Cross platform text editor: jEdit

As a software developer, a good text editor is always needed. I don’t like to use any IDE (Integrated Development Environment), but I think Eclipse is a very good IDE.

As a Linux user, at least need to know how to use a text-based editor: nano, vim, or emacs. vim and emacs are very powerful text editor. And learning to use these two text editors is really very troublesome. The main reason is there are too many commands or shortcuts need to memorize. But both of them has these good features:

  • File
    • quit, open, save – very basic file read/write functions
    • buffers (open multiple files) – Windows Notepad cannot do so with one window
  • Edit
    • insert, delete, select (or highlight) – very basic editing functions
    • cut, copy, paste (or yank) – also very basic editing functions
    • find, find next, find previous
    • search and replace (with regular expression)
    • undo, redo
  • Others
    • macro
    • window (split)
    • mark
    • folding
    • syntax highlighting
    • autoindent or smart indent

There are several good text editors I like: Notepad++ and jEdit. I personally prefer jEdit more than Notepad++, because jEdit is cross-platform, available in Linux. Besides that, jEdit has all the features mentioned above, and it is GUI. In Linux, there is a clone of Notepad++, that is Notepadqq.

Using the macro of jEdit is very easy. Besides that, anyone who knows Java programming can edit the macro easier. Recently, I have wrote several macros for commenting and uncommenting with “hash” and “slashes”, because jEdit only provides commenting, but not uncommenting.

The comment and uncomment macros  (skip here for those who are not interested)

The macro files are available here.

To install them, copy them to $HOME/.jedit/macros/ folder.

To use them, in jEdit, highlight the multiple lines that you want to comment, then go the Menu > Macros, select the macro.