Text editors

In college, I knew some people with strong opinions about text editors.

Erika: gvim is one of the two true text editors.
Gabe: The other being vim?

Professor O'Neill defines mode error for the User Interface Design class and gives some examples.
Student: So when I'm using vim, and I forget to press 'i' before typing text, that's a mode error?
O'Neill: Yes. Using vim is a mode error.

I use Win32Pad for most editing. It's faster than Notepad, supports most of the keyboard shortcuts I'm used to (Ctrl+Left, Ctrl+Shift+Right, clipboard operations, etc.), and includes a few of the features I think every text editor should have, such as block indent, auto-indent, and clickable URLs. It's missing a few features I'd like, such as preventing me from opening two instances with the same file. It also doesn't support Unicode well, so I have to use Notepad for web pages that contain both Polish and French text.

10 Responses to “Text editors”

  1. Neil T. Says:

    Metapad – http://www.liquidninja.com/metapad/ – supports Unicode and most of the features Win32Pad seems to offer – you might want to check it out.

  2. Pat Cavit Says:

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Crimson Editor – http://crimsoneditor.com

    It’s free, lightweight, has tabbed editing and appears to cover everything else you could need. Don’t let the silly icon deceive you, it’s a fantastic program.

  3. minghong Says:

    Same as Pat. Huge fan of Crimson Editor. The only problem is that unicode support is not perfect. e.g. cannot auto-detect character coding :-P

  4. Anders Says:

    I prefer Notepad2. It can be found at http://www.flos-freeware.ch/notepad2.html

  5. HaST Says:

    SciTE Text Editor.

    – Open Source
    – Very very light and fast
    – Unicode support
    – Multiple syntaxis (html, php, java, c#, sql, xml, etc etc etc)
    – Multiplattaform, Multilanguage
    – Etc…

    Website: http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html
    Screenshot: http://scintilla.sourceforge.net/SciTEImage.html

  6. DNapalm Says:

    PSPad is nice if you don’t want to pay for TextPad.


  7. archonon Says:

    EditpadLite best what I have found. Tabs, similar search as Firefox (Editpad had it first;) and it’s *Fast*.

  8. archonon Says:


  9. amix Says:

    The problem, for me, who did use another platform than Windows/Linux/Mac till 2000, with texteditors is, that they are unflexible in the user interface design. The editor I used (GoldED/AmigaOS) was fully customizable by the user, including each single menu-entry, mouse-functions, toolbars and keyboard. It was not as difficult as is with emacs. Instead you opened up the prefs GUI, entered “Menus” and clicked each item. A dialog would popup, and you’d enter one or even a row of internal editor-commands, started executalbes or scripts.

    The editors internal commandset got exhibited to the OS wide scripting environment, which was a REXX (IBM) derivate. At no place you needed to know more than (A)Rexx to program any application on the OS. With Linux you need to know elisp (for emacs) Python or Perl (for The Gimp and others), some apps desire GUILE, others Javascript and so on. Windows has WSH, but that is not really deployed. On AmigaOS 90% of applications came with an ARexx-Host (scripting-host) which meant, you could contact the application and program it remotely. This way I added the news/email system I used to the filemanager, using mailfolders as directory folders, keeping full transparency.
    I could query my emails from the IRC program, write or read them with the IRC program (why always start the Email app?) or do a search from within your text-editor for a MsgID in your news/email database and insert it right at the position of the cursor.

    GoldED had full syntax-highlighting, full project-management, got a seemless integration with the gcc (and Amiga specific C compilers) environment, it had functionality to read the developers-documentations out of your source, function-completion and much more. If the user wanted to add a language the author of GoldED did not, all the user needed to do was to run an awk script on a function reference and insert this stripped down textfile into some dialog in the editor.

    Yes, I am frustrated. Windows has taught most programmers bad style. Bad application style. Most apps are horrible, some very few apps are good.

    I mean, if not Windows has taught the world how applications have to look like, then why do the Linux Desktops (Gnome & KDE) resemble all the same user interface of Win9x ?

  10. Sam Says:

    Jesse, have you tried vim for win32? Your friend is right! Once you get good with a modal editor, everything else will drive you crazy! :)