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For my four year old son I need a text editor. He has an old laptop (with Ubuntu, no internet connection) and loves to type. We need the following:

  • easy changing of font colors; best if there are buttons to change the color of the text
  • autosave
  • variable font width

Is there anything like this around? Or do I have to write one myself?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I was tempted to say Vim, just out of habit... just kidding.

This seems like overkill, but you might be able to do it with LibreOffice write, or another word processor, depending on which one is available.

You can customize the toolbar to remove the buttons he won't need, and of course, you can choose the font and color. I think they all have a setting for autosave, or to save recovery information to allow reloading an unsaved file.

There may be simpler editors that will do what you want, and might be better if you don't have any of the open office applications, but if you already have them, it might be fairly easy to customize it.

I think customizing the existing editor would be easier than writing your own. :)


I meant to add that an advantage to the overkill method is that as he gets older and learns more, you can expose new features as he needs them.

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Actually, I do not doubt that they (both my sons) would learn vim fairly quickly, they have no previous experience -- I learned vi before a word / wordperfect style of editor and still use vim. You have a point about an office package, but the laptop is fairly old and libreoffice seems like an overkill. But maybe abiword? – January Nov 17 '12 at 21:25
P.S. actually, writing an editor given all the widgets and libraries lying around would nowadays not be so hard... – January Nov 17 '12 at 21:28
I use Vim whenever possible myself, but unfortunately it doesn't have the rich text features such as color for fonts - well, not in a way that seemed appropriate, at least. I was thinking about Abiword, although I've never actually used it enough to remember what features it has. I assumed it would have these basic features, though. But either one would probably work OK, assuming there's enough disk space available. – Marty Fried Nov 18 '12 at 0:20

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