5 Best CSS Editors for Windows and Mac

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language that lets you create visually stunning, well-laid-out websites. Web browsers render Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as a barebones, black-and-white document. However, using CSS, HTML websites can be modified significantly. 

By changing and determining shapes, sizes, position and layout of website elements, choosing the best visual CSS editor allows you to enhance and properly define the presentation and appearance of your website. Through the use of CSS colors, specific codes can be used to create any shade and hue of color to give a website a distinctive look and personality.

1996 CSS was first released and continued to evolve into CSS3 by 1999. The language continues to grow and new features are still added to this day, but there will never be a CSS4, only updates to CCS3. 

CSS works by using a selector that is matched with an element in the HTML document. Braces ({}) follow your selector to create a declaration block that contains properties that will change the appearance of the specified element. This is referred to as a CSS rule. 

It is important to note that style sheets cascade, hence CSS’s name. A stylesheet might contain many rules that apply to the same specific element. This creates a hierarchy and rules that are more specific will overwrite the rules of their “parents”. This means the order of your CSS rules matters. You must ensure the previous rule does not affect, contradict or interfere with the next one. The CSS grid layout helps make this manageable.

The 5 best cross-platform CSS editors

The browser considers all this when determining which rules and commands to apply to which elements. Given how vital CSS is to creating a website and its intricacies, you need to make sure you are using the best CSS for Mac OS or Windows and an editor you can trust. These are some of the best CSS editors available.


Atom is an open-source code editing program that has become quite popular in recent years. Created by GitHub, Atom is a user-friendly editor with a wide variety of customization options and tools. Supporting CSS, HTML and other programming languages, Atom allows you to manage your projects and work on your website easily.

The program is free to download and compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux. It has a large and active community that continues to grow and support it. Atom has built-in Git integration and a host of plugins, themes, packages, features and functionalities to help you create the website of your dreams. Given how important CSS is for your website having a versatile and expansive tool is the best way to create a memorable website. 

Atom does have some performance issues, it is dependent on GitHub, which can cause some issues and its auto-update feature can lead to compatibility issues.


Brackets is an open-source code editor heavily catered toward front-end web development. Offering real-time CSS and HTML editing, an intuitive user interface, inline editing and live previews, this is a fantastic tool for effective results.

The live preview feature lets you see changes to your code and website in real time. This makes debugging, fine-tuning and updates easy to work on and perfect. Brackets work on multiple operating systems and platforms. Being an open-source CSS editor, Brackets is constantly growing as developers work on improving and customizing its features and abilities.

While Brackets is a fantastic tool for front-end development, it lacks some customization features offered by other tools, which is something to keep in mind. You might need Brackets and another tool to use both programs’ strengths.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is one of the most trusted code editors. This is a lightweight, user-friendly CSS editor that offers an extensive variety of tools and features, including support for CSS, HTML and many other programming languages. One of the many things that makes VS Code such a useful tool is its incredible collection of extensions that can be used to optimize your workflow and user experience.

This powerful code editor comes with full Git integration, cross-platform support, intuitive user interface and outclasses most other open-source CSS editors in speed and performance. However, there are a few minor detractors to take note of. VS Code automatically updates to the newest version, which can lead to some compatibility issues and errors for some plugins and extensions. Learning how to use the program can be challenging, especially for new developers. While its interface may be intuitive, it can still present a steep learning curve while familiarizing yourself with it.


Notepad++ is a CSS and code editing program written in C++. It utilizes Win32 API and STL to provide fast execution speeds and reduces the size of the programs created using it by reducing code bloating. Notepad++ assists application developers as well as website developers. It can edit source code in languages like Python, Rub, Verilog, etc.

Purge CSS

Purge CSS removes unused CSS code and prevents it from being bundled up in the final version of your website. Unused CSS code can lead to errors and bugs in your website, but with this tool removing unnecessary code is easier than ever.

Knowing the right shortcuts and terminology can only help you so much when trying to organize and sort out your CSS code. By analyzing your website’s content and CSS files, Purge CSS is able to match selectors all your used selectors with the ones found in your content files. It then removes any of your unused selectors from your CSS automatically. This essential program should be a part of your CSS toolbox.

WebFX is an expert in CSS and Website Development

WebFX can help you with any of your website development needs. We can help you launch a website that captures your essence, grabs the attention of your users and gives you a website that looks amazing and runs perfectly. We know the internet, we know marketing and we know how to deliver results that go above and beyond your expectations.

To learn more about what we can do for you and our services, feel free to contact us anytime and request a free quote. We have access to the best tools and know how to get the most out of them.

Make estimating web design costs easy

Website design costs can be tricky to nail down. Get an instant estimate for a custom web design with our free website design cost calculator!

Try Our Free Web Design Cost Calculator
Project Quote Calculator