Sublime Text is available as a download and runs on Windows, Mac, and
Linux. 1 You can try the free evaluation (there's no time limit, but it will nag
you every so often) or cough up some bucks and purchase it. If you have a
different editor that you read about or prefer, that's fine—you can use that.
On Windows, for example, you might want to look at the free editor
Notepad++. 2 The choice of an editor is very much a personal one. There is no
“right” answer, size, shape, or color. But you do need an editor that has the
One great advantage of an editor built for programmers is a feature called
syntax highlighting . The editor knows about different parts of the Java lan-
guage and will make language elements like functions, variables, strings, and
keywords show up in different colors and fonts (as in the example in the fig-
ure). That kind of visual support can be really helpful when you're first
learning what all those different things mean. We'll get to exploring all of that
in a chapter or two, but first, choose your soon-to-be-favorite editor and install
it. (You might also look into using IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse. These are full
development environments that include an editor and build support, but they
can be complicated and hard to manage for beginners.)
So fire up Sublime Text (or some other suitable code editor) and give it a whirl.
If you've used anything similar to Word, this will seem at least a little familiar:
there's a menu bar at the top, and under the File menu you'll see useful
choices like New , Open , and Save .
Go ahead and type in some text. Maybe write a two-line short horror story or
something (“the reflection in the mirror blinked”). Click and drag to select
text, and press Delete to remove it. For now it's just a plain old text editor, so
we don't need to try anything too fancy.