Text editors

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A text editor is nothing but a computer application that let you change, enter, store and print text-only data. Text editors are part of operating system and software development environment. Typical use case includes

  • Editing configuration files
  • Writing/editing programming source code
  • Creating/editing documentation

In Linux or Unix-like system, the two most popular text editors are vi (or Vim) and Emacs.

Typical features of a text editors

  • Find and replace
  • Cut, copy, and paste
  • Text formatting
  • Auto-indentation
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Undo and redo
  • Ability to edit or open multiple files
  • Plugins to extend functionality of a text editor

A list of text editors on a Linux or Unix-like system

  • vi - The default for Unix systems and must be included in all POSIX compliant systems.
  • nvi - The standard vi in BSD distributions.
  • Vim - vi clone with many new added feaures including a graphical user interface.
  • Emacs/GNU Emacs/Xemacs - Emacs programmer's editor.
  • Pico - A simple and easy-to-use text editor for new users.
  • Nano - A clone of Pico GPL licensed. It is also easy-to-use text editor for new users.
  • Micro - A modern and intuitive terminal-based text editor.
  • Joe - WordStar style like user interface. Easy to use.
  • ee - Easy editor is a part of FreeBSD base system.
  • ed - Line-oriented text editor. It is the default line editor on Unix since the birth of Unix operating system.