The 7 Best IDEs and Text Editors for C# Developers

Software developers use integrated development environments (IDEs) and text editors every day. Having a good text editor or IDE and knowing how to use it efficiently is essential for productivity.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best text editors and IDEs you can use for your C# or dotnet (.NET) development. We have something for everyone, whether you use macOS, Windows or Linux.

What is C#?

C# (“C Sharp”) is a modern, open-source, cross-platform programming language developed by Microsoft. It is part of the .NET family of programming languages.

The C# language is robust and widely used in the corporate world. Its syntax is similar to Java and is object-oriented. You can run and develop C# code on your macOS, Windows, or Linux PC.

The C# language is also very versatile. You can use it to develop a wide range of applications including desktop apps, microservices, Azure functions, mobile apps, and web APIs. With WebAssembly (WASM), you can even run C# code in your browser, just like JavaScript.

1st driver

Rider is a relatively new IDE, launched in 2017. The JetBrains company develops them along with many other top-notch software development tools. These include IntelliJ IDE and PhpStorm ReSharper.


Rider is one of the best C# IDEs you can get your hands on. It’s a powerful and lightweight IDE that offers many code refactoring and productivity improvements. You can try Rider for free for 30 days, after which you have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription.

More advanced Rider subscriptions include development tools like dotTrace, dotMemory, and ReSharper. The basic subscription costs $150 per year at the time of writing this article.

The IDE is available for macOS, Windows and Linux and offers the possibility to easily port code to the three operating systems.

Download: Rider (30 days free trial)

2. Visual Studio Code (VS Code)

Visual Studio Code, or VS Code as it’s popularly known, is an open-source and modern text editor from Microsoft. It is lightweight and consumes minimal resources on your PC.

One of the unique features of VS Code is its ability to support multiple programming languages. There is support for Typescript and PHP, which is a plus for full-stack developers. VS Code is also highly configurable and extensible through its extension’s marketplace. The core extension for C# development is OmniSharp’s C# for Visual Studio Code.

VS Code is available on all major platforms: Linux, macOS and Windows. It is also natively supported on M1 silicon chips. You can even install and run VS Code on other arm-based systems like the Raspberry Pi.

Download: Visual Studio Code (Free)

3. Solar eclipse

Eclipse is another solid and powerful IDE that is widely used by Java developers but also supports other languages ​​like C and C++.

You can easily extend its functionality via plugins available on the Eclipse marketplace. It also includes code analysis and debugging tools. For a premium C# development experience on Eclipse, consider installing the aCute plugin.

Eclipse is open source and available for macOS, Windows and Linux.

Download: Solar Eclipse (Free)

4. Mono development

MonoDevelop is another solid IDE. It supports not only C# but also other languages ​​of dotnet family like F# and Visual Basic.

The IDE has a variety of features that make it easy for developers to set up advanced projects or solutions.

With MonoDevelop you can easily port C# projects that you have created with Visual Studio to other operating systems. In fact, Visual Studio for Mac is based on MonoDevelop.

MonoDevelop is open source and available on all major operating systems.

Download: MonoDevelop (Free)

5. Atom

Atom is a powerful and lightweight text editor powered by GitHub and its community. Besides the C# language, Atom supports several other languages ​​such as JavaScript and HTML.

The editor is highly extensible via extensions, Atom is also easy to customize and configure to your liking. If you’re familiar with keyboard shortcuts from other text editors like VS Code or Vim, you can easily transfer them to Atom.

The editor has a rich and built-in tool for working with Git or GitHub. You can run PowerShell or Bash commands in Notepad from the terminal window.

Atom is open source and available for free for macOS, Windows and Linux.

Download: Atom (Free)

6. Vim

Vim is a terminal editor that has been around for several decades. You can use it for many tasks, from configuring system files to writing scripts to programming entire applications.

The Vim editor is robust, lightweight and highly customizable. Vim also comes with a built-in tutorial to help you master its use for your daily workflow.

If you’re an avid Vim user, just install a few tools like OmniSharp and you’re ready to start developing in C# with this powerful editor.

Vim is open source and available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Most Linux and Unix systems come with the Vim editor by default.

Download: Vim (Free)

7. Visual Studio

Last but not least is Visual Studio, a well-tested and trusted C# and .NET IDE that has stood the test of time; In 2022 it will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Visual Studio is a powerful IDE. It has a wide range of features such as built-in Git tools, code analysis and profiling, NuGet package management, and remote debugging. No wonder it’s one of the most used IDEs among C# developers.

You can use Visual Studio to develop a variety of applications, from console programs to desktop applications.

Visual Studio Community is free and available for macOS and Windows. For more advanced features and support services, you can purchase the Business or Enterprise editions.

Download: Visual Studio Community (Free)

Choice of your IDE or editor

This guide has looked at some of the best IDEs or text editors you can use for your C# development, whether you’re on a Mac, Windows, or Linux PC.

A text editor or IDE is one of the tools that you as a software developer will often use in your workflow. Choose one that best suits your needs and get to know it: use shortcuts, customize and configure it, etc. to achieve maximum productivity.

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