List of text editors

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The following is a list of notable text editors.

Graphical and text user interface[edit]

The following editors can either be used with a graphical user interface or a text user interface.

Name Description Free software
Aquamacs Emacs A distribution of GNU Emacs heavily modified to behave like a Mac program. Yes
Cream A configuration of Vim. Yes
Elvis A vi/ex clone with additional commands and features. Yes
Extensible Versatile Editor (EVE) Default under OpenVMS. ?
GNU Emacs[1][2][3][4][5]/XEmacs[6][7] Two long-existing forks of the popular Emacs programmer's editor. Emacs and vi are the dominant text editors on Unix-like operating systems, and have inspired the editor wars. Yes
Language-Sensitive Editor (LSE) Programmer's Editor for OpenVMS implemented using TPU. Yes
Textadept A modular, cross-platform editor written in C and Lua, using Scintilla.[8] Yes
vile (vi like Emacs) A vi work-alike which retains the vi command-set while adding new features: multiple windows and buffers, infinite undo, colorization, scriptable expansion capabilities, etc. Yes
vim[9][10][11][12] A clone based on the ideas of the vi editor and designed for use both from a command line interface and in a graphical user interface. Yes

Graphical user interface[edit]

Name Description License
Acme A User Interface for Programmers by Rob Pike. Free software
AkelPad Еditor for plain text. It is designed to be a small and fast. Many plugins. Free software
Alphatk Proprietary
Arachnophilia Free software
Atom A modular, general-purpose editor built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript on top of Chromium and Node.js. Free software
BBEdit Proprietary
BBEdit Lite Freeware
Bluefish A web development editor. Free software
Brackets A modular, web-oriented editor built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript on top of the Chromium Embedded Framework. Free software
CodeWright Proprietary
Crimson Editor Freeware
CudaText Written in Object Pascal on Lazarus (IDE), thus cross platform native GUI. Free software
CygnusEd (CED) Proprietary
E Text Editor Default under IBM OS/2 versions 2-4[citation needed]. Proprietary
Eddie An editor originally made for BeOS and later ported to Linux and macOS. Freeware
EmEditor Proprietary
Epsilon Proprietary
FeatherPad A lightweight editor based upon Qt . Free software
Geany A fast and lightweight editor / IDE, uses GTK+. Free software
gedit Default under GNOME.[13] Free software
GoldED (text editor of Cubic IDE) Proprietary
HTML Kit Freeware
HxD An editor for huge text files Freeware
iA Writer Proprietary
jEdit A free cross-platform programmer's editor written in Java, GPL licensed. Free software
JOVE Jonathan's Own Version of Emacs Free software
JuffEd A lightweight text editor written in Qt4. Free software
Kate A basic text editor for the KDE desktop. Free software
Kedit An editor with commands and Rexx macros similar to IBM XEDIT. Proprietary
Kile A user friendly TeX/LaTeX editor. Free software
Komodo Edit Free software
KWrite A default editor on KDE. Free software
Lapis An experimental text editor allowing multiple simultaneous edits of text in a multiple selection from a few examples provided by the user. Free software
Leafpad Default under LXDE.[14] and Xfce[citation needed] Free software
LEdLaTeX Editor Freeware
Leo A text editor that features outlines with clones as its central tool of organization and navigation. Free software
Light Table A text editor and IDE with real-time, inline expression evaluation. Intended mainly for dynamic languages such as Clojure, Python and JavaScript, and for web development. Free software
mcedit A text editor provided with Midnight Commander. Free software
Metapad Windows Notepad replacement, GPL licensed. Free software
MicroEMACS Free software
Mousepad Previously the default under Xfce.[15] Free software
Multi-Edit Proprietary
NEdit – "Nirvana Editor" Free software
Notepad Default under Microsoft Windows. Proprietary
Notepad2 Free software
Notepad++ A tabbed text editor. Free software
NoteTab Proprietary
NoteTab Light Freeware
Pe A text editor for BeOS. Free software
pluma The default text editor of the MATE desktop environment for Linux. Free software
PolyEdit Proprietary
Programmer's File Editor (PFE) Freeware
PSPad An editor for Microsoft Windows with various programming environments. Freeware
Q10 A full screen text editor (Windows). Freeware
RJ TextEd Freeware
Sam Free software
SciTE Free software
SimpleText Default under Classic Mac OS from version 7.5.[16] Proprietary
SlickEdit Proprietary
Smultron A macOS text editor. Proprietary
Source Insight Proprietary
(formerly called Hydra)
Sublime Text
TeachText Default under Classic Mac OS versions prior to 7.5.[17] Proprietary
TED Notepad Freeware
Tex-Edit Plus Proprietary
TextPad and Wildedit Proprietary
TeXnicCenter Free software
TeXShop TeX/LaTeX editor and previewer.[18][19][20][21] Free software
TextEdit Default under macOS,[22] NeXTSTEP[citation needed], and GNUstep.[citation needed] Free software
TextMate Free software
TextWrangler Mac-only editor by Bare Bones Software, sunsetted. Final version released 09/20/2016,[23] replaced by free tier of [BBEdit].[24] Freeware
The Hessling Editor Free software
The SemWare Editor (TSE)
(formerly called QEdit).
TopStyle Proprietary
UltraEdit Text and source code editor with syntax highlighting, code folding, FTP etc. Handles multi-gigabyte files. Proprietary
Ulysses Proprietary
VEDIT Proprietary
Visual Studio Code[25] An extensible code editor with support for development operations like debugging, task running and version control. Free software
WinEdt Proprietary
X11 Xedit Free software
XEDIT Default under VM/CMS. Proprietary
Yudit Free software

Text user interface[edit]

System default[edit]

Command Description License
E is the text editor in PC DOS 6, PC DOS 7 and PC DOS 2000. Proprietary
ed The default line editor on Unix since the birth of Unix. Either ed or a compatible editor is available on all systems labeled as Unix (not by default on every one). Free software
ED The default editor on CP/M, MP/M, Concurrent CP/M, CP/M-86, MP/M-86, Concurrent CP/M-86. Free software
EDIT The default on MS-DOS 5.0 and higher and is included with all 32-bit versions of Windows that do not rely on a separate copy of DOS. Up to including MS-DOS 6.22, it only supported files up to 64 KB. Proprietary
EDIT The text editor in DR DOS 6.0, Novell DOS 7, OpenDOS 7.01, DR-DOS 7.02 and higher. Supports large files for as long as swap space is available. Version 7 and higher optionally supports a pseudo-graphics user interface named NewUI. Proprietary
EDIX The text editor in Concurrent DOS, Concurrent DOS XM, Concurrent PC DOS, Concurrent DOS 386, FlexOS 286, FlexOS 386, 4680 OS, 4690 OS, S5-DOS/MT. Proprietary
EDITOR The text editor in DR DOS 3.31 through DR DOS 5.0, and the predecessor of EDIT. Proprietary
EDLIN A command-line based line editor introduced with 86-DOS, and the default on MS-DOS prior to version 5 and is also available on MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows NT. Proprietary
ee Stands for Easy Editor, is part of the base system of FreeBSD, along with vi.[26] Free software
nvi (Installed as vi by default in BSD operating systems and some Linux distributions) – A free replacement for the original vi which maintains compatibility while adding some new features. Free software
vi[9][10][27] The default for Unix systems and must be included in all POSIX compliant systems[28] – One of the earliest screen-based editors, it is based on ex. Free software


Command Description License
ECCE ECCE (The Edinburgh Compatible Context Editor) is a text editor designed by Dr Hamish Dewar at Edinburgh University. Free software
Emacs A screen-based editor with an embedded computer language, Emacs Lisp. Early versions were implemented in TECO, see below. Free software
JED Multi-mode, multi-window editor with drop-down menus, folding, ctags support, undo, UTF-8, key-macros, autosave, etc. Multi-emulation; default is emacs. Programmable in S-Lang. Free software
JOE A modern screen-based editor with a sort of enhanced-WordStar style to the interface, but can also emulate Pico. Free software
LE Free software
mcedit Full featured terminal text editor for Unix-like systems. Free software
mg Small and light, uses GNU/Emacs keybindings. Installed by default on OpenBSD. Free software
MinEd Text editor with user-friendly interface, mouse and menu control, and extensive Unicode and CJK support; for Unix/Linux and Windows/DOS. Free software
Nano A clone of Pico GPL licensed. Free software
ne A minimal, modern replacement for vi. Free software
Pico Free software
SETEDIT A clone of the editor of Borland's Turbo* IDEs. Free software
The SemWare Editor (TSE for DOS)
(formerly called QEdit)
Zile Free software

vi clones[edit]

BusyBox vi[29] A small vi clone with a minimum of commands and features. Free software
Elvis The first vi clone and the default vi in Minix. Free software
nvi A new implementation and currently the standard vi in BSD distributions. Free software
STEVIE STEVIE (ST Editor for VI Enthusiasts) for the Atari ST, the starting point for vim and xvi Free software
vile Derived from an early version of Microemacs in an attempt to bring the Emacs multi-window/multi-buffer editing paradigm to vi users. First published 1991 with infinite undo, UTF-8 compatibility, multi-window/multi-buffer operation, a macro expansion language, syntax highlighting, file read and write hooks, and more. Free software
vim[12] An extended version of the vi editor, with many additional features designed to be helpful in editing program source code. Free software


No user interface (editor libraries/toolkits)[edit]

Name Description License
Cocoa text system Supports text components of macOS. Proprietary
Scintilla (editing component) Used as the core of several text editors. Free software
Text Processing Utility (TPU) Language and runtime package, developed by DEC, used to implement the Language-Sensitive Editor and Extensible Versatile Editor, Eve. Proprietary

ASCII and ANSI art[edit]

Editors that are specifically designed for the creation of ASCII and ANSI text art.

  • ACiDDraw – designed for editing ASCII text art. Supports ANSI color (ANSI X3.64)
  • JavE – ASCII editor, portable to any platform running a Java GUI
  • PabloDraw – ANSI/ASCII editor allowing multiple users to edit via TCP/IP network connections
  • TheDrawANSI/ASCII text editor for DOS and PCBoard file format support

ASCII font editors[edit]

  • FIGlet – for creating ASCII art text
  • TheDraw – MS-DOS ANSI/ASCII text editor with built-in editor and manager of ASCII fonts
  • PabloDraw – .NET text editor designed for creating ANSI and ASCII art


Visual and full-screen editors[edit]

  • Brief – a programmer's editor for DOS and OS/2
  • Edit application – a programmer's editor for Classic Mac OS
  • EDIT – a menu-based editor introduced to supersede EDLIN in MS-DOS version 5.0 and up and available in most Microsoft Windows
  • EDT – a character-based editor used on DEC PDP-11s and VAXen
  • O26 – written for the operator console of the CDC 6000 series machines in the mid-1960s
  • Red – a VAX/VMS editor, written in Forth variant STOIC
  • se – an early screen-based editor for Unix
  • SED – cross-platform editor from the 1980s, ran on TOPS-10, TOPS-20 and VMS
  • STET (the 'STructured Editing Tool') – may have been the first folding editor; its first version was written in 1977
  • TeachText
  • TECO – a character-based editor, which included a programming language.

Line editors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cameron, D., Rosenblatt, B., Raymond, E., & Raymond, E. S. (1996). Learning GNU Emacs. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  2. ^ Glickstein, B. (1997). Writing GNU Emacs Extensions: Editor Customizations and Creations with Lisp. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  3. ^ Halme, H., & Heinänen, J. (1988). GNU Emacs as a dynamically extensible programming environment. Software: Practice and Experience, 18(10), 999-1009.
  4. ^ Schoonover, M. A., & Schoonover, S. (1991). GNU Emacs: UNIX text editing and programming. Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc..
  5. ^ Cameron, D., Elliott, J., Loy, M., Raymond, E. S., & Rosenblatt, B. (2005). Learning GNU Emacs. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  6. ^ Stallman, R., & Goyal, R. (1994). Getting Started With XEmacs. One of a complete set of manuals for XEmacs, all available at
  7. ^ Ayers, L. (1997). A Comparison of Xemacs and GNU emacs. Linux Journal, 1997, 4.
  8. ^ "Textadept". Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  9. ^ a b c Robbins, A., Hannah, E., & Lamb, L. (2008). Learning the vi and Vim Editors. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  10. ^ a b c Robbins, A. (2011). Vi and Vim Editors Pocket Reference. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  11. ^ Schulz, K. (2007). Hacking Vim: a cookbook to get the most out of the latest Vim editor. Packt Publishing Ltd.
  12. ^ a b Neil, D. (2015). Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought. Pragmatic Bookshelf.
  13. ^ "Apps/Gedit - GNOME Wiki!". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Leafpad" Archived 2008-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Xfce#Leafpad
  16. ^
  17. ^ "System 2.0 (4.1/5.5) 800K Disk Contents (9/93)". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  18. ^ Mittelbach, F., Goossens, M., Braams, J., Carlisle, D., & Rowley, C. (2004). The LATEX companion. Addison-Wesley Professional.
  19. ^ Lamport, L. (1994). LATEX: a document preparation system: user's guide and reference manual. Addison-wesley.
  20. ^ Hoenig, A. (1998). TeX unbound: LaTeX & TeX strategies for fonts, graphics, & more. Oxford University Press, USA.
  21. ^ Syropoulos, A., Tsolomitis, A., & Sofroniou, N. (2007). Digital typography using LATEX. Springer Science & Business Media.
  22. ^ "Mac Basics: TextEdit". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  23. ^ Charles Moore (6 March 2017). "So Long Textwrangler, Hello BBEdit". Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  24. ^ "TextWrangler". Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  25. ^ Del Sole, A. (2018). Visual Studio Code Distilled: Evolved Code Editing for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Apress.
  26. ^ "3.10. Text Editors". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  27. ^ a b Lamb, L., Robbins, A., & Robbins, A. (1998). Learning the vi Editor. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".
  28. ^ "vi". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  29. ^ Wells, N. (2000). BusyBox: A swiss army knife for linux. Linux Journal, 2000(78es), 10.