13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux]

Varun Kashyap 24-01-2009

Few days back we looked at how to customize Nautilus How To Add Custom Functionality To Nautilus [Linux] Read More to get most out of the context menus and write custom menu entries as per your requirement. Today let’s pay some attention to the good old text editor – Gedit. Gedit is the default text editor for most of the Linux distributions using Gnome as the desktop environment. As it turns out and as we shall see shortly Gedit supports plugins and there are some very useful plugins for Gedit.


How to install additional Gedit plugins

While Gedit ships with a set of default plugins, you can surely add as many as you like. To install a plugin for Gedit, you must first download it to a local folder and then extract the contents to ‘~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins/’ directory. Also look for a package named “gedit-plugins” in your distribution’s package manager, this package contains some additional plugins for gedit. Once you have installed the plugin you want, you need to enable it via Edit>Preferences and then the Plugins Tab.

gedit plugins

And finally here is a list of the top plugins you should definitely check out if you do a lot of text editing:


Lets you arrange blocks of text into columns easily and quickly. Just select the text to be arranged, go to Edit > Align, specify the column separator and presto you have instant columns. No more pressing tabs and arranging text manually!

align gedit plugin


13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] align1

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] align2

Auto tab

Autotab detects the indent/space settings in a file and adjusts tabbing accordingly on the fly. Very useful if you have to edit code written by others using different editors.

Browser Preview

Allows you to preview the webpage code you are editing in gedit in different browsers like Firefox, opera, IE, konqueror etc. A dream come true for any web developer.


File Browser (included in default install)

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] filebrowser

Lets you browse through directories and files in the side pane. Choose the file you want to edit, double click and away she opens in a new tab.

Character Map (included in gedit-plugins)

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] charactermap

So you want to type in a different language? Keyboard problems? or do you wonder from where does µtorrent gets its µ? Look no further than the character map plugin. Enable it and you will be able to view the character map in the side pane. Just click on the character you want to insert and it gets inserted in the file.


Class Browser

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] classbrowser

As the name suggests, this plugin provides you a class browser for browsing source files. You can get an overview of various identifiers used in the code in the gedit side pane once you enable this plugin.

Document Words Completion

This plugin brings Auto Complete to gedit. While you are typing, this plugin will attempt to complete the current word, based on the words that have appeared previously in the current document. You can configure it to AutoComplete or offer suggestions when you hit Ctrl+Enter

External Tools (included in gedit-plugins)

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] externaltools


External tools plugin allows you to add custom entries to the tools menu. The entries can run external commands on the current file. A totally indispensable tool considering what all can be achieved with text files and the Linux command line. Highly recommended if you do any kind of repetitive work on text files.

Sort and Spell Check (included in default install)

What good is a text editor without the ability to check your spellings? Yet most text editors lack this functionality.Enable the Spell plugin to add Spell Check functionality to gedit. The Sort plugin on the other hand allows you to sort elected text. You needn’t use sort/sed/awk to sort the file for you. It can be done right from within gedit

LaTeX Plugin

The LaTeX plugin helps you to write and compile LaTeX code. With features like LaTeX code completion, coupled with the power of other plugins, gedit with LaTeX plugin can greatly simplify your work. The LaTeX plugin can be used for BibTeX bibliographies as well.

Session Saver (included in gedit-plugins)

Session saver allows you to save you current workspace within gedit as it is, so that when you restore a session at a later time you can start right where you left your work.

Snippets (included in default install)

13 Gedit Plugins to Make It a More Useful Text Editor [Linux] snippets

Snippets plugin allows you to insert frequently typed phrases and text by using hotkeys or a shortcode. You can configure your own snippets so that if you type something like MUO it automatically gets substituted with Snippets is one of my personal favorites and can save you a lot of typing.

Tabs Extend

Adds Firefox like useful features to gedit tabs, including the ability to undo a closed tab, close all other tabs, close all tabs and close tabs to the left of the current tab. Very useful if you are working with a lot of files simultaneously


If you are a programmer who uses text editor every now and then to edit some code, gedit has some awesome plugins to make your work easier. The color picker (gedit-plugins) lets you visually choose a color and insert its hex value into your code,code comment lets you comment/uncomment selected text with a single command, there are plugins to tidy up your HTML, indent code, match braces and then there is the python console and many many more. If you use gedit for general purposes you can explore bookmarks, splitview and directly mail the text file from within gedit with plugins. All these and many more are mentioned on Gnome Live. Some of the links are broken and some plugins don’t work as expected so you might be in for some hit and trial.

What really prompted me to write this article was that many people don’t realise that a program such as gedit (viewed as a simple text editor) can support so many additional functionality via plugins. A reason could be that people hardly care about setting preferences for text editors and the plugins option is buried deep inside preferences. I am curious to know how many of our readers knew about gedit plugins? The geeks would have known for sure, so we can expect some plugin suggestions in the comments too. Which ones are your favorites?

Related topics: Text Editor, Ubuntu.

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  1. Lee
    December 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I guess this post needs a little more thought. Only ONE of the gedit plugins will install on a brand new installation of Mint 17.

  2. Lee
    December 13, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I guess you need to rethink this. Only one of the gedit plugins will install on a brand new Mint 17 installation.

  3. Could you pliz update
    November 18, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Seems the method for installing is outdated. Create article though.

    • kambing
      April 4, 2016 at 3:01 am

      please update please!!!!!!!!!

  4. recession
    March 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    gedit pluins are pretty amazing, i showed them to my sister last week and she hasnt gotten off the computer since!

    • outlander
      September 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      I showed gedit plugins to my cat the other day and since then, I keep finding paw marks on my keyboard.

  5. Baking Chef
    January 31, 2009 at 9:37 am

    i really just wish i knew more about using vim. i rarely use a gui editor in linux

  6. raz
    January 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    is there an console only editor that works like “normal” editors, such is Gedit?

    Did you try pico editor?

  7. serbianlad
    January 26, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Lately I've been looking at some vi(m) tutorials, and it looks like too much work tbh. Yes I know that all self-respecting Linux users just have to learn to use it, and eventually I will, but in the meantime, is there an console only editor that works like "normal" editors, such is Gedit?

    PS. Great site, keep it up :)

    • Steve
      January 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      Try "nano" That's my favorite simple console text editor because it is very staight forward.

    • Ben
      February 11, 2009 at 3:55 am

      Just try 'vimtutor'. (It's a command, enter it in a terminal.) It's a text document with instructions on how to use vim, opened in vim. It shouldn't take you much longer than around half an hour, and it's a great way to get to know at least the basics.

  8. Steve
    January 26, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Oh, I forgot, check out the Split View plugin too! I guess it is mentioned above, but only mentioned, so I give it my praise here.

  9. trent
    January 26, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I really wish there was a good plugin for code completion. Document word completion only goes so far..

  10. Steve
    January 26, 2009 at 11:23 am

    One of my favorite plugins other than the built in plugin to indent/unindent multiple lines is the Regex Search & Replace plugin found on this page:

    Also the Web browser is a cool idea, although I don't use it much.

  11. shawn
    January 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    If you're trying to squeeze every last bit of power out of Gedit why not just use GVim or Emacs GUI which have much larger followings (but it's pretty much either or if you go with one [No flip-floppers allowed!])

    • Varun Kashyap
      January 26, 2009 at 9:27 am

      Oh, now I remember what I forgot to mention. I wanted to tease the Vim and Emacs fan in the article. No offense though, I am myself heavily into Vim and absolutely love it.
      That said, both Vim and Emacs require great deal of learning and getting used to. A lot of people don't want to get into learning something as simple as text editor so they give it up midway. The next best thing? Gedit with plugins!

    • erik
      August 7, 2009 at 9:20 am

      I use vim pretty heavily for editing code but I find it less useful for writing long paragraphs (like for LaTeX or raw HTML) because moving up or down with 'k' and 'j' become less intuitive with text wrapping. For those specific situations, I have found gedit to be a lifesaver.

      I absolutely love the LaTeX plugin for gedit, btw.

  12. Jerry P
    January 25, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I do love gedit. I do however use Scite, the program that Notepad++ is built off of

  13. Jackie
    January 25, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Gedit rocks, thank for the great tip. I didn't even know Gedit used plugins

  14. dai
    January 25, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    This was one of the great posts on Ubunutu?linux line.

    Enjoyed it, specially since I was being tortured by JEdit for the shake of line numbers.(ha ha ha!)

  15. Vadim P.
    January 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I personally like Geany, but do use gedit occasionally (because of it's good integration with gvfs and program 'smartness').

  16. Some Developer
    January 25, 2009 at 6:38 am

    gedit is certainly *the* editor I used on my Fedora. However, I am also hoping that its great team intends on making it as feature rich as Notepad++, a Windows-only product.

    • Eric D.
      September 9, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Check put "Notepadqq"....a feature rich editor that has Linux versions.

  17. alfred westerveld
    January 25, 2009 at 5:38 am

    keep those linux posts coming :P great stuff. Thank you

  18. Dave
    January 24, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Gedit is one of my favorite tools in Linux and somehow you just made it better. I'm definitely going to have to try some of those, especially the laTex and class browser plugins.