CotEditor is a light-weight, neat, yet powerful text editor designed for editing plain-text files such as web pages (HTML, CSS), program source codes (Python, Ruby, Perl, etc.), structured texts (Markdown, Textile, TeX, etc.), or any other kind of plain-text.

Just For Mac

The application is exactly made for macOS. CotEditor looks and behaves just as macOS applications should. It means, you already know how to use it even on the first launch. There are no complex configuration files that require geek knowledge so that you can access all your settings including syntax definitions and themes from a standard preferences window.

Quick, Easy, and Powerful

CotEditor launches so quick that you can write your text immediately when you want to. It's perfect for you to write a draft version of your document or a scratch code. The simply organized user interface doesn't disturb your task. However, at the same time, CotEditor is neither a software only for beginners nor a typical minimal “zen-style” editor. It is fully customizable. There are, of course, syntax highlighting feature for various languages, find and replace with the regular expression, auto-indentation, command-line tool, and lots of other deep functions. You can also easily write your own macro in your favorite languages.

Key Features

• Syntax highlighting including more than 50 preset languages
• Powerful find and replace with the regular expression
• Auto-backup with/without overwriting actual document files
• Line numbers view
• Live character/word/line count
• Handling file encoding and line endings with care
• Auto-generated outline menu for fast navigation
• Character inspector that shows the zoomed glyph and Unicode information
• Vertical text layout mode
• Various Unicode normalizations
• Semi-transparent window
• Command-line tool
• Scriptable with your favorite language
• JCK-languages friendly
• RTL writing direction support

What's New

Version 3.6.2

New Features
- Let the input fields in the find panel accept pinch-zoom.

- Avoid selecting deleted spaces when undoing a soft tab deletion.
- Make the credits view in About panel dark in the Dark Mode.
- Add “.cxx” extension to “C++” syntax style.
- Adjust the width of line number views.

- Fix an issue where the cursor position did not restore correctly after repeatedly undoing & redoing bracket insertion with the “Automatically insert closing brackets and quotes” option enabled.
- Fix an issue where editor scrolled unwantedly after pasting something at a latter half part of the document with “Link URLs in document” option enabled.
- Fix an issue where URL link ranges expanded even if non-URL-related lines is pasted just after an URL.
- Fix an issue where the application could rarely crash under specific conditions.

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings
32 Ratings

Really fast for editing small files

This is the fastest editor I have seen for working with small text files. I love the clean, simple interface; and especially the speed with which it launches. However, I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 for two reasons:
(1) I think the "Enable Auto Save with Versions” feature is a bit dangerous. I did a Find to search for text, but instead of hitting “Find All”, I hit “Replace All” by mistake. I could not figure out how to undo my change, so I closed the main window thinking that I had not saved my file. But the file was auto-saved with the unintentional change. I now know that I could have closed the Find window, at which point “Undo Replace All” would have appeared as an option under the Edit menu. However, I think that “Enable Auto Save with Versions” is not a good feature for novices. The default setting should be false.
(2) I would really like to see a “Whole Word” checkbox in Find window.

Developer Response

Thank you for the kind review. In response to your second request, I've added "Match only whole Word" option to find panel (in "Advanced find options" via the gear button in the find panel) on CotEditor 3.6.1. Regarding the first comment, we will not change the default setting of Auto Save because it is nowadays the standard behavior of macOS applications. Please just turn it off if you want to avoid.


A Wonderful Surprise

I was looking for a plain, simple text file editor and stumbled upon CotEditor. What a wonderful surprise! Not only is CotEditor a text file editor but a very full featured one. I’ve only been using it for a day and continue to find useful little features that CotEditor has built into it. I’m installing this at work and at home. Thank you very much. This is one of those free applications for which I would gladly pay a reasonable price!


My new text editor

Gone are TextMate, BBEdit, and all the rest as my normal everday text editor. I use something else for true development work, but I prefer to have a separate app just for editing stand-alone text files. This app fits the bill perfectly! I don't want project managment, a sidebar, or anything else. I want raw text control and good feedback about the technical details of the file I'm working on.


27.2 MB
macOS 10.12.2 or later, 64-bit processor
English, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2005-2009 nakamuxu, 2011, 2014 usami-k, 2013-2018 1024jp


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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