This roundup has been updated. Please visit – 21 Excellent Open Source Linux Text Editors
A text editor is software used for editing plain text files. It has many different uses such as modifying system configuration files, writing programming language source code, jotting down thoughts, or even making a grocery list.
Whatever the level of sophistication of the editor, they typically have a common set of functionality, such as searching/replacing text, formatting text, undo/redo, importing files, as well as moving text within the file. However, many of the editors included in this article are feature-rich, and can be further extended using plugins and libraries.
In many users’ eyes, a text editor should be lean and mean, fast to start up and shut down, without fancy splash screens or a graphical user interface. The choice of editor has long stirred up strong emotions. For example, the debate about whether vi or emacs (or another) is the best editor started decades before Linux was even conceived.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 21 high quality Linux text editors. There’s a mix of graphical and console based applications included. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for all types of users.
Now, let’s explore the 21 editors at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Emacs||Extensible, customizable, self-documenting text editor|
|XEmacs||Highly customizable console / graphical editor and development system|
|Vim||Power of the editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set|
|Diakonos||More powerful than nano, with Windows key bindings|
|jed||Compact, fast and powerful|
|nano||Clone of Pico, the editor of the Pine email client|
|Cream||Modern configuration of Vim|
|gedit||Small and lightweight text editor for the GNOME environment|
|Kate||Multi document editor which is part of KDE|
|Scribes||Text editor for GNOME that focuses on streamlining your workflow|
|TEA||GTK-based with wide range of text-processing functions|
|Bluefish||Powerful editor for writing websites, scripts and programming code|
|KompoZer||Complete Web Authoring System|
|Quanta Plus||Web development tool for KDE|
|Screem||Site CReating and Editing EnvironMent|
|Geany||Small and lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE)|
|jEdit||A mature programmer's Java based editor|
|SciTe||SCIntilla based Text Editor|
|Kile||User-friendly LaTeX source editor and TeX shell and KDE|
|LyX||Advanced open source document processor|
|TeXmacs||WYSIWYW scientific word processor|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.