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Atom Reviews

1.40.1
21 August 2019

A hackable text editor.

iindigo
09 February 2015

Most helpful

I wasn't impressed. Atom is a web application (HTML, CSS, JS) masquerading as a desktop application and true to apps of that nature, it's heavy, slow, and resource hungry compared to its proper native counterparts. File sizes do a great job at highlighting this difference. Two of the most popular Mac programming text editors, TextMate 2 and Sublime Text 3, weigh in at 32MB and 28MB respectively while Atom is an unnecessarily hefty 219MB — a full 7x more bulk. To find a native editor that heavy, one has to download a full-blown IDE with everything but the kitchen sink like Coda. RAM consumption stats tell the same story: Atom gobbles up an unreasonable 225MB of RAM after a cold launch while TextMate and Sublime only take up 20MB-35MB of RAM doing the same. Of course, the other big side effect of being a web app is that it doesn't *feel* native. UI elements are all custom-styled, often behave differently than they do in the rest of the system, and just aren't as responsive. All in all, Atom is a disappointment, particularly coming from the same company that made the fully native and very nice Github for Mac git client. It would've been amazing had it been written with proper desktop technologies like C++ and Qt5, but its Chromium-based core kills it.
Like (4)
Version 0.177.0

Read 22 Atom User Reviews

Rate this app:

Funjoy
25 August 2019
I'm not a coder but I tried it out as a text editor for writing large files. Unfortunately it is *much* slower than BBEdit or IA Writer or Ulysses. Considering that it's coded as an Electron app I shouldn't be surprised by the slowness (or the bloated size of the app) but I'm disappointed. Probably great for coding but for writing I'll stick with the free tier of BBEdit.
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Version 1.40.1
satarii rexson
19 July 2019
Atom is a great codify text editor for GitHub!
Like
Version 1.38.2
Scott-C-H-
03 April 2019
Visual Studio Code has utterly and decisively defeated Atom and Sublime Text in the past two years. I tried the latest version just to see how it progressed since the time I switched to VSC 1.5 year ago. I am disappointed that the performance has not improved much at all. VSC is MUCH faster to launch and use.
Like (1)
Version 1.35.0
SweetP Productions
12 March 2019
great code editor, here's hoping Microsoft doesn't kill it, as I prefer it to Visual Studio Code.
Like (2)
Version 1.34.0
ray-brooks
10 June 2018
I ike that it is smart when adds tags.
Like
Version 1.27.2
valgrey
17 February 2018
Nice desktop text editor
Like
Version 1.24.0
1 answer(s)
LeroyMorrison
LeroyMorrison
05 June 2018
What do you like about it?
Like (3)
gcoghill
19 January 2018
I gave this a try mostly for advanced text editing features (the multi-line cursor feature), but lots of other cool stuff in here even if you are not a programmer. Looks snazzy as well.
Like
Version 1.23.3
carthage
13 January 2018
I'm considering this as a replacement for BBEdit. It looks a bit nicer and you can run your code within the editor (including c code as well as python, which is awesome) if you install some external packages. I still think BBEdit's got a lot more functionality (unix worksheets are great, as are multi-file searches), but purely for coding, Atom is a great free alternative.
Like
Version 1.23.3
1 answer(s)
r-owen
r-owen
30 August 2018
Atom can do multi-file searches just fine. I switched from BBEdit to Sublime Text (which Atom copied) years ago and after a few painful months of transition I have never regretted it. When I last tried Atom it was significantly slower than the other two programs searching many files, and editing very large files, but otherwise seemed very nice. One of the best features in Atom and ST is the ability to run live linters; I am appalled that BBEdit still doesn't support this.
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VanRijn63
27 December 2017
I adore Atom. It's snappy, efficient, looks gorgeous, has lots of useful plugins and it's FREE. Couldn't live without it now.
Like
Version 1.23.1
rcrooks1969
31 August 2017
An excellent code editor that constantly gets better and has a large and active community behind it.
Like
Version 1.19.4
hmurchison
26 April 2017
I can't use Atom for one reason.....it's so beautiful I get distracted at staring at the art in code.
Like (2)
Version 1.16.0
Ptk3
30 July 2016
Last version is 1..8.0 on their website, thought it's not explicit on their website.
Like
Version 1.7.4
Ptk3
30 July 2016
Last version is 1.8 since June (ok, it's not obvious on their website)…
Like
Version 1.7.4
Ptk3
30 July 2016
Last version is 1.8 since June (ok, it's not obvious on their website)…
Like
Version 1.7.4
lance-perry-junk
11 December 2015
I would love to try this out. I'm a Sublime user. I have been looking at the Changelogs every time there is a new version. There is a long standing bug that they seem to not want to fix. On every Mac I have tried Atom runs at 100% CPU. One of my developer buddies same deal. There is a long thread in their own tracking system about the 100% CPU. So I'm guessing they either don't know what to fix or don't care.
Like
Version 1.3.0
1 answer(s)
Raro
Raro
15 August 2016
No such problems with the latest version 1.9.8. CPU-usage below 1 %.
Like (1)
Dylan-Mc
13 August 2015
Atom is growing on me. Its performance is improving regularly, and its rich set of plugins are really nice. It's my backup when my standby, vim, isn't the right tool for the job.
Like
Version 1.0.7
asux
10 June 2015
Very cool, flexible and great-looking editor. But still need performance improvements.
Like
Version 0.208.0
r-owen
03 April 2015
Atom is coming along nicely and is quite usable for programming large projects, but I personally still prefer Sublime Text 3 (ST). Atom copied much of ST, so they both feel quite similar. However, ST runs rings around Atom for speed and handling of large files and ST has better handling of projects (groups of related files): support is native and well integrated in ST, but can be added to Atom using the Project Manger extension. Both editors provide good support for live linters (an absolute requirement for me) and efficient operation from the keyboard (e.g. a few keystrokes will open any file). Atom's user interface is a bit more refined than ST in some ways, such as editing preferences and showing command key equivalents in the command bar. Both Atom and Sublime Text 3 are well worth trying for serious programming.
Like (4)
Version 0.189.0
iindigo
09 February 2015
I wasn't impressed. Atom is a web application (HTML, CSS, JS) masquerading as a desktop application and true to apps of that nature, it's heavy, slow, and resource hungry compared to its proper native counterparts. File sizes do a great job at highlighting this difference. Two of the most popular Mac programming text editors, TextMate 2 and Sublime Text 3, weigh in at 32MB and 28MB respectively while Atom is an unnecessarily hefty 219MB — a full 7x more bulk. To find a native editor that heavy, one has to download a full-blown IDE with everything but the kitchen sink like Coda. RAM consumption stats tell the same story: Atom gobbles up an unreasonable 225MB of RAM after a cold launch while TextMate and Sublime only take up 20MB-35MB of RAM doing the same. Of course, the other big side effect of being a web app is that it doesn't *feel* native. UI elements are all custom-styled, often behave differently than they do in the rest of the system, and just aren't as responsive. All in all, Atom is a disappointment, particularly coming from the same company that made the fully native and very nice Github for Mac git client. It would've been amazing had it been written with proper desktop technologies like C++ and Qt5, but its Chromium-based core kills it.
Like (4)
Version 0.177.0
3 answer(s)
rcrooks1969
rcrooks1969
12 February 2015
If you see my reply to another review below, you'll see that I'm not defending Atom. I think it's very good editor, but it's not my primary one. But I think it is unfair to say this is a web app masquerading as a desktop app. It's a node.js app (actually io.js now). While node may not be the ideal platform for desktop apps, it's a valid one, and I expect we're going to be seeing a lot more desktop apps built on it, if for no other reason, because there are many, many JavaScript developers in the world for every developer in Objective C, Java, etc.
And on it not feeling "native", well come on, Sublime Test is written in Python, and certainly doesn't feel like a native OS X app either. There are a few good code editors written in Objective C, like Coda and Chocolat, but I've used them extensively, and don't think they (yet) match the performance or capabilities of Sublime Text or Atom.
Not trying to change your mind, just trying to be fair to Atom here.
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iindigo
iindigo
12 February 2015
@rcrooks1969: The difference is that HTML, CSS, and JS were never meant for use in complex, dynamic UIs and that becomes very obvious when one observes the difference in resource consumption of a traditional desktop application and an similarly complex application built with web technologies. The fact that one has to ship not only node/io but an entire web rendering engine along with the application in order for it to work is quite telling.

Sublime is written mostly in C++, only using Python for its plugin system. It isn't perfectly native, but it at least makes an effort at matching the OS it runs on and makes up for the nativeness gap with sheer speed and responsiveness. It's definitely faster than TextMate, but at least in my experiences Atom is not faster than TextMate, not by a long shot. Neither of the traditional desktop editors have the file size limit that Atom carries.

I would have no beef with Node/Webkit/Chromium "desktop" applications if they were as light as their compiled counterparts, but the truth is that they're a great deal heavier and that probably won't change any time soon.
Like (1)
rcrooks1969
rcrooks1969
13 February 2015
@iindigo fair enough -- as I said, I wasn't trying to change your mind. Thanks for the correction on Sublime: it is indeed mostly written in C++ -- though I wouldn't say it makes much of an effort at looking like a native Mac app (and I don't care, personally). interestingly, a great little lightweight code editor called Eddie is written in Objective C, yet doesn't feel native either.
On node/is based apps, you're right about the current state, but I think it may change faster than you expect. A couple of years ago, the company I work for launched a platform for creating hybrid mobile apps (webkit code wrapped in Java or Objective C). After a year they abandoned the product based on feedback from customers that hybrid apps were just too slow to ever catch on. Yet these days I'm seeing signs that hybrid apps are gaining ground -- the reasons are the same I guess -- the number of competent developers for web technologies is so huge, and time to create apps so much smaller, that there is a lot of motivation to overcome size and performance limitations -- size almost doesn't matter, as the cost of disk space and RAM is approaching negligible. Performance does matter, so will be interesting to see how far JS processing can be pushed. That Apple has made it a first-class scripting language is telling, though.
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Uniquepito
04 February 2015
- No syntax highlighting for advanced (programming, markup, scripting, etc) languages - No marking of identical words in document However, for the price it is nice editor. So please implement previous two and it will be amazing - or let's say an alternative of notepad++ for mac! :)
Like
Version 0.177.0
1 answer(s)
rcrooks1969
rcrooks1969
12 February 2015
I don't want to come off here as the defender of Atom, because I actually use Sublime Text as my main code editor. But I don't think this is entirely fair to Atom. By design the core editor does the basic things, and leaves things like syntax highlighting for the broad array languages to extensions. I think if you had dug into the extensions you would find that Atom adds up to a lot more than notepad++ Just my opinion, not trying to start an argument here.
Like
wickedsp1d3r
04 February 2015
Felt kind of bloated and slow last time I used it. Don't know if anything's changed.
Like
Version 0.177.0
rcrooks1969
28 January 2015
Atom is an outstanding code editor - very much a competitor to Sublime Text 3, and for free. The features are too numerous to list, but your favorite code editing features are very likely there in the core editor or the rich array of packages you can add on. Really the only thing I find irritating is that there is no indenting of wrapped lines -- I gather that is extremely hard to do in a node-based editor that is using HTML to display HTML (and other) code.
Like
Version 0.176.0
1 answer(s)
r-owen
r-owen
02 April 2015
Atom now indents soft-wrapped lines!
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