10 Awesome gedit Text Editor Features to Make You More Productive

4 min

Here’s a list of the top 10 cool gedit features which you probably not aware of, until now. Take a look.

The gedit is the default text for the GNOME desktop. It is used by millions of people who use GNOME every day via Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions. It is part of GNOME core applications and serves as a general-purpose, lightweight text editor.

But the innocent-looking gedit text editor comes with super cool productivity features via its settings and installed plugins. With those in place, it can easily compete with other popular text editors out there.

Here are some of them.

gedit Text Editor Features

1. Insert Current Date and time

Inserting date and time is with just a click is a super handy feature. It is often needed when you are maintaining a log or a journal as a simple text file. Put the cursor where you want to insert date and time, then from the menu click Tools > Insert Date and Time. In the next dialog, use a format of your date and time and click Insert.

Insert Date and Time - Menu
Insert Date and Time – Menu
Insert Date Time - Format
Insert Date Time – Format

2. Enable Auto Save and Create Auto Backup

This text editor has two important features which are turned off by default. They are auto save and auto backup. Go to Menu > Preferences > Editor > File Saving. Enable the Create a backup and Autosave files options. And that’s it. The gedit will save the file automatically, and you do not need to worry about losing your data.

Auto save and auto backup
Auto save and auto backup

3. Top Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are very useful for productivity. This editor also comes with many Keybaord shortcuts apart from the traditional ones. You can find them in Menu > Keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can quickly convert letters to uppercase or lower case using CTRL+U and CTRL+L respectively. Many such features you can find in the below dialog.

Keyboard shortcuts in gedit
Keyboard shortcuts in gedit

4. Themes

The gedit comes with many predefined color schemes for the editor window. Using these, you can change the background of the editor, font style, text color, and more. Find them here in the menu > preferences > Font, and Colors.

Themes in gedit
Themes in gedit

5. Split Window and Tab Grouping

Do you know you can group multiple editor tabs with a split window in gedit? Yes, you can. Here’s how. Open multiple tabs using CTRL+T or open multiple documents. Then press ALT+CTRL+N. You should get a split-screen with a separator for your tabs. Now you can work on multiple documents simultaneously without leaving gedit.

You can even create more split windows to organize your file tabs by pressing the ALT+CTRL+N multiple times. And of course, you can drag the tabs to separate groups for arrangements.

Tab grouping in gedit
Tab grouping in gedit

The following tips use the gedit plugins. By default, they are installed with the gedit package. You can access them via Menu > Preferences > Plugins.

6. Check and Highlight Incorrect Spellings

You can easily highlight the incorrect words and do a spell check using the Spell Checker plugin. To enable, go to Menu > Preferences > Plugins and check the Spell Checker plugin. Now to do a spell check for your document press SHIFT + F7. It will bring up the spell check dialog.

Spell Checker Plugin
Spell Checker Plugin

To highlight all the misspelled words in gedit, enable the options menu – Tools > Highlight Misspelled words. You should see the incorrect words are underlined with a thin red line.

Super handy feature.

Misspelled words highlighted
Misspelled words highlighted

7. Quick File Browser

You can browse the local file system using a file browser plugin available. You don’t need to open the file open dialog anymore. To enable go to Menu > Preferences > Plugins and enable File Browser Panel. Then from the menu click View > Side Panel. On the side, the panel header clicks the File Browser.

File Browser in gedit
File Browser in gedit

8. Highlight Similar Word, Letter

If you want to highlight the occurrence of a letter or word in the entire document for easy editing then enable the Quick Highlight plugin from Menu > Preferences > plugins. Now you can select any letter, word and see all the occurrences are highlighted!

Highlight similar letters and words
Highlight similar letters and words

9. Syntax Highlighting for Coding

The gedit text editor comes with syntax highlighting for popular programming languages. To enable go to Menu > view > Highlight mode. And select your programming language from the list to highlight them as per their syntax.

Syntax highlight - gedit
Syntax highlight – gedit

10. Python Console

Using a plugin you can get a Python terminal right at the bottom of your gedit window. Go to Menu > Preferences > plugins and enable the Python console plugin. Then enable View > bottom panel from menu. You should be getting a nice Python terminal at the bottom where you can execute Python statements.

Python Console in gedit
Python Console in gedit

Closing Notes

The gedit text editor indeed powerful. Many Linux users are not aware of its built-in features and plugin support. When used properly, you may not need to download and install additional text editors at all. I hope these tips help you to make the most of your favorite text editor on the GNOME desktop.



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