CotEditor 4+

Lightweight plain-text editor


    • 4.9 • 216 Ratings
    • Free



CotEditor is a light-weight, neat, yet powerful text editor designed for editing plain-text files such as web pages (HTML, CSS), program source codes (Python, Ruby, Perl, etc.), structured texts (Markdown, Textile, TeX, etc.), or any other kind of plain-text.

Just For Mac

The application is exactly made for macOS. CotEditor looks and behaves just as macOS applications should. It means, you already know how to use it even on the first launch. There are no complex configuration files that require geek knowledge so that you can access all your settings including syntax definitions and themes from a standard preferences window.

Quick, Easy, and Powerful

CotEditor launches so quick that you can write your text immediately when you want to. It's perfect for you to write a draft version of your document or a scratch code. The simply organized user interface doesn't disturb your task. However, at the same time, CotEditor is neither a software only for beginners nor a typical minimal “zen-style” editor. It is fully customizable. There are, of course, syntax highlighting feature for various languages, find and replace with the regular expression, auto-indentation, command-line tool, and lots of other deep functions. You can also easily write your own macro in your favorite languages.

Key Features

• Syntax highlighting including more than 50 preset languages
• Powerful find and replace with the regular expression
• Auto-backup with/without overwriting actual document files
• Line numbers view
• Live character/word/line count
• Handling file encoding and line endings with care
• Auto-generated outline menu for fast navigation
• Multi-cursor editing
• Character inspector that shows the zoomed glyph and Unicode information
• Vertical text layout mode
• Various Unicode normalizations
• Semi-transparent window
• Command-line tool
• Scriptable with your favorite language
• JCK-languages friendly

What’s New

Version 4.3.0

New Features
- Incremental search in the Find window.

- Drastically improved the performance of syntax highlighting on large documents so that no rainbow cursor appears.
- Stop displaying the progress indicator for syntax highlight on large documents and apply the highlight asynchronously instead.
- Optimize the time to open large documents.
- Avoid re-parsing syntax on printing.
- Update the style of the search progress dialog.
- Remove the preference option to disable syntax highlighting.
- Update Swift syntax style to support Swift 5.7.

- Fix an issue that the application crashed with very specific fonts.
- Fix an issue that the highlights of Find All in the editor remained even when closing the Find window.
- Fix an issue that the application could become unresponsive when trying to show the file mapping conflicts.

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
216 Ratings

216 Ratings

gileslewis3 ,

Really fast for editing small files

This is the fastest editor I have seen for working with small text files. I love the clean, simple interface; and especially the speed with which it launches. However, I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 for two reasons:
(1) I think the "Enable Auto Save with Versions” feature is a bit dangerous. I did a Find to search for text, but instead of hitting “Find All”, I hit “Replace All” by mistake. I could not figure out how to undo my change, so I closed the main window thinking that I had not saved my file. But the file was auto-saved with the unintentional change. I now know that I could have closed the Find window, at which point “Undo Replace All” would have appeared as an option under the Edit menu. However, I think that “Enable Auto Save with Versions” is not a good feature for novices. The default setting should be false.
(2) I would really like to see a “Whole Word” checkbox in Find window.

Developer Response ,

Thank you for the kind review. In response to your second request, I've added "Match only whole Word" option to find panel (in "Advanced find options" via the gear button in the find panel) on CotEditor 3.6.1. Regarding the first comment, we will not change the default setting of Auto Save because it is nowadays the standard behavior of macOS applications. Please just turn it off if you want to avoid.

kibigo! ,

Perfect General-Purpose Text Editor

This app is perfect for when you need something more fully-featured than TextEdit, but don't need a complicated project manager like Atom or similar. The major selling points for me are Unicode support (the ‘Inspect Character’ and ‘Input in Unicode Hex’ commands are extremely helpful, and greatly reduce the need for character escapes in your documents) and the fact that it plays well with proportional fonts (many text editors have bugs when you use a font that isn't monospace—not so with CotEditor!).

If I had to list drawbacks, the syntax highlighting is not as fully-featured as you might find in something like Atom. But I've been using CotEditor for several months and never found it missing a feature that I needed for my work, and it is refreshing the extent to which things that one might need to download a plugin for in Atom or Brackets just come built right in.

1wcb ,

Extremely useful and valuable

On the Mac, I found I needed "something" to convert then transfer straight text between different Mac apps and found that CotEditor does exactly that with ease. - As a general review for normal people's uses, it is a light weight, full featured editor. It covers all the bases with character substitution and can even do spell checking (if that is what you want). However, it is not a full featured word processor as CotEditor is not designed to be one, it is an editor.. - FWIW: I am an ancient unix system administrator and have used VI (text based editor) my entire life. This will not replace VI but I find I use it more and more for general note taking, quick scripts, etc in the Mac graphical enviroment. - CotEditor is great and there is a reason it has an extremely high score on the App Store.

App Privacy

The developer, Mineko IMANISHI, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More