.. so I can text side by side without opening many instances?



From my personal experience I can recommend to use Kate (sudo apt-get install kate) - it has many options in View → Split View:

Kate - Split View

Also you can try JEdit (sudo apt-get install jedit), it allows to have splits in View → Splitting:

Jedit - Splitting

or Notepadqq (sudo add-apt-repository ppa:notepadqq-team/notepadqq, sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get install notepadqq), it has View → Move/Clone Current Document → Move to Other View option:

Notepadqq - Move to Other View

or JuffEd (sudo apt-get install juffed-plugins), it has Move to the right panel and Move to the left panel:


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  • I haven't tried Kate but I hear it is top heavy. I'll give it a try, thanks. – peteubuntu Sep 3 '18 at 12:22

Another option is Geany, available in the repositories.

Under Tools, click on Plugin Manager and enable Split Windows. The plugin for enabling split windows comes pre-installed.

Plugin Manager

You'll see the Split Window option under Tools.

choosing split windows

And that's it. Of course, you can choose between horizontal and vertical and drag the splitter to resize panes.

Geany in split window mode

Geany, in 18.04, is a gtk3 application and in 16.04, a gtk2 application. So, if your distro is "GNOME-based", you may prefer it as it pulls in very few dependencies.

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  • Thank you, I tried geany and liked it but I settled for bluefish as it was a lot more customization. It does have split screen but not sure if that worked however it suited me in different ways. Thank you for your suggestion! – peteubuntu Sep 3 '18 at 12:24


Atom text editor

Atom is a nice text editor packed with lots of powerful features and extension support, entirely written using Node JS and web technologies.

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Image of vim text editor with two files open

Can be done in vim. They are called windows (:help windows)

Open new file vertically with :vsplit /path/to/file :vs for short. Use only :vs to open the current buffer in another window (so you can look at the same file in another place)

Open horizontally with :split /path/to/file :sp for short. Using only :sp will open the same file but horizontally

Ctrl-w will cycle through the open windows. :bn will change to the next buffer in a window. (:bp will go to the previous buffer)

To close the active window :close

To dig deeper :help close, :help split, or :help any-command will open the help file in a new window and you can read more about them (:close will close the open window ;) )

How to close vim from the command line? (For the uninitiated.)

Note: The "Tab list" on the top is from the airline plugin with the code below added to my .vimrc

let g:airline#extensions#tabline#enabled = 1 " Enable the list of buffers
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