GNOME may have ditched Gedit as the default text editor but it’s still a longtime favorite of Linux users.
It is primarily a text editor, but with some modifications, it can function as a lightweight code editor.
Yes! Why use VS Code or other dedicated code editors to write Bash scripts or simple programs in other languages? Gedit saves the day.
I’m going to share some of my favorite Gedit tips and tricks in this article. While most mods are useful for writing code, some of them may be useful for writing general scripts as well.
1. Install plugins
Few people don’t even know that Gedit has a powerful plugin feature. You can install plug-ins to get additional features.
There are two plug-ins:
- Official Gedit plugins which can be accessed from the editor menu
- Third-party plug-ins that can be downloaded from project sites and placed in the plug-ins directory (discussed below)
Additional Gedit plugins can be located at
You can access available and installed plug-ins by clicking on the Hamburger menu and then opening the Preferences window,
The Preferences window contains the Plugins tab and you can see all the plugins available to you. You can use the checkbox to enable and disable plug-ins.
2. Display the file browser in the side panel
If you are working on a project with multiple files and folders, having the file browser to see all available files in the sidebar is very useful.
go to Preferences -> Plugins and empowerment File browser panel.
Next, tap on the hamburger menu at the top right and enable side panel view from the menu View -> Side panel
Now change the side panel view to file browser, if not already.
3. Embed terminal
Yes! You can include a terminal directly in the Gedit text editor.
what is the point? Well, if you are writing programs or scripts, the include station helps you to run the script and check the code changes there in the editor.
To get this, first install the plugin (for Ubuntu):
sudo apt install gedit-plugin-terminal
Once the plugin is installed, enable it from Preferences->Plugin.
Mow, enable the bottom panel of the hamburger menu -> View -> bottom panel
4. Markdown Preview
Love Markdown? Me too!
There are many Markdown editors available for Linux but you don’t have to install another app just to use Markdown.
With the help of the plugin, it is not surprising that it is called Gedit Markdown PreviewGedit is fully capable of rendering Markdown code.
Arch users can find it in the AUR as gedit-plugin-markdown_preview package.
Other Linux users can find the Installation instructions on the project web page.
Once it is installed, enable it in the plugins. You have to enable side panel view from hamburger menu -> view-> side panel
With that, it starts displaying the text displayed for the Markdown text in the side or bottom pane.
5. Create snippets
Good programmers code. Reuse the best programmers.
If you find yourself reusing the same piece of code or script, you can save it as a snippet and insert it as needed. This will save you some time (and frustration).
Enable the Snippet plugin first.
Now you can access extracts from Hamburger menu -> clip management
You will find that it already contains several snippets added for various programming languages.
You can also add your excerpts in the desired folder by clicking on the + sign at the bottom left. You can also set a hotkey for excerpts to enter them more quickly.
For example, I added a new snippet for Add Markdown table And assign a keyboard shortcut and tab to it (as shown in the image above). Now, if you press CTRL + Alt + S In a Markdown document, a table is added. Instead, write table Pressing the TAB key also adds a Markdown table.
Usually, snippets are saved in
/usr/share/gedit/plugins/snippet folder as XM Documents, but I couldn’t find where the newly added snippets were saved.
6. Fixed the dark mode issue
Programmers love dark mode. Gedit sticks to the system theme, and if you switch to dark mode at the OS level, it also switches to dark mode.
The only major problem is that you can’t read anything on the currently selected line because both the text and line highlight are white.
There is no solution to this. However, the workaround is to either disable current font highlighting or use a different color scheme, I’d prefer to choose a different color scheme.
Go to Preferences -> Font & Colors and then select a dark color scheme such as Oblivion. It will change the color scheme a bit but at least you will be able to see the text on the highlighted lines.
7. Quick highlight selected text
Double-click a word and Gedit highlights all occurrences of the same word in the entire document.
This feature is not enabled by default although an official plugin is available.
Go to Preferences -> Plugins and enable the Quick Highlight option.
8. Show line numbers
Many code editors display line numbers by default. It helps you quickly jump to the line when you see “Syntax error on line X”.
You can enable line numbers by going to Preferences -> Display -> Display Line Numbers:
You can also enable or disable it from below.
9. Save a copy
If you are modifying a file, maybe it would be a good idea to create a backup? Gedit can do this automatically.
Enable this feature in Preferences -> Editor -> Create Backup.
A file with the original file name attached to the
~ The icon will appear as a backup file.
10. Autosave files
Since we are talking about versions and backups, how about Enable autosave in Gedit? This way, if you are working on a document and forget to save it using Ctrl + S manually, the changes are saved automatically.
This feature does not work on a completely new document that was never saved to disk.
from Preferences -> EditorYou can enable the autosave feature. By default, it is automatically saved every 10 minutes but you can change the duration as per your liking.
There is also a third party Smart autosave extension It saves the document automatically as soon as you stop typing it.
Learn more about Gedit tricks?
It is a pleasure to use any part of the program to discover its unobvious features.
We’ve covered such app tweaks in the past. Take a look at Nautilus tips:
or the Flatpak Tips and Mods:
Which Gedit mod do you like the most here? Do you know Gedit’s killer feature that not many people know about? Share it with us in the comments?