Is there text editor with c# syntax highlight which starts VERY FAST? I just want look source code some files in project and i donnt want wait 30 seconds while VS starts.

  • 2
    ed, the official Unix editor, starts up fast. Commented May 22, 2011 at 17:34
  • @mathepic, but doesn't have C# syntax highlighting.
    – user1249
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 4:57
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    nothing that can be solved by throwing more hardware at the problem. I have loads of extensions installed and my VS starts in under 10s, with solution loaded. GET A SSD! Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 6:12
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    @Johannes 10 seconds? You consider that fast? Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 12:32
  • @mathepic: Sure enough, I do also use Notepad++ for quick things ^^ But for code browsing there's nothing that beats VS + CodeRush for me. Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 14:49

4 Answers 4


I'd suggest Notepad++.

  • easy to use (integration into Explorer context menu)
  • highly flexible, lots of addons available
  • open source (free as in both "free speech" and "free beer")

Vim starts faster than just about anything (anything sophisticated enough to have syntax highlighting anyway) and ships with C# syntax highlighting. As you're probably already aware though, the learning curve is steep. www.vim.org

  • There's a nice quick reference card in various formats here: tnerual.eriogerg.free.fr/vim.html Commented May 22, 2011 at 14:02
  • Also when getting started, be sure to run the vimtutor command.
    – Michael
    Commented May 22, 2011 at 15:05
  • +1 Nothing better then Vim Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 5:14
  • If you're a Windows user and new to vim, you might want to try the Cream config for vim. Also, as you get to use vim more, you may want to add some integration with Visual Studio.
    – idbrii
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 19:55
  • I'm a vim user, but seldom use vim for "quick looking" because vim is slow. Look at lpe and you get a feeling for speed. To start an empty file and then close vim again takes 0,4 s for me, with lpe it takes 0,1 s. It's not uncommon for vim to be above 0,5s in startup time, and everything above 0,5 s is slow. You really should have that high expectations.
    – iveqy
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 12:57

Related: I think the trick is to do your development using two editors. When you have VS with Resharper or other analysis add-ons it becomes very slow, but also very useful. So when you go to crank out code the VS environment is more like quicksand than anything else.

So, the plan is, get yourself a generic editor, generic but extensible. Learn that extensibility and enhance that editor over the years, for it will be your 'home base' editor. I use SlickEdit.

Once you have your generic editor, you should be able to program them to do a line, col, file jump from one to the other. The jump into VS is not easy though, you will have to make an exe that uses COM to control the running instance of the IDE.

if you google "VSGoto slickedit" you will find a version of that exe, but it tends to fail intermittently.


Try Editplus editor.. it is very very fast

you can download it from

For free open source editor, you can try Notepad++

you can download it from http://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/

  • 4
    It's not free, if that is relevant. Commented May 21, 2011 at 12:23