Geany is an open source cross platform text editor that is designed specifically for programmers thanks to its built-in support for over 50 programming languages.
Just download Geany for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X to get started. Windows users need to install the application on their devices before it can be used.
The program’s interface has two side-panels, one for symbols and one for Documents (tree-style). The large pane on the right side is the editor and it has line numbers like any programmer friendly editor; this pane has a tab bar at the top, which you can use to switch from one document to another.
There is a menu bar at the top of the screen and a toolbar right below it. Apart from the standard options, the toolbar has a revert button for reloading the current document. You can compile the code right from the application and click on the execute button to run it. This obviously requires the platform you’re coding in to be installed, for e.g. Python must be installed to execute a .Py script.
The edit menu lets you perform various functions including inserting comments, tags or dates. You can use the find in files option from the Search menu to search for text in documents. Speaking of which, the Document menu has various formatting tools from line breaking, wrapping, indentation, programming file type (language selection), encoding among other options. You can manage your Projects from the Project toolbar and find all files of a project listed by the editor so that you may select them when the need arises.
The panels at the bottom of the screen are what I found interesting. There is status tab which shows the activity log, a compiler tab which displays whether your code is fine, a messages tab, and a scribble tab for notes.
Want to use different colors in your code? Hit the Color Chooser and select a shade from the palette. The program supports syntax highlighting, auto-completion (auto-closing) of XML and HTML tags, code folding, etc. It offers full support for C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal among other file types (about 69 supported types).
Geany supports plugins and comes with a few by default. To enable them use the Tools > Plugin Manager or check them out on the plugins page on the developer website where you find information about all first-party and third-party plugins.
The class builder can be used to add new class types, export converts the current file into other formats.
You can enable autosave, instant save, back up copy by using the Save Actions plugin. There are two GUI related plugins with File Browser probably being the more useful as it adds an option to browse files to the left sidebar.
The other plugin is Split Window which divides the editor pane into two which you may find useful to display two different codes side-by-side or compare different revisions of a single file. Yo
Another strong point of Geany is that it is highly customizable. There are a ton of themes (dark, light, colorful) for it that you can enable from the View settings. Don’t like the sidebar or the message bar, toolbar, menu bar or line numbers? You can disable these from the View menu for a very clean and distraction free experience, and maybe use it for some good old-fashioned text editing.
This menu also houses options to change the font, color, etc. The Edit > Preferences section has more options for tweaking the interface. One feature which I liked was that it loaded the previous session (all tabs/files), which saves you some time.
Geany is a GTK based application and supports Windows, Linux, macOS and many BSDs. While primarily a text editor for programmers, Geany is still by all means a text editor. I think it is suitable for all users, especially if you’re a fan of Notepad++ as it can also be used as a text editor.
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