Text editors, we have reviewed plenty of these here in the past including Geany, Zim, and Notepads; many are user-friendly and basic, but sometimes we review some feature-rich ones. CudaText belongs to the latter category.
It is an open source, advanced text editor with a tabbed interface. The official page says that it supports syntax highlighting for 180 languages. Let’s look at it from a regular user’s point of view.
The program has a Tabbed interface which is quite Chrome-like in appearance. This helps in navigating through the tabs easily. Right-click on a tab to view some extra options. You can use these to change the color of a tab, add it to a group and manage it. This allows you to have multi-panes open at the same time, or even make it a floating tab.
There is a side-bar and a side-panel to the left edge of the screen. You can use these to switch among the Code Tree, Project Management, Snippet Panel and Tabs. I’m not a programmer, but I found the Tabs tree useful to navigate through the list of documents opened in the application.
Note: The side-bar contains the switches, and the change is reflected in the side-panel. You can toggle most elements in the interface from the view menu, including the side-panel and side-bar for a cleaner approach.
The primary feature in CudaText is support for Syntax highlighting which is useful when you are writing or looking at code. This includes URL highlighting as well. You can use the Edit menu to copy a line, the full path or the file name of a specific tab. The case conversion tool can help you quickly switch the cases: Uppercase, Lowercase, Line, Sentence, and Title.
There is the usual find and replace tool, but you can also use the program to setup bookmarks and quickly jump to them.
You can view images directly in CudaText, and they open in a new tab. That can be useful in saving you a few seconds when you want to preview an image, say while you’re hyperlinking to a picture.The view menu allows you to toggle the Word wrap, Ruler, Line Numbers, Code Folding, folding panels, and more. There is a full-screen editing mode and a distraction-free mode, the only difference between the two is that the latter disables all other elements (toolbar, status bar, side bar, etc)
There are some built-in Themes that you can choose from to change the color of the interface, and also the color of the syntax.
CudaText supports plugins and you can use this to add features that you find useful (Spell check, auto save, complete from text, etc). If you click on the Plugins > Addons Manager > view download links, the program appears to freeze. But give it a few minutes and you will see a new document open with about 506 lines. If you access the plugins section from SourceForge, you will see that the actual number is 91. The document apparently loads snippets, packages, themes, etc. all of which are optional additional components that are similar to plugins.
Installing a plugin is very easy. Run CudaText and select the plugin’s archive from the File menu, and it should show a pop-up asking if you want to install it. For e.g. I wanted Auto Save, so I downloaded the plugin.Auto_Save.zip and opened it via CudaText (File > Open), and this is what it looked like.
Clicking install completes the process, you’ll have to restart the application though. There are many plugins available on Github too. For e.g. Find in Files.
The program has a lot of options that can be customized by manually entering the values. You can access this from the Plugins > Options Editor menu.
CudaText is a portable application, written in Python. It’s not quite like Notepad++ as its missing macros, and I also found it to be a bit memory intensive. If you can get past that comparison, you’ll find that it has options that not only programmers will love, but also that regular users can use it for day to day word processing tasks.
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