Sublime Text 4

After having used Visual Studio Code almost exclusively for a significant part of my work for about the last two years, I have taken the new release of Sublime Text 4 as an opportunity to kick the tires of the fourth iteration of my long-time trusted workhorse1.

I have never used Visual Studio Code as an IDE2, my main use case has always been to use it as a powerful text editor. And powerful it is. But so is Sublime Text, albeit in a different way.

After using Sublime Text again for some amount of time in my daily work, I’d still prefer Visual Studio Code for all tasks that benefit from having a live preview directly in the editor3, such as writing texts in Markdown or creating [Plant UML diagrams].

On the other hand, Sublime Text‘s extensibility features have always been way more accessible to me than the pendant in Visual Studio Code. And boy, have I missed that.

For example, in comparison to Visual Studio Code, both the creation and the expansion of snippets creates (from my personal point of view) way less friction and is more reliable in Sublime Text . Also, the ability to define a syntax definition has even been improved in the new version of Sublime Text, and I am very pleased with the new capabilities.

I also rediscovered the very flexible build system available in Sublime Text and its ability for automating various tasks in my daily work.

Being a long-time user of Sublime Text already, I should not be as impressed by the new version as I actually am. I enjoy working with Sublime Text more than ever, and I am consequently migrating some of the tasks where Sublime Text boosts my productivity to a higher level than Visual Studio Code has been able to, and keep Code for the stuff where it really shines.

In summary, I would have a hard time to chose between Sublime Text and VisuaI Studio Code if someone were forcing me to. But I don’t see what’s wrong with having two powerful text editors and let each do what it does best.


  1. I started using Sublime Text in the early days of its second iteration. 
  2. That’s the job of the “real” Visual Studio
  3. Visual Studio Code, being based on Electron and therefore practically a web browser, is naturally very good at previewing stuff.