I recently started learning JavaScript and am looking for a good JavaScript Editor/IDE. I found dozens of them in a Google search but I would appreciate if users who have experience with using such an IDE could recommend one.

I want an IDE with syntax highlighting, possibly IntelliSense and debugging support for JavaScipt code. I'm a Windows 7 user and do just client-side JavaScript development.

Any suggestions??


4 Answers 4


My personal favourite is Aptana Studio. It's Eclipse with Plugins for web development preinstalled and will get you going without any problems. Aptana is very comfortable and has all the features you want.

However almost all common IDEs will have either builtin support for Javascript or offer plugins for the language. Netbeans and IntelliJ are good,too.

Since you said IntelliSense I guess you're using VisualStudio. You'll easily find support for Javascript in it and maybe it will be most convenient to stick with it.

  • 1
    @ downvoter care to comment ?
    – lhk
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 11:21
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    Maybe because Aptana is a mediocre tool
    – Raynos
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 11:26
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    that's why I said its my PERSONAL favourite and pointed to other possibilities. Questions like "what is the best" will always get opinions as answers
    – lhk
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 11:34
  • you should totally try WebStorm instead ;) (btw I didn't downvote, it's fine to have personal favourites)
    – Raynos
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 11:39
  • @lhk I've been hearing good news about both Aptana and WebStrom. Guess I'll have to see for myself. Thank you :)
    – Isuru
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 13:10

WebStorm fits your requirements like no other. I'm an old timer IntelliJ user and believe me, those folks know how to make an IDE.

And they are offering a special pricing before February 1.

  • I like webstorm, but my only complain is I cannot have multiple project in same window, Which is bit odd for an IDE
    – Farm
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 3:43

There are no good JavaScript IDEs. There are only Type 3 IDEs for JavaScript. The "best" IDE currently would be WebStorm 3.0.

Use a text editor of your choice instead. Good choices include:

vim and sublime text support syntax highlighting and allow you to run command line or build scripts through the editor.

As for debugging JavaScript, for client-side, use the browser to debug it. For node, use node-inspector (the browser) to debug it.

As for intellisense, you don't need it and it will be wrong 10% of the time. Personally the fact that it gets it wrong 10% of the time is enough of a productivity hit to just not use it all. Again, WebStorm 3 is the only IDE that gets it 90% right here. VS2011 might also make for a good contender but I have not tried it personally. VS2010 is horrible for JavaScript.

  • Any reason for a downvote?
    – Raynos
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 11:38
  • I think I'm gonna try Aptana and WebStorm as many have suggested. Thank you. I didn't downvote your answer btw.
    – Isuru
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 13:12
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    The central tenant of that article seems to be that all IDEs are either perfect (Type 1) or counter-productive (Type 3). I don't agree with this. For those who haven't read the article, a Type 2 IDE is a text editor, i.e. no IDE at all.
    – Dónal
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 15:00
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    I don't really agree with that article either. Eclipse is perfectly fine for PHP; the visual debugger works great (you have to know how to set it up, though, and install the zend debugger). It's not that great for javascript for reasons others mentioned, but it still brings much more to the table than a simple text editor, and there's no reason its javascript support necessarily has to suck. If it had some way of "extern"ing things it would be fine. I need to try netbeans for js and see if it does a better job...
    – Hey
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 21:18
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    the 'Type 3' link appears to be misdirected, landing on a short Wikimedia email about how page title search works. Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 6:20

My project was an Atlassian JIRA plugin: Java, SQL, some Velocity templates in the back-end and few dashboard gadgets (JavaScript/HTML/CSS) in the frond-end. Atlassian also have their own frameworks for the plugins, so it is helpful if an IDE has support for nonstandard external libraries.

I've had quite unpleasant experience with Eclipse's JavaScript support, it has numerous glitches with completion and automatic code formatting, especially with complex code (modular sources, few frameworks used, etc.). Refactoring is not always works as intended (or at all) and almost useless. I've not tried Aptana Studio though.

NetBeans is somewhat better in this regard but its support for complex mixed source projects (like Java/JavaScript/web/templates etc.) is lacking (maybe I've not tried hard enough).

Finally I've ended up using IntelliJ IDEA. It is commercial (there is 30 day trial) but unbeatable feature-wise. Code analysis, semantic coloring, refactoring which works across various source files (like js, css, html). Just try it and you would never look back.

P.S. I'm not affiliated with JetBrains in any way, it's just my personal view.

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