Textadept is a fast, minimalist, and remarkably extensible cross-platform text editor for programmers. Written in a combination of C and Lua and relentlessly optimized for speed and minimalism for more than 12 years, Textadept is an ideal editor for programmers who want endless extensibility without sacrificing speed and disk space, and without succumbing to code bloat and a superabundance of features. The application has both a graphical user interface (GUI) version that runs in a desktop environment, and a terminal version that runs within a terminal emulator.
- Fast and minimalist.
- Cross platform, and with a terminal version, too.
- Self-contained executable -- no installation necessary.
- Support for over 100 programming languages.
- Unlimited split views.
- Can be entirely keyboard driven.
- Powerful snippets and key commands.
- Code autocompletion and documentation lookup.
- Remarkably extensible, with a heavily documented Application Programming Interface (API).
In its bid for minimalism, Textadept depends on very little to run. On Windows and macOS, it has no external dependencies. On Linux and BSD, the GUI version depends only on GTK (a cross-platform GUI toolkit) version 2.24 or later (circa early 2011), and the terminal version depends only on a wide-character implementation of curses like ncurses(w).
Textadept releases can be found here. Select the appropriate package for your platform. A comprehensive list of changes between releases can be found here. You can also download a separate set of modules that provide extra features and functionality to the core application.
Installation and Usage
Textadept comes with a comprehensive user manual in its docs/ directory. It covers all of Textadept's main features, including installation, usage, configuration, theming, scripting, and compilation.
Since nearly every aspect of Textadept can be scripted using Lua, the editor's API is heavily documented. This API documentation is also located in docs/. It serves as the ultimate resource when it comes to scripting the application.
A more structured scripting resource is Textadept Quick Reference, which contains a wealth of knowledge on how to script and configure Textadept. It groups the editor's rich API into a series of tasks in a convenient and easy-to-use manner. This book serves as the perfect complement to Textadept's Manual and exhaustive API documentation.
Textadept is a bit unusual in that building it is only supported on Linux and BSD, or within a Docker image. The application is cross-compiled for Windows and macOS from Linux. While it is certainly possible to compile Textadept natively on those platforms, it is simply not supported in any official capacity.
Textadept is built from its src/ directory and binaries are placed in the application's root directory. The general procedure is to have Textadept build its dependencies first, and then its binaries. Textadept is self-contained, meaning you do not have to install it; it can run from its current location.
- GNU C compiler (gcc) 7.1+ (circa mid-2017)
- GNU Make (make)
- GTK 2.24+ development libraries for the GUI version
- ncurses(w) development libraries (wide character support) for the terminal version
- mingw-w64 5.0+ with GCC 7.1+ when cross-compiling for Windows.
- OSX cross toolchain with Clang 4.0+ when cross-compiling for macOS.
The following table provides a brief list of
make rules for building Textadept on Linux and BSD. (On BSD, substitute
||Downloads and builds all of Textadept's core dependencies|
||Optionally downloads and builds bleeding-edge dependencies|
||Builds Textadept, provided all dependencies are in place|
||Optionally builds Textadept with debug symbols|
||Builds the terminal version of Textadept|
||Downloads and builds Textadept's Windows dependencies|
||Cross-compiles Textadept for Windows|
||Cross-compiles the terminal version for Windows|
||Downloads and builds Textadept's macOS dependencies|
||Cross-compiles Textadept for macOS|
||Cross-compiles the terminal version for macOS|
When building within Docker, the relevant container image is
For more information on compiling Textadept, please see the manual.