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The Search for a True Column-Mode Text Editor: Solutions and Recommendations

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In the world of programming and web development, a text editor that supports column-mode editing is a highly sought-after tool. Column-mode, or block-selection and editing, allows you to select and edit text vertically, which can be a real time-saver when working with code. In this article, we will explore several text editors that offer column-mode support, providing you with solutions and recommendations to aid your search for the perfect tool.

Quick Answer

The search for a true column-mode text editor leads us to several solutions and recommendations. Geany, Vim/gVim, Eclipse, NEdit, gEdit with gmate and plugins, Emacs, Notepadqq, Gedit with multi edit plugin, and KWrite/Kate/KDevelop all offer varying degrees of column editing support. Each editor has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Geany

Geany is a lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that supports column-mode editing. To enable column mode in Geany, you need to press Alt+Shift while making selections. This command works with both keyboard and mouse selections, providing a flexible approach to column editing. Geany is available for various platforms, including Ubuntu and Fedora.

Vim / gVim

Vim is a highly configurable text editor that is well-regarded in the programming community. To enable column editing in Vim, you need to enter visual mode (v), then use CTRL+V to highlight columns. Once the columns are highlighted, you can edit them as needed. This feature is particularly useful for tasks such as adding or removing comments or indenting functions. Vim is available for various platforms, including Linux.

Eclipse

Eclipse is another popular IDE that supports column-mode editing. To enable this feature in Eclipse, press Alt+Shift+A. This command will toggle the column selection mode on and off, allowing you to easily switch between standard and column-mode editing.

NEdit

NEdit is a simple, old-school text editor that supports column selection. To select a block of text in NEdit, hold down Ctrl while dragging with the mouse. NEdit is lightweight and straightforward, with context highlighting for various coding languages. It can be installed on Linux platforms using the terminal command sudo apt-get install nedit.

gEdit with gmate and plugins

By installing gEdit, gedit-plugins, and gmate, you can achieve a TextMate-like experience on Linux. To select columns in gEdit, use Ctrl+PgDn/PgUp to select rows at once, or Ctrl+left click to select variables for editing.

Emacs

Emacs is a highly customizable text editor that supports column editing. To use this feature in Emacs, you need to enable the cua-mode. You can use C-return to mark the upper left of the rectangle and then move the cursor to highlight the rectangular region. Emacs also offers advanced column mode features for simultaneous editing of multiple lines.

Notepadqq

Notepadqq is a Linux text editor inspired by Notepad++. To select columns in Notepadqq, hold down Alt, then hold Ctrl or Shift, and select the columns by dragging or clicking with the mouse. Notepadqq allows editing multiple lines simultaneously, which can be a significant time-saver when coding.

Gedit with multi edit plugin

The Gedit plugin multi edit provides column editing support. Press Ctrl+Shift+C to enter Multi-Edit Mode, make the desired selection, and hit Enter. This allows editing multiple rows in column mode.

Vim

In Vim, you can achieve column selection by using ctrl-v in visual mode. You can then move the cursor using j to go down. Vim offers extensive documentation (:help) for more details.

KWrite, Kate, and KDevelop

KWrite, Kate, and KDevelop are text editors that support column editing by enabling a specific mode. These editors are based on the same editor component and offer different levels of features.

In conclusion, while there isn’t a specific gedit plugin actively pursuing the exact functionality provided by Crimson Editor, the mentioned solutions offer various degrees of column editing support and can be used as alternatives. Each of these text editors has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your specific needs and preferences.

What is column-mode editing?

Column-mode editing, also known as block-selection and editing, allows you to select and edit text vertically. It is particularly useful when working with code, as it enables you to make changes to multiple lines or columns simultaneously, saving time and effort.

How do I enable column-mode editing in Geany?

To enable column mode in Geany, press Alt+Shift while making selections. This command works with both keyboard and mouse selections, providing a flexible approach to column editing.

How can I enable column editing in Vim?

In Vim, you can enable column editing by entering visual mode (v), then using CTRL+V to highlight the desired columns. Once the columns are highlighted, you can edit them as needed.

Does Eclipse support column-mode editing?

Yes, Eclipse supports column-mode editing. To enable this feature in Eclipse, press Alt+Shift+A. This command will toggle the column selection mode on and off, allowing you to easily switch between standard and column-mode editing.

How do I select a block of text in NEdit?

In NEdit, you can select a block of text by holding down Ctrl while dragging with the mouse. This block selection feature allows you to edit multiple lines or columns simultaneously.

What is the shortcut for selecting columns in gEdit?

To select columns in gEdit, you can use Ctrl+PgDn/PgUp to select rows at once, or Ctrl+left click to select variables for editing. By installing gedit-plugins and gmate, you can achieve a TextMate-like experience on Linux.

How can I enable column editing in Emacs?

In Emacs, you can enable column editing by enabling the cua-mode. Once cua-mode is enabled, you can use C-return to mark the upper left of the rectangle and then move the cursor to highlight the rectangular region. Emacs also offers advanced column mode features for simultaneous editing of multiple lines.

How do I select columns in Notepadqq?

To select columns in Notepadqq, hold down Alt, then hold Ctrl or Shift, and select the columns by dragging or clicking with the mouse. Notepadqq allows editing multiple lines simultaneously, which can be a significant time-saver when coding.

How can I enable column editing in Gedit with the multi edit plugin?

To enable column editing in Gedit with the multi edit plugin, press Ctrl+Shift+C to enter Multi-Edit Mode, make the desired selection, and hit Enter. This allows editing multiple rows in column mode.

How can I achieve column selection in Vim?

In Vim, you can achieve column selection by using ctrl-v in visual mode. You can then move the cursor using j to go down. Vim offers extensive documentation (:help) for more details.

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