I'm trying to use gedit as my main editor, and am looking for help with some tricky features. For each of the following, can people help me out with how to install and configure the feature?

  • code folding
  • pylint support
  • splitview support
  • spell check
  • whitespace deletion
  • regex-powered find and replace
  • any other features I should know about?

Tags: Plugins, IDE

7 Answers 7

  • Code Folding

    The plugin throws an error on the command line when you try to fold. But it may be something a good Python programmer could fix in five minutes.

    Apparently code folding is slated to be supported by gedit natively eventually.

  • Pylint

    The one reference to a plugin I found pointed to a bzr branch that no longer exists.

  • Splitview

    I don't use it much, but it does a good enough job for me.

  • Spell Check

    The plugin should be enabled by default. Use Tools > Autocheck Spelling to turn it on.

  • Whitespace Removal

    Removes unnecessary whitespace on saving a file.

  • Regex Search and Replace:

    Extract to your plugins directory, enable, and use Tools > Regex Search & Replace.

  • Others:

    The gedit-plugins package comes with some handy plugins. You should check that out.

  • +1 for gedit-plugins package. It's essential if you're writing code in gedit. Also, be sure to disable the file browser plug-in. It's known to cause a significant (and annoying) lag when starting an instance of gedit. Disabling it will make gedit as snappy and quick to start as you'd expect from a lightweight editor. After installing the gedit-plugins package be sure to check out the "Embedded Terminal" plugin. It's pretty convenient if you're doing any significant scripting (such as python). Sep 16, 2010 at 11:34
  • for more info on the 'File Browser Pane' plugin bug see, bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gedit/+bug/280411 Sep 16, 2010 at 11:39

Geany has all of the features you want except inbuilt pylint support (although there is inbuilt syntax checking and you could run pylint using the integrated terminal). Split view and spell checking are available through plugins (packages: geany-plugin*). Geany is lightweight and simple to use - perfect if you are looking for something more advanced than gedit but don't want/need the complexities of a full-blown IDE.

I would suggest installing geany and the extra plugins.
Via the terminal with sudo apt-get install geany
Or install using the Software Center:

Install via the software center

  • Hmmm...checking it out now. So far, so good.
    – mlissner
    Aug 9, 2010 at 19:46
  • Update almost two years later: Geany is superior to gedit, but if you conquer the Eclipse learning curve, you win.
    – mlissner
    Apr 29, 2012 at 18:40

See http://live.gnome.org/Gedit/Plugins

You install them by downloading the plugin's files and copying them to ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins.

  • I was hoping for a little more detail. I've found I've had to do a lot of shopping and work for many of these. Like code folding: Had to install the add-on, turn it on, then use alt-z, I think, to make it work. Except it only kinda works some of the time - I'm not sure when.
    – mlissner
    Aug 8, 2010 at 7:18
  • In the case of code folding (amongst others) part of the fault is to do with GTKSourceView (the component gedit uses) not being capable enough to handle folding in a nice intuitive way. So in this case it's just a matter of "this is the best of what's available right now". If you want to make something better, talk to the plugin writers and get stuck in.
    – Oli
    Aug 8, 2010 at 11:02

Geany with plugins installed from http://getdeb.net or its ppa repository is fantastic text editor.


Even though gedit is good for basic file editing I wouldn't use for more than I would use notepad.exe on Windows. You might want to use a IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Depending a bit on what code you write these might be worth a lookover:

  • NetBeans
    • Java
    • PHP
    • C/C++
    • Python
  • Eclipse
    • Java
    • PHP
    • C/C++
    • Python
  • Cream
    • Seems to be a cross of gedit and notepad++ but I haven't used it.
  • Editra
    • Much like Cream. (not really an IDE)
  • VIM
    • Designed as a cli tool, got GUI extension but lacks a bit in usability if you don't read the manual!
    • A lot of languages!
  • GNU emacs
    • Designed as a cli tool, got GUI extension but lacks a bit in usability if you don't read the manual!
    • A lot of languages!

Bout VIM and Emacs are a bit hard to learn to use, VIM in my opinion being the simpler one.

  • 3
    The comparison to notepad.exe is a bit harsh, isn't it? Notepad doesn't even have syntax highlighting.
    – sepp2k
    Aug 8, 2010 at 10:23
  • 3
    Gedit is a much more powerfull editor than you realize. It has lots of plugins that makes it good enough for programming. Altought it does not compare to a full fledged IDE you will be surprised by its features if you look close enough.
    – Decio Lira
    Aug 9, 2010 at 1:46
  • Cream is just vim with a different default configuration, so how can Cream be "not really an IDE"?
    – JanC
    Oct 15, 2010 at 15:37
  • Maybe being really tired at the time of writing have something to do with it.. Oct 17, 2010 at 14:25
  • Pylint (kinda)

I use a python checker that is part of the gedit-developer-plugins package in the repos. It doesn't seen to use pylint, but it does a nice work checking syntax and style. It's called GDP Format in the plugin lists, not a very descriptive name.


I've been searching for a decent TextMate clone for Linux and finally I managed to pimp my gEdit and abandoned all the other IDEs (NetBeans, Komodo... you name it):

This is the way to do it:

sudo apt-get install gedit gedit-plugins
cd ~/Downloads
git clone http://github.com/gmate/gmate.git
cd gmate
sh ./install.sh

Next time you launch your gEdit you'll be surprised how powerful it is. Don't forget to check the plugins as well to beef up the editor even more.

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