GNOME’s default text editor, Gedit, includes a powerful plugin system similar to Firefox’s. There are useful plugins available for both programmers and regular users.

Enable, disable, and configure plugins from the Plugins tab in Gedit’s preferences dialog. There’s no need to restart Gedit, plugins are enabled immediately.

Gedit Plugins

A small selection of plugins are installed by default with Gedit, and some are also even enabled. Here’s a few from the default selection to try:

  • External Tools – Let’s you run add items to the Tools menu that can run any commands you want that can also interact with your document. After enabling the plugin, click the Configure Plugin button to set up your new tools. Click the Help button for an explanation of how to write the commands.
  • File Browser Pane – Adds a simple file browser to the side pane. Show the side pane by selecting View->Side Pane. Switch between the standard side pane and the browser using the small tabs at the bottom. This plugin is good if you are working with a collection of files.
  • Python Console – Adds the interactive python console to the bottom pane (View->Bottom Pane to show it.)
  • Snippets – Insert commonly used pieces of text using a hotkey or a code that expands after pressing tab. Click the Configure Plugin button to open the editor. You can add different snippets depending on what programming language Gedit has detected.

There a whole bunch more plugins in an easily-installable package. Install it from the package gedit-plugins (click the link to install), or by running the command below in your terminal:
sudo apt-get install gedit-plugins

Here are a few that are available after installing that package:

  • Colour Picker – If you have done any web design, you probably have worked with hexadecimal colour codes by pasting them from an image editor. This plugin adds the Tools->Pick Color item, which opens GNOME’s colour picking dialog and pastes the hexadecimal code into the document.
  • Embedded Terminal – Like the Python Console plugin, but provides a complete terminal.
    Gedit Embedded Terminal
  • Session Saver – From File->Saved Sessions you will be able to save Gedit’s state and reload it. This is nice for getting restarted quickly on a project requiring multiple documents open at once.

There are many more plugins available that must be manually installed. Installation instructions may vary, but most of the time you will need to put the plugin’s files in ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins.

The Gedit plugins page has a list of all the available plugins and documentation.

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