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Group test: what's the best programming software?

The best tools for computer programmers

PC Advisor reviews the best programming software you can install.

5. Komodo Edit

  • Reviewed on: 8 February 12
  • RRP: FREE
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

If you already know you need a full-fledged IDE, choosing between Komodo IDE and competitor JetBrains PhpStorm is a tough call. But if you're not sure whether you need an IDE or just a powerful editor, you can start out with free Komodo Edit and maybe graduate up to IDE if you find you need advanced features such as debugging or source code control integration.

4. EmEditor Professional

  • Reviewed on: 14 February 12
  • RRP: £34 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

If you're in the market for a text editor and not closely tied to a particular one, EmEditor Professional is very much worth looking at, as it offers an exceptional mix of features and tools at a low price.

3. jEdit

  • Reviewed on: 6 December 11
  • RRP: FREE
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

jEdit is a useful Java-based programmer's editor with a boatload of optional plugins, colour schemes, and configuration options. And it's free!

2. PhpStorm

  • Reviewed on: 19 January 12
  • RRP: Free for individual use
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Like other IDEs, PhpStorm does take some time to study, but it can also be addictive. Its polished editing interface can make you feel like you are programming in the future--all you need is the right soundtrack to go with it.

1. UltraEdit

  • Reviewed on: 9 February 11
  • RRP: $59 (around £37)
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

UltraEdit has a 30-day trial with full functionality. This should be more than enough to decide if it's worth the price. It may not be cost-effective, compared to powerful free tools like NotePad++ or ConText, for those who work with text files only occasionally. The speed, flexibility, and power of UltraEdit make it a clear winner for anyone who works with text files full-time or even reasonably often.

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