Launched by Adobe in 2012, Brackets is an open-source code editor for web developers.

At first glance, the program looks rather basic. A left-hand bar lists your current working files (HTML, images, CSS), an unnecessary sidebar contains only two lonely-looking icons, there's a menu bar, the document you're editing, and that's about it. Start work, though, and extra features quickly appear.

There's plenty of code hinting-type power. Just type and Brackets displays matching HTML, CSS or JavaScript, helping you enter code quickly and without mistakes. This even works with your own functions: type the name and it'll (usually) remind you of the names and types of whatever arguments you need.

As your code gets more lengthy, so Brackets helps to ease navigation. Click in an HTML tag name, a class or ID attribute, choose the Quick Edit option, and any relevant rules appear in an inline editor. You get to see and tweak CSS code as required, without having to manually switch between files.

Click the Live Preview button on the sidebar and life gets even easier. Chrome pops up (as long as you've installed it, of course) to render the current page, and this preview display is then updated in real time, as you edit your HTML and CSS. It's all very smooth, no messy screen refreshes required, and great for providing immediate feedback on your ideas.

There are plenty of other worthwhile features. Hover your mouse over an image, colour or gradient, and a preview appears; WebPlatform.org-sourced documentation is available on CSS properties and values, as required; there are "Find", "Find in files" and "Replace" tools, all with regular expression support.

What's really surprising, though, is that Brackets is itself largely written in JavaScript, CSS and HTML. This makes the program interesting in itself, just as a practical example of how to build a JavaScript text editor. But it also means it's relatively easy to customise, and there are already a host of add-ons to extend Brackets even further.

What's new in v1.10 (see the release notes for more information)?

- Multiple encoding support by saurabh95 : Brackets now supports more than 40 different file encodings.
- Forward/Backward navigation in edit history by swmitra
- Enable/Disable default extensions by zaggino
- Search History by saurabh95 : Access all your most recently searched queries from the search bar.
- Native Menus for Linux by eyelash and saurabh95 : HTML menus are replaced with native menus in Linux.
- @rule and pseudo-selector code hints by swmitra : CSS code hints now support @rule and pseudo selector/element code hints.
- Inline CSS code hints by swmitra : Brackets now provides CSS code hints in style attribute value in html.
- Live Preview highlight customization by Worie : Live Preview highlight customization (colors of highlight can be customized via user preferences). This shows highlight with clear segregation of different box model layers.

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

An excellent source code editor, easy to use but with many time-saving features.