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Gedit Plugins


Gedit has a plugin architecture.  This means that it can be extended in many ways.  It comes with a selection of Gedit builtin Plugins.  There are also many 3rd party plugins.  I talk about:

  1. External Tools
  2. File Browser side pane
  3. Indent/unindent selected lines
  4. Insert Date/Time
  5. Smart Code Snippets
  7. Comment/uncomment selected lines
  8. Embedded terminal
  9. Named Sessions

Built in Plugins

Go To Edit>Preferences>Plugins Tab.

Just check the box for the ones you want to try.  If you don’t like one, just uncheck the box. These are the ones I have installed.

External Tools

This powerful plugin allows access to shell scripts that can interact with Gedit and will be needed down the road.

File Browser Pane

This gives a file browser side pane inside Gedit.  Note: I have moved away from this to using the Nautilus File Manager side by side with Gedit, with Gedit set as my default text editor.  It is far more flexible and has tabs, so you can work with multiple directories easily.

Indent Lines

Highlight your text then Go To Edit>Indent/Unindent and click the one you want. Or you can use Control T, Shift Control T.

Insert Date/Time

This saves some typing, for time stamping, etc.  Go To Edit>Insert Date and Time.


Note: I recommend that you  install Syntax Highlighting before setting this up.  The Go language selection will be added to the snippets manager  after the syntax highlighting has been installed.

Here you can enter code outlines.  Go To Tools>Manage Snippets to set up.  For example:

if  simple statement;  boolean expression {
return x
} else if x > z {
return z
} else {
return y

To use, enter  the tab trigger you defined with the snippet (in this case ‘if’) in your source file where you want the code entered, then press the TAB key, the snippet is pasted in.

Here is a link to more advanced usage:  http://live.gnome.org/Gedit/Plugins/Snippets

More Plugins

Above, we got started with Plugins.  In addition to the Plugins supplied with Gedit, there many 3rd party Plugins.  A good selection of them have already been packaged for Ubuntu Linux, http://live.gnome.org/GeditPlugins.   To install them:

  1. On your Gnome Menu, Go To System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager.
  2. When prompted, Enter your administrator password.
  3. In Synaptics, look at your left panel to make sure that you have archive.ubuntu.com/universe listed.  If not, Go To Settings>Repositories. On the Window Software Sources, Tab Ubuntu Software, check the box Community Maintained Open Source Software (universe).  Close.
  4. In the Quick Search Box, type Gedit.
  5. In the list, you should see gedit-plugins.  Check the box for installation.
  6. Click Apply.


Open a Terminal and enter ‘sudo apt-get gedit-plugins’.


If you have another Linux distribution, check its repositories or check the GeditPlugins link above, it has a tarball.

What do we have?

Open Gedit, Go To Edit>Preferences>Plugins Tab.  Here you should see several new plugins.  Just check the box for the ones you want to try.  If you don’t like one, just uncheck the box.  These are my favorites so far.


‘Control Alt B’ sets or removes a bookmark.  ‘Control B’ takes you to the next bookmark.  Handy for going back and forth from your main function code to functions declared at the top.

Code Comment

My favorite feature of a good IDE has always been the ability to comment or uncomment a block of code by highlighting and pressing a key.  Highlight your text then Go To Edit>Comment Code/Uncomment Code and click the one you want. Or you can use ‘Control M’, ‘Shift Control M’.  It is fairly smart, it only adds or removes one set of “//” per line at a time.

Embedded Terminal

For those quick commands on a terminal, this embeds a terminal in Gedit.  It is on a bottom tab on the bottom pane.  Good for quick version control commands.

Session Saver

Session Saver allows you to easily create named work sessions, then start them up again when you reopen Gedit.    Go To File>Saved Sessions>Save current session.  It asks for a name for the session.  When you reopen Gedit,  Go To File>Saved Sessions and click on the session you wish to open.  All your tabs will be started where you left off.



Zenity provides light weight GUI widgets for use by shell scripts.  It comes with Gnome and installs with the default installation of Ubuntu.  You will need it for the advanced scripts in the following chapters.  To see if it is installed on your system, open a terminal and type “zenity –help”.  If a help list does not come up, you can install it with your package manager.  Follow the general directions above for 3rd party plugins.

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