Tagged With text editor

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Etherpad, a collaborative-minded text editor forged by a group of ex-Google employees, focuses on making documents live and easy to collaborate on. That means that, at this point, the interface is pretty much straight text on numbered lines, but two or more people can work on a document in real time using a single URL to share, with different colours highlighting their work, a chat function for explanation, and revision-minded saving. For JavaScript coders and teams, there's also a syntax highlighting function, and, well, that's about it. If you, like many Lifehacker readers, dig the advanced but back-to-basics style of Notepad++, Etherpad might be right up your alley. No sign-up required.



Windows/Mac/Linux (All platforms): Editra, a free, cross-platform text editor, is a great lightweight solution for anyone who does coding, HTML work, or just a good amount of plain text editing. Similar to Notepad++, but with a whole lot of extras, the editor features tabbed files, context and code highlighting, theme-able icons and look, session saving, transparency support, auto-completion, and lots of indent and context tools that will make coders feel right at home. Even if you're not code-savvy, the editor packs a lot of features in without feeling overly crowded. Editra is a free download for Windows, Mac, or Linux systems. Editra


If you saw Adam's recent Hive Five roundup of text editors, you might have noticed that Vim, a child of Unix/Linux favourite Vi, still carries a lot of favour among coders and back-to-basics text workers. Now you can try out Vi and all its shortcut/macro goodness online with jsvi, a JavaScript-written clone of the basic Vi interface. It's obviously focused on code, carrying substitutions and spell checking for the most common languages, but it's a fun place to try out coding for newcomers, or for programmers to do a little quick hacking when they're away from their systems.



LaTeX is a word processing and typesetting application that gets shout-outs from our commenters whenever bibliographies or other academic documents are needed. Now non-experienced users can try out the LaTeX platform without downloading anything using MonkeyTex.com, a free webapp that lets you upload, write, and save LaTeX documents, as well as collaborate and export to PDF. Keyboard shortcuts and template creation also contributes to MonkeyTex's usefulness, inside or outside the halls of academia. For a decent introduction to the commands and features of LaTeX, check out the PDF link at this site.



TextMate is a super-powered word processor beloved by coders and productivity geeks like Merlin Mann and Matt Haughey and available in a Windows port, but where does that leave Linux users? If they haven't already fallen under the sway of Vi or Emacs, they can download a few files and plug-ins to give GNOME's default text editor, gedit, many of the features—including word completion, quick file browsing, and highlighting switches—that Mac users have enjoyed for so long. Some of the plug-ins touted by the handy guide below are installed by default in gedit and just require an enabling click, while others require a bit of unpacking and placement. For writers and coders just getting started, it could make gedit a great learning tool with a gentler learning curve.

Textmate-like Gedit in a few steps


Windows only: Love Vi and want it and all its settings with you on every Windows PC you use? Grab a copy of GVim Portable, a self-contained, thumb drive-friendly version of the GVim (GUI Vi Improved) text editor, which includes with a configurable .vimrc and GVimPortable.ini that customises and contains all your preferred settings. Reader Mike sent in a screengrab of his GVim Portable setup sportin' a bitstream font (pictured above.) GVim Portable is a free download for Windows only. Thanks, Mike!

GVim Portable Home Page