Chromebook Mobile: November 2014

Cloud Computing and Blogging w/ Chromebooks, Chrome, and the Google Chrome OS: ChromeBook.mobi - Simplify your life!

Reviews: Top 5 Text Editors for Chrome

Reviews: Highest Rated Text Editor Apps for Chrome (Notepads for Chrome)


Looking for the best text editor Chrome App for your Chromebook? There are simple notepad type replacements (if you're coming from Windows) on up to more complex programming (source code) type editors in Google's Web Store to cover all your needs. In this article we're mainly looking at the best simple text editors for Chrome.

Antique mechanical ribbon typewriter front overhead photo
Image Credit: petesimon via cc
Note: Originally one of our main criteria was to find a text editor that worked from within Google Drive, that was a flawed way of thinking, and the Google Drive text editors we tried that worked that way were buggy. Plus, every time you give a program rights to your Google Drive you're exposing yourself to unnecessary security risks. If you're managing a text app from within Google Drive, we recommend you "disconnect it", uninstall it, and also remove its rights under your "Google Account Permissions" to restore maximum security if you're at all paranoid. Really, all you need to do with a good Chrome text editor is to open the text editor first, and then open your file from within the text editor instead of opening Google Drive and then opening your text file directly from within it with a "connected app". We'll make a note in the app description if a text editor App asks for "permissions" on your secure G-drive.

Good: open the text editor > then open a .txt file from within the text editor   
Risky: open Google Drive > then open .txt file from a "connected" text editor

Top 5 Text Editors for Chrome:


1) Caret (tabbed professional text editor):
"Caret" is a beautiful professional level tabbed text editor app for Chrome. It also works offline. Caret has all the features, functions, and menus you're used to finding in a full-fledged text editor, plus, instead of trying reinvent the wheel (like many developers are doing w/ Chrome apps), it's set up in a traditional style that's a snap to master.  It's clean, customizable, and fast loading. Just open the Caret text editor app, and then locate a file on your online Google Drive or from within your Chrome hard-drive mounted "downloads folder" and you're off and running. If you had only one text editor on your Chrome OS, Caret would be an excellent choice. This is hands-down our Chromebook Mobile top pick for text editing!

2) Write Space (fast and simple auto-save text editor):
If you use notepad type apps to jot down notes throughout the day and night, "Write Space" may very well be your go-to tool. Write Space features persistent auto-save, so you can enter some info and open or close the app at any time without losing your notes because when you open it back up it's right where you left off. We use this for all kinds of note taking. Write Space runs offline as well. It's also lightning quick and customizable and is always part of our Chromebook Mobile toolkit. Perhaps most importantly, it's devilishly simple for a basic text editor.

3) Quick Note (ultra popular text editor):
The "Quick Note" text editor is brought to you by Diigo (best known as a social bookmarking website), so you can rest assured there are some top-notch developers keeping things tuned-up with this one. Quick Note is one of the most popular and highly rated text editors for Chrome with about a million and a half users. You can also easily set this app to sync with Diigo.com so your notes are always backed up. The Quick Note interface is very nicely designed and includes a list of your notes on the left column. There is also a right-click (2 finger tap) Chrome OS menu entry that allows you to pop-up a slim right screen edge mounted notepad for adding quick notes. Quick Note is a keeper! Diigo likes to state that Quick Note is quick to access, add and edit, and search your notes. Try it, you'll like it.

4) Text (full featured tabbed text editor):
"Text" is a popular and quick loading Chrome OS text editing app that runs offline and includes beautiful left column (panel) mounted function (new, open, save, and save as) and setting (such as theme, wordwrap and line number) shortcuts as well as a well designed tabs navigator that allows reverse (previously used) tabbed navigation via the Ctrl + Shift + Tab keys. "Text" can also save files on close (to reopen at startup), includes a search function, and allows easy keyboard navigation (for more than we've described here) via various shortcut keys. Text might very well be your choice as the primary text editor (Notepad) for Chrome.

5) Writebox (basic text editor):
"Writebox" is another simple, basic, fast and free text editor for Chrome, iOS, the Chrome OS, and Android. Writebox works offline and includes an easy save to Google Drive or Dropbox function. Writebox likes to refer to this program as the "Distraction-free text editor". This might be your choice if basic and simple are part of your requirements for a text editor.


Honorable Mentions:


Neutron Drive (supercharged code editor plus):
If we ever wanted to really love a Chrome app, "Neutron Drive" might be the one. We keep a close eye on this developer tool (and text editor) because it has the makings of an ultimate Chrome app, but for now it's a little slow and shows a few errors from time to time, though none are serious in nature. Neutron drive even includes a tabbed "Windows Explorer" type file browser built into its interface for easy access to all your G-drive files. It also has an FTP-client, auto-saves, and allows for web page editing among a boat-load of other functions. For now, if you want a code editor, most people are using ShiftEdit, but we're holding out for an improved version of Neutron Drive.
* Neutron Drive must be "connected" to your Google Drive for full functionality.

Drive Notepad (Google Drive connected editor):
You'll likely see "Drive Notepad" show up in many reviews, especially for those who don't fear directly connecting apps to their Google Drive. We've had a few unpleasant experiences with Drive Notepad (none of them serious), but realize that many people love using Drive Notepad as their primary text editor so we're not leaving it out as a contender for one of the best text editors for Chrome. 
* Drive Notepad wants to "connect" to your Google Drive.

Check back soon because we're always on the lookout for great Chrome tools!