Atom and VS Code are both source code editors. Source code editors are built for writing and editing code.

They help in the improvement of the developer’s capacity since they provide different components and plugins.

They offer different features such as compiling, debugging, code snippets, preview options, and syntax highlighting.

This article will compare the two code editors Atom vs VS Code so that beginner programmer will have an easy time choosing a code editor that suits their requirements.


Atom vs VS Code

Atom is an open-source and free text editor Built by GitHub. It works in operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS, and windows.

Atom allows customizations of every aspect to reduce the time you take when editing code.

It utilizes the Electron framework, and it allows the development of cross platforms applications. Atom has the following features:

  • Cross-platform – it works on Linux, Windows, OS X, and Mac OS.
  • Autocompletion – Atom automatically completes expressions and functions, therefore, helping developers save time writing manually.
  • Multiple Planes – When using Atom, you can split your working space into various panes for comparison and code cross editing.
  • The file system browser – Atom has Fuzzy and the file tree finder, making it easy to open files and projects.
  • Syntax highlighting – Atom visually parses many codes for highlighting specific items or item varieties to represent them with non-identical font, background, or color.
  • Find and Replace – this allows it to get particular strings of code and then replace them with new commands. You don’t need to scroll down through your code hence saving time.
  • Code folding -Atom hides some lines or sections of code in the editor without losing any code.
  • Collaborative editing – Different developers/ programmers can act on a particular file simultaneously when on different pcs.
  • Multiple Language support – Atom supports languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.
  • Different selection methods – support several text selection methods such as Column selection, no-linear selection, and block selection.
  • Many Plugins and integrations – give room for extra functionalities and features inform of pre-existing plugins and integrations.

VS Code

Atom vs VS Code
Vs Code

Visual studio code is a powerful, open-source, fast, and lightweight editor Built by Microsoft. VS Code uses Electron, which makes it Cross-platform, and it can support platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

It has inbuilt support for TypeScript and JavaScript, and web technology like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

It can support other dialects such as Php, Python, C#, and Java. Vs Code has many extensions that allow debuggers, commands, themes, and more languages. Features of vs. code

  • IntelliSense, Context Menus – it provides smart automatic completion of expressions and functions.
  • Live share – a plug that allows you to share your VS code instance, run debuggers, and remote control it.
  • Zen Mode/ Split Views – allows a developer to work with multiple editors by just pressing OPT, then clicking on a file, select open to the side.
  • Integrated Terminal – VS code has an integrated terminal that is open somewhere in your PC or either to the side when you are running code.
  • Themes and Plugins – Vs Code has many plugins such as Linters, language support, Git, Docker, framework, and settings plugins.
  • It has a Command Line Interface.
  • Git Integration – VS Code integrated with Git that lets you pull, push, commit, and add. Git has other related features, such as a helpful context menu.
  • Debugging – it comes with debugging tools. It has plugins that support debugging depending on the language you will are utilizing.

Similarities between Atom and vs. VS Code

VS Code and Atom editors have a common DNA since they use the Electron framework to build desktop applications with web tech like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

Customization and Extensibility

Both editors are designed in such a way that they can be extended and customized using third-party additional packages.

They have organized and large indexes of themes and extensions. They also allow install, search, and management of add-ons in the program.

Integration and Plugins

Atom was constructed to be user-configurable and highly hackable. Most of its main functions are presented as plugins.

Out of the box plugins such as editing function, such as tabs ad white spaces, and Github/Git integration.

Similarly, in VS Code, native capabilities can be eclipsed and extended with plugins.


VS Code and Atom editors are all open sources. Their libraries are constantly growing. And are extensive.

Differences between Atom and Vs Code – Performance

Electron applications take a long time to boot and slow performance, but VS Code does not.

A couple of factors determines the contrast between VS Code and Atom. VS Code has a controlled, tight core set of functions that have plugins to increase surface-level features.

On the other side, Atom utilized a plugin-oriented approach for almost everything.

This has its drawback making Atom slower out of the box, and it gets worse after adding particular plugins. VS Code is better in performance as compared to Atom.


Extensibility shows the largest contrast between the two editors. VS Code plugins cast up features, i.e., you can build Vs Code themes, construct tools to use when coding in Go or Rust, and support the latest languages.

On the other side, Atom gives plugins more capability. Most editor’s functions originate from in-built plugins, the correct plugins can come up with a new application. This is the reason why Atom is referred to as a more hackable application.


Atom and VS Code are all popular and enjoy large user bases and communities. VS Code is more popular than Atom. Atom also gets support from developers and a dedicated community.


Both editors are free, but the difference is that VS Code download is controlled by proprietary license while the atom is controlled by MIT license.


Atom and VS Code editors are good editors. Each has its merit and demerit. The editor that satisfies one developer may not satisfy the other developer. One programmer may like how VS Code works, while the other prefers Atom editor features. This means you can choose any of the above editors because most of their features and capabilities are similar.