What is the GNOME Editor in Linux?

If you are operating a Linux operating system through the GNOME editor, you will see a graphical text editor that you can use easily and well. It is a basic text editor that has a couple of advanced features for the fun of editing. When you start gedit with multiple files, it will load the files into individual buffers and display each of them as a tabbed window inside the editor’s main window. The left frame inside the gedit editor will show the documents that you have been editing.

Basic Features of the Editor

Besides a window for editing, gedit uses a menu bar and a toolbar that allows you to set up the configure and feature settings. The toolbar provides some real quick access to the menu bar items, which are as under:

  • The menu item File helps you load up new files, save existing files, and print different pieces of text from different files.
  • Edit aids you in manipulating text in the buffer and for setting up the editor preferences.
  • The view helps you set up features of the editor related to the display. It also works on setting up the text-highlighting mode.
  • Search helps you find and replace pieces of text in the editor’s active buffer spot.
  • Tools are used to access the plugin tools that are installed in gedit.
  • Documents help you manage different files that are open in buffer areas.
  • Help will give you information about the editor and its commands. You will see a complete manual to use the editor and work with the commands.


The Edit menu offers you the Preferences hem, which allows you to customize the operations of the editor. The Preferences dialog box carries tabbed areas that allow you to set up the features of the editor as per your requirements.


The View tab offers many options for displaying the text in the editor window.

  • The first option you will find in the View tab is named Text Wrapping. It determines how you can handle long pieces of text in your editor. When you enable the option, it wraps up long pieces of text to your editor’s next line. The Do Not Split Words Over Two Lines option bars the auto-inserting of hyphens into long words to prevent the same from splitting in between the two lines.
  • The second option you will find in the View tab is named Line Numbers. This option displays the numbers of lines in the left margin in the window of the editor.
  • The third option you will find in the View tab is Current Line, highlighting a line where the cursor is positioned. This enables you to find out the cursor position easily.
  • The fourth option you will find in the View tab is named Right Margin, which enables the right margin. This option also allows you to set up the number of columns in the editor window. The default value of the columns is 80.
  • The fifth option you will find in the View tab is named bracket matching. When you enable this option, it will allow you to easily match brackets when you are writing if-then statements, for loops or while loops, and any other code lines that involve brackets.

The line-numbering and matching brackets offer a handy environment to users. This is easy for troubleshooting and is not found in many other text editors.

Editor Tab

The Editor tab offers options to handle indentation and tabs. It also oversees how you save the document after editing.

  • The Tab Stops option in the Editor tab allows you to set up the number of spaces that should be skipped while you hit the Tab key. The default value of skipping is 8. You can reset that. The feature also has a checkbox that inserts spaces rather than tab spaces.
  • The second option you will find in the Editor tab is named Automatic Indentation. When you enable that, it allows the gedit to automate line indentation in the text for code elements and paragraphs like if-then statements and the loops.
  • The third option you will find in the Editor tab is named File Saving, which offers two features to save files. You have the option to create a backup copy of the file, which has been opened in the edit window. You can also set up the option whether you like to save the file at a preselected interval or not.

Font & Colors

The Font & Colors option offers a configuration of two items.

  • The Font option in the Font & Colors tab allows you to select Monospace lo as a default font or select a customized font style and size from a dialog box.
  • The Colors option in the Font & Colors tab allows you to select a default color scheme that is used for text, selected text, background, and selection colors. It is used to choose a custom color for different categories in the list.

The default colors match the standard desktop theme of GNOME, which has been selected for the desktop. These colors change to match the desktop theme when you select a different color.

Syntax Highlighting

The Syntax Highlighting tab gives options for the configuration of how gedit highlights different elements in programming mode. The gedit editor has the power to detect what programming language exists in a text file. It automatically set up the appropriate syntax highlighting for that text. Also, it allows you to customize the highlighting feature by selecting your favorite colors to highlight different elements of the code. The elements change based on the programming code type that you have selected. For the shell scripts, you may select the sh highlighting mode, which contains certain color schemes.


The Plugins tab offers control over the plugins that are used in gedit. Plugins are individual programs that tend to interface with gedit and provide added functionality. Many plugins are available for gedit. However, not all of them are installed in the system by default. The plugins that are enabled show a checkmark in a checkbox that is next to their names. Some plugins like External Tools plugin provide some additional configuration features after you have selected them. It allows you to set up a shortcut key to start the terminal where gedit displays the output.

  • You can use the plugin Change Case to change the case of a piece of selected text.
  • You can use the plugin Document Statistics to report the number of words, characters, lines, and non-space characters.
  • You can use the plugin Insert Date/Time to insert the current time and date in multiple formats at the cursor’s present position.
  • You can use the plugin External Tools to provide a particular shell environment in the editor to execute scripts and commands.
  • You can use the plugin Indent Lines to provide un-indentation and advanced line indentation.
  • You can use the plugin File Browser Pane to provide a file browser to ease off the process of file selection and editing.
  • You can use the plugin Tag List to provide a particular list of commonly used strings that you can easily enter into the text.
  • You can use the plugin Modelines to provide emacs-style messages to the bottom side of your editor’s window.
  • You can use the plugin Python Console to provide interactive consoles to the bottom side of the editor window to enter commands with the Python programming language’s help.
  • You can use the plugin Spell Checker to provide proper dictionary spellchecking for a text file.
  • You can use the plugin Snippets to store some often-used pieces of text for retrieval in the text.
  • You can use the plugin Sort to sort out an entire file or a piece of selected text.