Out of the box, gedit is minimal, fast and boring. It lacks many important features and even trying to change settings can be a struggle. But it can be enhanced to the point where it becomes viable competition for editors such as atom.io and Sublime. Here’s some tweaks that I’ve done

  1. Get into the dconf editor (go the activities, type dconf editor). The settings for gedit are under org->gnome->gedit->preferences->editor. To get a minimap (like sublime, or the minimap plugin for atom.io) set display-overview-map to true. I also set use-default-font to false and changed the editor-font to monospace 10 to fit more text on the screen. There’s plenty of a goodness here – like turning on line numbering etc.
  2. In dconf editor, go to org->gnome->gedit->preferences->ui and set bottom-panel-visible to true. Also set side-panel-visible to true while you’re there. Now go to gedit->plugins and add ‘terminal’ to the list. Restart gedit and you should see a list of documents on the left and a terminal below. If you click on the documents button (top left) it’ll let you change it to a file browser kind of like atom.io.
  3. Split panes! This is a secret apparently. If you press Ctrl+Alt+N it will split the view into two panes so you can have two or more files open side by side.

The minimap, file browser and split panes are absolute must-haves for me so it’s very pleasing to see GEdit has this built in even – if it is hidden at first.

Screenshot from 2016-08-31 10-20-56

Gedit is actually viable competition for editors such as atom.io and sublime. It probably isn’t as hackable as atom.io, but it’s much faster and provides all the features I value.

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