Friday, February 14, 2014

The top 5 best text editors for Linux

Good and excellent text editors have a long tradition in the Linux/*nix world. These text editors, which initially may appear simple and trivial, are paramount for programmers around the world and are still very actively developed. This article lists 5 of the best text editors available today.

best editor top word office programmingThere certainly is no lack of text editors under various forms of licenses. Most people may think of Microsoft Word in the Office suite or Apple's Pages as text editors, they are actually better referred to as word processors than text editors. Instead, text editors are usually composed of a simplistic layout, with little to no typesetting features. However, they greatly excel over the word processors when it comes to software development for programmers and in addition usually support a large number of programming languages and script languages. This article summarizes 5 of the most useful text editors for a Linux/*nix environment.


1. Gedit - Excellent and user friendly text editor

best word office text editor linux
Gedit is the official text editor in the Gnome desktop environment and was initially released in the early 1999. Since then Gedit has focused on user friendliness and simplicity and for me has definitely the most used text editor for my day-to-day duties.

Gedit supports a large number of markup languages. In addition, there are a large number of plugins available for Gedit that make it possible to do just about anything provided a well used programming or script language. For example, plugins are readily available for the typesetting package, LaTeX that make it easy to convert code directly into PDF while also ensuring that BibTeX is properly executed.

2. GNU Nano - Good command line text editor for most tasks

top text office word editor microsoft nix
The Gnu Nano text editor was initially created as a free clone to Pico and was first released under the name Tip in 1999. The name was later changed to Nano in 2000.

Gnu Nano is a command line interface text editor that is among one of the easiest to get started with for new users, much owing to its intuitive command/help bar at the bottom. In addition, it has become widely popular and is now found by default in most Linux and *nix environments, including the BSD environments such as Mac OS X. Despite its ease of use, Gnu Nano is very capable for programmers and supports language markups for multiple languages. In addition, regular expressions (regexp) are supported for find and replace functions.

3. Kate - One of the top text editors for KDE users

best top text word office software linux windows
The name Kate stands for KDE Advanced Text Editor, and not surprisingly Kate is designed for KDE users and part of the KDE Software Compilation since 2001.

Kate is a text editor designed with programmers in mind and is used in, for example, the Kdevelop software development suite. Kate naturally supports a large number of programming languages, but it is also designed with project development in mind, meaning that it, out of the box, is highly capable for larger development works. Perhaps not the most user friendly text editor out there, but definitely a very capable one.

4. GNU Emacs - The King of CLI text editors

best top editor office word text windows linux
Emacs has been around since 1979 and the time is derived from Editor MACros. The text editor has, from the very beginning, had professional use in mind.

Despite that most of its life it has been primarily a command line tool, it is extremely powerful and has a large number of followers. The graphical shell was not added until much later. Yet, today, most Emacs users still use the tool as a command line text editor due to its powerful keyboard commands. Emacs is commonly considered to be somewhat difficult to learn although it is very efficient in code development for the more experienced users.

5. Vim - Blazing fast text editor with steep learning curve

best fast text word editor office ubuntu
Vim is yet another text editor that has a long history and was first released in 1991.

Today Vim is considered to be one of the fastest text editor available. Its low footprint allows it to be run on virtually any system with excellent performance. However, Vim being command line tool, is also considered to be one of the editors with the steepest learning curves. As expected, Vim supports a large number of languages (~200) and is has a huge (justified) fanbase.

No comments:

Post a Comment