Code Editors and FTP Apps That I Use (Mac, Windows)

Espresso for Mac

[Don’t forget to check out the Giveaway at the end of the post!]

I was asked recently to list out some of the applications that I use for editing code as well as interfacing with my servers via FTP, SFTP, and more.

I am a bit odd in that I use a number of different applications that functionally do the same thing; I do this because I appreciate the opportunity to work in different environments and see a change-up every once in a while (in other words I get bored easily).

And, for the most part, all of them do what I need them to do and that’s the bottom line, right?

Functionally, these apps do the following:

Also, I’ve got both Mac apps and Windows apps listed for those that need a flavor of either one. I grew up working in Linux/Windows environments and eventually found a home on the OSX.

Coda for Mac

I spend a lot of time in Coda by Panic and for a while it was my defacto editor as well as SFTP client, both of which it does very well.

I like it because it has a clean UI, intuitive features, and a very functional editor interface.

It can also help manage CSS, has Terminal access, and even has access to Code Reference Books and resources built right in.

With add-ons galore it can be a one-stop-shop for your FTP/Code editing needs.

Check out these screenshots for a glance [click images for larger view]:

The editor is great.

Manage some CSS!

Terminal access if you need.

The Book Resources are pretty sweet.

Transmit for Mac

Transmit by Panic (the same company that created Coda above) is primarily a file transfer app that enables you to do FTP/SFTP as well as Amazon S3 access, which is primarily why I first purchased the app.

For those that are interested, one of the value propositions that Panic showcases for Transmit is it’s transfer speed which, in selected tests has proven to be quite close to their advertisements. In other words, transferring files is fast.

Is it worth the extra purchase? Perhaps not, but if you’re in need of a large-file upload app to Amazon S3 then rock it.

Check out these screenshots for a glance [click images for larger view]:

Interface is clean and usable.

Amazon S3 connectivity! Win!

Espresso for Mac

Espresso for Mac is a sweet rich code editor and upload app built for the Mac that has a few features that I really like which make it a decent complement to the previous two.

In fact, I’ll jump into Espresso when I’m feeling bored with the Coda interface since it’s just as slick and clean.

The “Navigator” on the right side of the app’s screen is beautiful and for some might be the deciding factor on using it. I’ve seen some other people praise the “Snippets,” the organization of the app itself, and the fact that besides being a sweet code editor it supports FTP, SFTP, and Amazon S3 all-in-one!

For some it’s exactly what they’ve been looking for and I use it just as heavily now as I do Coda.

Check out these screenshots for a glance [click images for larger view]:

Well-thought out UI and design.

Navigator and Snippets on the right!

FTP, Amazon S3, and SFTP built-in!

CuteFTP Professional for Windows

There are a near-infinite amount of FTP clients for Windows-based systems but there’s only one that I recommend without reservation: CuteFTP Pro. I can’t remember when I first found it but I’ve been using it for more than a decade.

Worth every penny. It does everything you need and then some but it doesn’t feel bloated.

Notepad++ for Windows

Notepad++ is a free open source text editor that I used for quite some time. It’s simple and free and for most people will get the job done.

I have always enjoyed this app and I found little wrong with it in it’s stated capabilities.

Ultra Edit for Windows

UltraEdit has also been around for quite some time and was eventually where I landed for much of my work in the Windows environment. I distinctly remember hacking out HTML in my first few jobs on this app.

It’ll get the job done but probably not worth it unless you’re a serious software engineer.

GNU Emacs for Windows

I have a special place in my heart for Emacs as it was one of the first editors that I used when I jumped seriously into development. In fact, it was the first app that I downloaded and used for the my college career at Georgia Tech.

Many fond (and heartbreaking) memories! Still as good as ever.

So, that’s about it!

I use these apps on both my Macbook Air as well as my Dell XPS 1210:

I LOVE my 13" Macbook Air!


This laptop has served me well. Great memories!

So how about you? What are you using?


I nearly forgot! Since I love these apps I wanted to share that love by giving 3 lucky winners a copy of any app out of this list that they want!

All you have to do is:

  • Tweet this post!
  • Comment with a link to your tweet as well as what app you’d like!

That’s it! Get going!

Update: Winners!

  1. ThatGuyKC
  2. austinklee
  3. Jon Stem

Thanks all! We’ll definitely have more of these!