Simply put, NEdit is the most usable text editor I've used on any platform, and the best for programming. It is written in Motif (compiles fine with LessTif as well), and the entire program is a single executable weighing in at <800k. Nedit is open source (GPL), and it builds correctly on just about any UNIX system. It will also apparently work in Windows (Cygwin) and MacOS X.

NEdit deftly maintains a wide (and growing) variety of useful features while not developing featuritis, and is easily and fully configurable without being bloated. It does everything you could ask of a programming editor (except IDE-type things like project management or smart auto-completion), and it does them in a way that makes sense. Features that can't be configured in the program itself (like background color) can often be customized via X resources.

Some people claim to have used UNIX all their lives and can put up with vile Emacs multi-level keystrokes, or only slightly less annoying Vi modal editing. And then there's people like me who deserted Windoesn't for its supreme suckiness, but miss the no-nonsense, flat, non-modal design of its applications. Thank God I discovered NEdit, I was going bonkers grappling with Vi. Ctrl-V.... pastes! Ctrl-Q... quits! Ctrl-Up... jumps up a paragraph! Features that require more than one keystroke, like finding text or setting a mark, pop up a small dialog box, and automatically focus the cursor in the right text field. Amazing... just like it should be!

NEdit features:

My only beef (and I mean my only one) is that it's a Motif application and not GTK. Motif is fine for now, but GTK will evolve for the future whereas Motif will not.

NEdit is included in almost every Linux distribution, although not always by default. You can also find it at

If anyone cares, NEdit stands for Nirvana Editor. But everyone realizes that sounds way too silly for such the functional, no-nonsense product it's become.

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