Dan Dascalescu's Wiki
/reviews/software/text editors

Text editors

Here's how to narrow down a large selection of products that perform a task. In our particular example, we want a "good" text editor software. What "good" means will be seen as we weed out editors. The starting point is Wikipedia's comparison of text editors. Just in case Wikipedia butchers the article, the version I'm talking about is as of 2010-Jan-13.

Open source text editors

  • Acme
  • AkelPad
  • Aquamacs
  • Bluefish
  • Caditor
  • ConTEXT
  • Crimson Editor
  • Diakonos
  • ed
  • gedit
  • Geany
  • GNU Emacs
  • Gobby
  • JED
  • jEdit
  • JOE
  • Kate
  • Komodo Edit
  • KWrite
  • LE
  • Metapad
  • MinEd
  • Nano
  • NEdit
  • Notepad++
  • Notepad2
  • nvi
  • Programmer's Notepad
  • RText
  • SciTE
  • Smultron
  • TextEdit
  • Vim
  • XEmacs
  • Yi

Open source AND have spell checking

  • AkelPad (plugin)
  • Aquamacs
  • Bluefish
  • Crimson Editor - live/instant, like Firefox
  • Diakonos
  • Geany (plugin)
  • gedit
  • GNU Emacs
  • Gobby (?)
  • JED
  • jEdit (plugin)
  • JOE (plugin)
  • Kate
  • KWrite
  • Nano
  • NEdit (plugin)
  • Notepad++ (plugin, on-demand only; no red underline squiggles)
  • RText
  • Smultron
  • TextEdit
  • Vim
  • XEmacs

Open source AND have spell checking AND support UTF-8

All of the above edtors support UTF-8.

...AND with syntax highlight

  • AkelPad (plugin)
  • Aquamacs
  • Bluefish
  • Crimson Editor
  • Diakonos
  • Geany
  • gedit
  • GNU Emacs
  • Gobby (?)
  • JED
  • jEdit
  • JOE
  • Kate
  • KWrite
  • Nano
  • NEdit
  • Notepad++
  • RText
  • Smultron
  • Vim
  • XEmacs

...AND run on Windows without Cygwin

Bluefish requires Cygwin and a native port is in progress.

...AND not retarded (e.g. console-based)

  • AkelPad
  • Crimson Editor (with the Emerald Editor fork)
  • gedit
  • GNU Emacs
  • Gobby - collaborative editor
  • jEdit - requires Java
  • Notepad++
  • RText - requires Java
  • XEmacs

...AND supports remote editing via (S)FTP or SSH

  • Crimson Editor and the Emerald Community Edition - FTP only
  • gedit - FTP, HTTP, SSH, WebDAV
  • GNU Emacs - FTP, HTTP, SSH, WebDAV
  • Gobby (?)
  • jEdit - FTP and WebDAV plugin, HTTP native, no SSH
  • Notepad++ - (S)FTP plugin only
  • XEmacs - FTP, HTTP, SSH, maybe WebDAV

Other notes

IDEs

  • Eclipse's editor (not included in the Wikipedia comparison) also satisfies all the criteria above. Plus, it also allows remote access.
  • Open Komodo may also satisfy all the conditions.