Sublime Text navigation pane at the top of the screen. You’ll find the basics there, like File > New, File > Save, File > Open, etc., which you’ll need to get started.

Open a new file. When you save it, assign to it the file extension of any programming language you’re familiar with. For instance, for JavaScript, save your file with a .js file extension. This will enable syntax-specific code highlighting and auto-indentation, like what you’re used to on Codecademy.

Quick Guide to Using Sublime Text (Windows)

Download

  1. On the Sublime Text download page, click on the link for Windows.
  2. After it downloads, open the application either from your browser’s download section or from your computer’s Downloads folder.
  3. You may get a security alert asking if it’s okay to run this software. Yes, it’s okay. Click “Run.”
  4. Follow the prompts in the Sublime Text Setup Wizard to install the software.
  5. Find Sublime Text in your file system and open it.

See step 2 in Quick Guide to Using Sublime Text (Mac) above. It’s the same as Windows from this point.

Continued Reading

If you’re coding frequently, it's well worth it to learn more of the ins-and-outs of your text editor. Check out this more in-depth guide to using some of the special features within Sublime Text. Keyboard shortcuts in particular are worth learning if you’re using Sublime often.