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What is a Program Editor?

A program editor is a specialized software tool that allows developers to write, edit, and manage code efficiently. It provides features like syntax highlighting and auto-completion to streamline the coding process. With a program editor, crafting complex software becomes a more organized and error-free experience. Curious about how a program editor can enhance your coding workflow? Let's dive deeper.
Troy Holmes
Troy Holmes

Software programs are the computer logic that determines how a software application will function. This logic is written in a coding language and typically typed into a computer word processor. This word processor includes a program editor, which is a device that validates specific language format and rules. This tool is responsible for both the presentation and validation requirements of a programming language.

The concept of program editors has been available since the beginning of computers. The first editor created manual punch cards, which were the early versions of computer programs. The role of the editor is to allow input from a computer console into a software computer program.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Many software developers use a plan text editor as a formal program editor. This type of editor is freely available and makes the creating of software code more readable. Advanced editors provide a format feature, which automatically indents functions and software code based on predefined formatting rules.

Color coding is another feature of a program editor. The colors of the text can be configured based on special types, values, functions, and commands. A format color coded editor is easier to read and understand by the developers.

Code review is a process in which an independent team reviews the software code of an application for compliance rules. A program editor can be used during the code review process to quickly determine if the code meets the standards of an organization. This editor will print the code based on the specifications defined by the organization.

Program editors are also used as a productivity enhancement tool. Many editors include pre-canned functions that allow the insertion of coding blocks. By having these functions, several lines of code can be added to a program with the click of a button.

There are many free program editors available today. They support multiple programming languages and can be downloaded from the Internet. Open source program editors typically provide a sufficient text editing capability without the additional costs of a full blown integrated development environment (IDS) tool.

Some programming languages support inline compilation processes. This allows the programs to quickly compile as the code is typed into a program editor screen. An example of this is a command line terminal on a mainframe computer. Each command is typed into the program editor of the mainframe.

The program editor is also responsible for ensuring and validating proper coding syntax. Each computer language has specific rules on how code should be formatted including commas, semicolons, and spacing. The program editor provides this validation.

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Discussion Comments


@Logicfest -- a number of programming languages still come with their own editors. There is usually an option to use another editor if that's what the programmer wants to do.

That means there is a lot more flexibility when it comes to programming than there used to be. Learning a new program is hard enough, so one shouldn't have to be bothered with learning a new editor on top of that.


This is an odd development when you think about it. There was a time when a computer's standard programming language was pretty well baked into the system and the editor was simply part of the operating system.

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