Tag Archives: text editor


Brackets – Code editor for web developers!

brackets-logoBrackets is a free and open source, cross-platform code editor from Adobe. It’s specifically designed for web developers. It’s written in HTML/CSS/Javascript.

There are lots of cool features such as live preview for HTML, quick edit, built-in support for css preprocessors etc And it’s dedicated for web development so if you write a lot of HTML5/CSS3/Javascript then you may feel more productive with Brackets. The UI looks clean and minimal.


Getting started with Brackets

If you want to try Brackets – debian package is available for Ubuntu. It’s under active development, so there may be some new features/changes coming into the next release, you should checkout their project page on Github.

Also checkout this video :

Live Preview : Retext

Markdown editor for Ubuntu 12.04/12.10

Markdown is a lightweight markup language. Using markdown, you can write content in a simple and easy to read plain text, and finally, it will generate the equivalent html(valid XHTML or html) for publishing on web. So, it’s certainly more human friendly for web writers, specifically if you are looking for a simple and efficient replacement for WYSIWYG editor.

ReText : markdown editor
Editing Markdown with ReText

Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 comes with a plain text editor called – gedit. gedit is good text editor, you can also use it as a markdown editor (it will highlight the syntax well) but the problem is that – you can not preview your document. You can’t export your markdown text to html or pdf or any format. You will have to manually export it using the command line utility and if anything goes wrong, then again – edit -> save -> export. That’s not very efficient.

So a dedicated a Markdown editor is obviously, a better choice. There are many markdown editors available for Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 such as ReText, Uberwriter etc but ReText is the best one!

ReText – Markdown Editor for Ubuntu/Linux

ReText is a text editor for markdown and reStructuredText. It’s a simple and easy to use editor but it has lot of cool features. It’s written in Python, so you can run it everywhere, not just in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (check recommended links section for official page where you can download it for other platforms).

Live Preview : Retext
Live Preview(Ctrl+L) in ReText

Few basic features of ReText :

  • Export to various formats such as HTML, PDF, ODT
  • Preview (normal and live modes)
  • spell checker
  • Shortcuts for quick editing (Ctrl+b for bold, Ctrl+i for italics and Ctrl+u for underline)

Installing ReText in Ubuntu / Linux Mint / similar_distributions

Open a terminal and execute the commands –

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mitya57
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install retext

Recommended Links

gedit with gmate plugin

What’s Your favorite text editor in Ubuntu / Linux Mint ? [Poll]

There are lot of text editors available for Ubuntu / Linux Mint. gedit is the default text editor for GNOME based distributions, it’s very easy to use, you can start using it (effectively) – in minutes. Kate is a similar text editor for KDE distro.

Emacs and Vim are full featured and very powerful text editors but the learning curve is very steep (although free online tutorials are available to help you if you stuck). If you hate using mouse while programming/writing/.. then Emacs (or Vim) is a great choice for you, in a along run, with more productivity and fun. Both Emacs and Vim can be used as a GUI app or a terminal app. Nano is a lightweight – command line editor.

Sublime Text is a proprietary text editor, with a lot of cool features. It looks very similar to TextMate (one of the most popular text editor on Mac OS X).


How to get TextMate type Auto-Completion in Gedit

Gedit is the default text editor in Gnome based GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc.

It looks simple and it’s easy to use but it is also very powerful. It’s not just for simple text files – you can use it as a programming editor. There are lot of cool plugins available for gedit, which makes it a very powerful text editor.

Few Useful Plugins for Gedit

You can install few most useful plugins (File Browser, Code snippets etc) using the command (in Ubuntu 12.04 or Linux Mint 13 or any Debian based distribution, while in RPM based distro, such as Fedora – use yum instead of apt-get) –

sudo apt-get install gedit-plugins

TextMate Like Auto completion in Gedit

In TextMate the auto completion feature allow you to auto-complete the variable names just by hitting Esc (the trigger key). It’s very handy for programmers e.g if you’re coding CSS then you can avoid typing the id and class names again and again (if already defined in corresponding HTML file) – and it also saves you from unnecessary typing errors. To get this kind of feature in gedit, you need to install a plugin – TextMate Style Auto Completion Plugin.


Installing The TextMate Style Auto completion plugin in gedit

  • Download The Plugin
  • Extract it and run the install.sh
  • Restart/Open gedit and enable the plugin from preferences window

NOTE : If you are a Rails Developer then you might want to checkout the article – Gedit Plugins for Ruby On Rails.

gedit with gmate plugin

Most Powerful text editors for Ubuntu (12.04 LTS)

Ubuntu is the most popular GNU/Linux distribution among the desktop users – including the common users as well as developers. If you’re a programmer who prefer light weight and efficient text editor over the bloated and heavy IDEs then you may want to try some of these text editors (if you haven’t really tried). Text editors are great!, specially if you’re programming in a cool language like Ruby or Python.

So, if you’re new to Ubuntu and looking for some great text editors that will boost your long-term productivity and happiness, then you should certainly checkout Emacs or Vim.

Free and Open Source Text Editors for Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux distributions

#1. Emacs

Emacs is the most sophisticated text editor on this planet – it’s powerful and extensible enough to work with any language or environment. Core program was written by Richard Stallman, in Lisp programming language. Since – it’s a free and open source software – you are free to use it as you want. Emacs is a real time text editor, although the learning curve is very steep in beginning but it’s worth learning due to the long term productivity gain. Programmers and Authors often prefer command line interface for distraction free environment and Emacs is really good for that.

Key Features 

  • very extensible
  • very powerful
  • highly productive (as it maximizes the use of keyboard)
  • light weight, fast and efficient

#2. Vim

Vim is another great – text editor which is very powerful and extensible (by means of plugins/scripts – you can easily find on github). A lot of derived distributions of Vim is available for different domains. Vim is the most favorite text editor among Ruby on Rails developers and authors who prefer terminal or GUI, Although GUI version of Vim i.e gVim is also available. Vim also maximize the use of keystrokes and keyboard shortcuts – so it’s really fast and productive as compare to IDEs or other text editors, but certainly the learning curve is steep.

If you are new to Vim, then you can learn some basics of editing by running the vimtutor program (installed along with the vim programs). Open the terminal and type –


key features

  • highly productive
  • light weight, fast and efficient
  • cool plugins to extend its features
  • wide community to help you

#3. gedit

gedit the default text editor for Gnome based GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and so on. gedit is well known for its simplicity – although windows users can think it like the notepad for Linux but infact it’s far more powerful than the Damn notepad.

gedit with gmate plugin

Key features

  • simplicity
  • easy to learn (anyone can start using it in seconds)
  • supports a lot of file types
  • syntax highlighting for a number of programming language
  • cool plugins to add extra features

gedit is very popular among beginner ubuntu users because it’s very easy to get started. gedit is suitable for simple text files as well as for writing programs. it has a lot of cool features which makes it a great text editor.

#4. kate

Kate is a gedit like text editor for KDE desktop. it has almost similar features like gedit. Kate is very popular among KDE users. A wide active community is there to help you in learning new things and increasing productivity in long term.

#5. nano

nano is a simplae, lightweight and easy to use – command line text editor. It’s installed by default in most of the GNU/Linux distributions. nano emphasizes on simplicity and ease of use. So if you want a text editor on shell (local or remote) then nano may be a great choice for you (specially if you don’t know Vim or Emacs).