Q. Is there a good free tool to edit Azure JSON templates?
A. While you can use notepad a better option is to use VS Code which is free from Microsoft and also has an Azure Resource Manager extensions and JSON snippets to use when viewing and editing JSON.
- Download VS Code from https://code.visualstudio.com
- Once installed select the Extensions icon (square icon) and install then enable the Azure Resource Manager Tools extension
- Add the JSON snippets from https://github.com/Azure/azure-xplat-arm-tooling/blob/master/VSCode/armsnippets.json to VS Code via File - Preferences - User Snippets - JSON. Simply paste the content before the final }
This is walked through in more detail at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/resource-manager-vs-code/ but gives you a great JSON view and edit experience. If you want to create a JSON file from scratch it would be challenging in VS Code. Visual Studio with the Azure API has better wizards and processes for new template creation however in most cases it is better to start from one of the published JSON templates available from https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates and you can also export out the JSON for an existing Resource Group as documented at http://windowsitpro.com/azure/create-json-file-existing-resource-group-azure.