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CudaText: a programmer’s editor that everyone can use

26 February 2016, Mike Williams

CudaTextYou need a Notepad replacement, but web searches only get you overcomplicated programmer’s editors aimed at people who think in regular expressions and actually want to use line numbers.

CudaText offers another way. It’s a cross-platform coding editor – and a good one – but it’s not just for developers, anyone can see its advantages right away.

This starts with the program’s portability, making it convenient to use, and continues with the tabbed interface. Click File > Open, choose several documents and they’ll each open in their own tab.

Right-clicking reveals a handy option to set a tab colour. You can also organise tabs into groups, allowing you to view files side by side, or split a tab to (for example) display two independently scrolling windows on the same file.

Too complicated? You don’t have to get into that if you don’t want to, and there are other bonus features you’ll discover without any effort at all. Like when you first close and reopen the program, and find your last set of tabs are reloaded.

CudaText

Tabs can quickly be reorganised for side-by-side viewing

There’s support for multiple selections, so intuitively implemented that you already know how to use it. Select one paragraph, hold down Ctrl – just as though you’re multiselecting anything else in Windows – as you select some other distant chunk of text, and you can operate on both of them at once.

It’s a similar story with the Find and Replace tools. There’s solid RegEx support, but you don’t have to know anything about that: just press Ctrl+F, type your search text, press Enter and the first hit is highlighted. “Find First”, “Find Next” and “Find Prev” buttons show you clearly what you can do next, and “Count All” and “Mark All” options are on hand if you need them.

Elsewhere, the Edit menu has a host of line and text processing options, to sort lines, trim spaces, cONVERT cASE and more.

It’s not all what you’d call beginner-friendly. Clicking Options > Settings – Default opens a default.json text file, for instance, rather than presenting some neat settings dialog.

Still, even some of these options are clear and easy to understand.

//Max count of commands which can “undo”
“undo_limit”: 5000,

If you’re a developer then you’ll appreciate the syntax highlighting and HTML/ CSS support (autocompletion, HTML color codes underline, picture viewing), code folding, code tree structure and more.

The program also provides a host of plugins to support features like code snippets, macros, a color picker and others, and there’s even a simple module to help you develop new plugins of your own.

Overall, CudaText is a well-designed Notepad replacement, generally easy to learn and use, but also with some very powerful features for those who need them.

CudaText is an open-source application for Windows XP+, OS X and Linux.

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