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Text Editor Speed Comparison

Recently, we conducted an experiment to determine and compare the speeds of some of the most popular text editors. Guess what? We found out that EmEditor Professional 8.02 is the fastest overall! In fact, EmEditor Professional 8.02 completed all tests in 30 seconds or less, every single time! For more details, please see our test results:

We tested for:

  • Time to Launch Program (no sidebars)
  • Time to Open a Medium File (141 MB)
  • Time to Open a Large File (809 MB)
  • Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive) *Replace “a” with “@@”.

We tested twelve of the most popular text editors. Please see the footnotes for more details regarding the test conditions.(*)

Results

Time to Launch Program (no sidebars)

The fastest text editor was EmEditor Professional 8.02 at 00:00.196th of a second.

Keyboard

Time to Open a Medium File (141MB)

Almost half of the text editors were able to open the test file in less than 25 seconds. EmEditor Professional 8.02 opened the test file in 00:16.02 seconds. The test file was 1.75 million lines, ASCII text file (141MB).

Mouse Tab

Time to Open a Large File (809MB)

Although all of the text editors could open the medium file (141MB), not all of them could open the large file (809MB). In fact, only 1/3 of the text editors were able to open the large file (809MB). The fastest text editor was EmEditor Professional 8.02 at 00:28.39 seconds. The test file was 10 million lines, ASCII text file (809MB).

Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive)

Two text editors were unable to complete this test and a third took more than one minute to complete the test; however, all of the remaining text editors completed this test in less than twelve seconds. EmEditor Professional 8.02 was one of the fastest text editors at 00:001.41 seconds. The test file was 200,000 lines, ASCII text file (16MB).

Conclusion

Some text editors are optimized for speed and size, and others are not. There are text editors which include optimization options and others that simply operate quickly, and still others that just crash. For these tests, here are the overall best text editors.

The following text editor completed all four tests in less than 1 minute each, every time.

  • EmEditor Professional 8.02

The following text editors (quickly) completed all four tests.

  • EmEditor Professional 8.02
  • U 14.20
  • T1 5.2.0

These text editors completed 3/4 of the tests in less than 1 minute; however, they failed to complete the Time to Open a Large File (809MB) test.

  • N2 5.7b
  • H 7.10

If you would like to view the raw data, please see Text Editor Speed Test Results (PDF).

* Notes
- We tested the text editors on a clean Windows Vista SP1 (512MB RAM) on a Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. The host machine was a Dell Dimension C521 Athlon 64 X2 4600 2.40 GHz (3GB RAM), Windows Vista.
- All compared and reported results are the average of 5 tests.
- For each program we recorded six times for each test. The first time was always discarded, since this time tended to be much higher than the other test times.
- Then we calculated the average of the remaining 5 times—this is the reported time.
- For the first test—Time to Launch Program (no sidebars)—the times are reported in MM:SS.000.
- For the remaining three tests—Time to Open a Medium File (141 MB), Time to Open a Large File (809 MB), and Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive)—the times are reported in MM:SS.00.
- Any text editor that returned a test time higher than 10 minutes was tagged as too slow or error, as appropriate. These text editors were given a 00:00.00 test time for the tests they failed, and display gray results on the graphs.
- In the Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive) test, besides the Match Case option, we used all default settings. All undo information was kept.
- In the Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive) test, for H 7.10, we used the option “Go Faster”. Without this option, the replace would be too slow to be measured.
- In the Time to Complete Replace (case sensitive) test, for U 14.20 we used the option “Use temporary files for editing (normal operation)”. If we used the option “Open file without temp file but prompt for each file (CAUTION: Edits are permanent, decreases load time for large files)” the replace would be too fast to be measured.
- For the Time to Launch Program (no sidebars) test, we conducted the test with no sidebars, to optimize launching speeds.
- The programs, Notepad 6.0 and WordPad 6.0, are Microsoft programs included with the Windows Vista install.
- For the text editors other than EmEditor and the Microsoft programs, their names have been abbreviated for anonymity.
- For those commercial programs not included with the Windows Vista install, we used the available trial versions of the products.
- The Japanese text editor, H 7.10, included an English version, so we used the English version.
- We ran the Japanese text editor, T2 0.93, on the Regional and Language Administrative Options Japanese option.
- We used Application Launch Speed Measuring Program (Japanese) to measure program launch time.

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