You can learn a lot by trying new things. Over the past 18 months I have been switching IDEs and editors every few months going between Atom, Visual Studio, Brackets, WebStorm, and Sublime … and then back again. This has given me an appreciation of the various tools, all of which have their pros. For most of that time I have been living in OSX and lately I’m loving Brackets.

Brackets is lightweight, browser-based, and has a great extension model. I feel very productive in it and can run fast and hard when I get a coding itch I need to scratch. I feel as fast in Sublime and Atom, but have been enjoying the plugins and feel of Brackets more so.

Recently I published a course on Gulp at Pluralsight and have presented many sessions at conferences using Brackets. One of the first questions I get is “What theme are you using?” soon followed by “What other extensions do you use for Brackets?” To save time, I figured I’d post about some of my favorite extensions for Brackets. (Learn more about all of the extensions by clicking on the title.)

I love Visual Studio as an IDE (on Windows) and WebStorm (on a Mac), but for super fast editing I vastly prefer a lightning quick editor. Then when I need more powerful features I jump back to an IDE such as Visual Studio or WebStorm.

Brackets Extensions

Select the extension icon in the right border of Brackets Extensions Icon

The Extensions window will open where you can search for available extensions or themes. You can also update or remove installed extensions. Extensions

Delkos Dark Theme

My favorite theme for Brackets. Install by choosing the Extensions icon in the right brackets border,the clicking the install from url link, and entering the github address

delkos theme javascript

delkos theme html

AngularJS Code Hints

Extend Brackets HTML code hints and collif’s Brackets-HTML5CodeHints with AngularJS elements like ng-include, ng-view and attributes such as ng-class, ng-controller, ng-app.


Brackets/Edge Code extension that parses CSS documents and add vendor prefixes automatically. This extension uses Autoprefixer which adds/removes vendor prefixes according to data from Can I Use.

Autosave on View Change

Autosaves the current document, if changed, when switching to another document or on window blur (when switching away from Brackets to something else).


Brackets Extension that formats open HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files using js-beautify. Cmd-Shift-L (Mac) / Ctrl-Shift-L (Win) key.

Brackets Bower

Install/Update/Remove a package from Bower, prune the bower folder, and configure bower using the .bowerrc file.

Click the bower icon in the Brackets right border. Bower Icon

Install or update packages. Bower2

Modify the .bowerrc file. Bower3

Brackets Css Color Preview

CSS color preview extension for Brackets. You can toggle this extension to enable it from the view menu.

css preview

Brackets File Tabs

Use tabs rather than the sidebar for working files. Enable by choosing Show tabs in the View menu.


Brackets Git

Provides Git integration for Brackets


Brackets Icons

Adds file icons from the Ionicons project to the Brackets file tree.


Brackets Snippets (by edc)

Add custom snippets to Brackets.

Click on the lightbulb icon in the right border. Snippets Icon

Then click import and choose a file to select a yaml file containing snippets. You can use my Angular snippets found here, to try it out.

Snippets Window

Code Folding

A code folding extension for Brackets based on CodeMirror’s folding addon. Peforms code folding based on brace ({}, []) matching and multiline comments for javascript, json, css, php and less files. Also has some support for html and xml files based on tag matching.

Code Folding

The following are the default keyboard shortcut keys for the code-folding extension.

  • Ctrl-Alt-C Collapse code region at current cursor position
  • Ctrl-Alt-X Expand code region at current cursor position
  • Alt-1 Collapse all code regions in current editor
  • Shift-Alt-1 Expand all code regions in current editor

Duplicate Files & Folders

Duplicate files and folders in the project view.

  • Duplicate - Right click on a file or folder in the project view and select "Duplicate" from the context menu.
  • Copy or Move - Right click on a file or folder and select "Mark" to mark the file/folder to be copied or moved. Then right click on a file or folder at your desired destination and then select "Move to Here" or "Copy to Here".


Adds support for EditorConfig. What’s that? EditorConfig allows you to use the same editor settings in multiple editors and IDEs via a config file.


Adds support for Emmet commands. Super helpful for HTML coding.

File Tree Exclude

Brackets extension for excluding folders from the file tree, find in files, and quick open. By default, this extension excludes all node_modules folders


Generates JS/PHPDoc annotations for functions.

  • Open a JS or PHP file
  • Set your cursor on a function declaration
  • Use the shortCut Ctrl-Alt-D (Win) or Ctrl-Shift-D (Mac) to start the documentation or /** + Enter


Indent Guides

Shows indent guides in the code editor. Enable by selecting View and Indent Guides.


JSCS and JSHint

Enable JSCS and JSHint linting.

If you have disabled the default Brackets JSLinting service, you will need to manually enable JSCS and JSHint in your Brackets preferences file.

  • Go to Debug and then Open Preferences File
  • Make sure your language.javascript.linting.prefer definition includes "JSCS" and "JSHint"
    "language": {
        "javascript": {
            "linting.prefer": [
            "linting.usePreferredOnly": true
I prefer to use JSHint and JSCS and disable the default of JSLint. Setting `linting.usePreferredOnly to true disables JSLint, which comes out of the box with Brackets.

These will look for your .jshintrc and .jscsrc files for the rules to use for linting. You can see the violated rules in a collapsible window at the bottom of the editor


Markdown Preview

Markdown editor and preview support.

When a markdown document (with extension “.md” or “.markdown”) is open, a markdown icon is shown in the toolbar at the top of the Brackets window. Click this icon to open the preview panel. MD Icon


Whitespace Normalizer

Alters whitespace on document save:

  • trims trailing whitespaces
  • transforms tabs to spaces
  • ensures newline at file end

Honorable Mentions

AngularJS for Brackets

QuickEdit directives, controllers and services? Put your cursor on a directive in HTML, then click CMD + E for quick edit in Brackets. This extension will try to locate the source code and open it in an in-line window so you can edit it.

This works in some places, but not others. Though I keep an eye on it as it is great when it works.

Paste and Indent

Automatically apply the correct indentation to pasted text.