Brackets - a must have code editor for web designers


Brackets is a free and open source code editor developed especially for front-end developers and web designers. It is packed with some cool features that make web designing fun and more importantly, efficient. Read on to know more about Brackets.

Introduction

Brackets is one of the best code editors out there for front end development. The best thing about Brackets code editor is that it is free and open source. This means that you can contribute to adding new features to this code editor if you are a coder. Brackets is developed using HTML, CSS and some Javascript so it will be even simpler for developers to add more features and contribute more often to this project.

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There are plenty of cool features in this amazing code editor that makes you keep using it. The interface of Brackets if simple and can be easily understood by someone with a fairly good knowledge of development. So, first of all, we will take a look at the interface of Brackets.
brackets

Interface

The first time you open Brackets after you install in on your PC you will be greeted with a help file that contains help on mostly everything you need to know about the software.
On the left side of the editor, you have a pane where you all the files in the project or the files that you have opened in your editor are displayed. Simply clicking on any one of the filename will take you to the file and you can start editing right away. You can also sort the files by added time, type and name. There is also an option to split your working area horizontally or vertically with which you can work on two files easily.
In the middle, you have the working area where you can edit your files. The file gets opened according to the file extension that it has. For example, if you open an HTML document, Brackets will be able to identify HTML tags. In the same way, if you open a CSS file the classes and CSS elements are recognized and suggested for auto-completion.
On the right side, you have some options like Live Preview (which will be explained below), extension manager and update check button.

Features

Now let's take a look at the features that Brackets provides the users.

Live Preview

The best feature that I like about Brackets and the main reason that I use it is for Live Preview. To enable live preview, you have to click on the Live Preview button on the right side of the code editor. Once it is enabled the button turns green. When you enable live preview your web browser gets opened and the webpage that you are currently working on gets displayed on the browser. Whenever you save the document or click Ctrl + S on your keyboard the web page gets updated in the browser. This saves a lot of precious time for the web designers. Now you don't have to go the browser after every change and click on the reload/refresh button. Just saving the document does the job.
When you have Live Preview enabled in Brackets if you select a class in your CSS file. The whole class is highlighted which helps you know what are the components that are going to be affected by the styles that you apply in your CSS.

Quick Edit

brackets color picker
Another cool feature that Brackets possesses is quick edit. With quick edit you can do some cool and time-saving tasks. When you hover over a color in your file the color is shown as a rectangle above the color helping you understand what is the color associated with that particular hex value. Brackets has gone one step further and added a shortcut command (Ctrl + E). When you press Ctrl + E on your keyboard by placing your cursor on the color, you will be provided with a color selector where you can select the color that you want and the hex value of the selected color will be added to the file.

You can also access the CSS being applied on an HTML division using quick edit. When you place your cursor on the division name and press Ctrl + E on your keyboard, the style applied to the division is displayed right below the current line. You can make changes to the style right there. This saves a lot of time especially when you have a number of CSS files in your project. You don't have to go in hunt for the correct CSS. This feature will make things easier for you.

brackets inline editor

Auto-completion

Auto-completion is a feature that is available in almost all the code editors. Even brackets has auto-completion feature. This feature saves a lot of time and helps you concentrate on actual design rather than typing.

Extension

Brackets has support for extensions which help you to add additional features and capabilities to it and make it more customized for use.

The bottom line

Brackets is an amazing code editor especially for front-end developers and web designers. The best part about this software is that it is free and open source and you can expect a lot of new features in the coming future as the community grows. I have been using Brackets for quite a long time now and I am pretty impressed with it. If you are a web developer this application is a great tool for you.


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