Is anyone using Textadept as their editor of choice for Julia?

Hello, does anyone here use Textadept as their primary text editor for Julia?

I have tried all the usual suspects (Atom, VScode, Emacs, Vim), but I don’t really like using any of them.

I came across Textadept today (, and it seems like a really very solid, modern, FOSS text editor. The only problem is, it doesn’t have a Lexer for Julia, and I don’t think I’m advanced enough to write one.


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(Seeing as nobody’s responded here, perhaps we could pivot a bit): If you’re looking for suggestions for editors, you might consider listing what you liked (and didn’t like) about each of the ones you tried, and what features are important to you. There might be an editor out there with Julia support that fits the bill. I personally had not heard of Textadept before this post, and the lack of replies here probably indicates that nobody who’s paying attention is using it either.


Thanks for your resply, Seth. I guess you are right, that the lack of responses to my original question means that the answer is “no”.

So, let me pose the question another way:

Is there a text editor with Julia language support which is;

  1. Free (as in Libre) and open source (i.e. not Sublime Text)
  2. Modern (i.e. not emacs or Vim)
  3. Not a full IDE based on a web browser (i.e. not Atom nor XCode)

I have been using Kate (the default KDE text editor) and its okay, but I want something that’s a bit more configurable.


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What OS should it support? (I assume Linux based on your KDE comment?)

How is this one different from Geany?

On emacs and vim: they can be powerful, and they’re actively maintained. I wouldn’t characterize them as not-modern pejoratively.
But if you don’t want something with a steep learning curve, that is perfectly reasonable.

I’ve also seen people talk online about how much time they spend messing with their config files for these editors, which I found off-putting.
But I’ve hardly touched mine after starting, and certainly not found it to be a distraction. Key-bindings also quickly become muscle-memory, allowing you to quickly navigate without thought other than what you’re looking for; it all becomes automatic.

All that said, I’ve been recommending VS Code whenever anyone getting started with Julia asks for an editor recommendation (for Atom, the writing is on the wall). Avoiding friction or wanting to learn one thing at a time (and thus focus on the thing you’re learning) are very valid.
My point is that I’d make these (or Windows support) the reason for the sake of clarity.

On VS Code, while built on electron, it still feels fast, and open source builds do exist (e.g. VS Codium).


Yes, I’m on Linux, so I believe that rules out notepad++

Hi Yifan, does Geany have Julia support? It seems not to “out of the box”, although I did find this discussion here

Sublime Text may be used freely (for an unlimited time) for evaluation. Give it a whirl.
I did, and I found it was well worth my money and bought it. It is very powerful, compared to the free alternatives mentioned above.

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The wiki for Textadept lists an experimental Language Server Protocol plugin. Maybe you can use that with

Thanks for the comments and answers so far.

I did a bit more reading, and it seems that writing a lexer for textadept is really quite straightforward, since textadept uses Lua for its configuration.

So, I got up and made a pot of coffee this morning, and now I’m writing a Julia lexer for textadept. I will share it here once it is in a state I am happy with.

Cheers, Timothy


BTW, Textadept does not have multiple selections (aka multi-cursors). Often when someone has used this productivity boost it is hard to go back to an editor that does not have it. Kate, Geany, Bluefish don’t have it either. That leaves VS Code, IntelliJ IDEA, and ST.

Is there up-to-date support for Julia under Notepad++?

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No, it is several years old. But, it works.

Ooh! I have never encountered multi-cursor editing before. It looks very useful.

I am not sure I understand this requirement. Vim 8.2 and Emacs 26.3 were both released last year, and both are actively maintained. Both can be customized much more than Kate, and have a dedicated, if small, band of Julia users.

Also, ruling out Electron-based IDEs throws out VSCode and Juno/Atom, which makes it difficult to suggest anything that is commonly used.


It’s actually even more useful than it looks. Some people think it’s a gimmick (probably before trying it) and that you can do the same with search-and-replace, but that’s not true. To me, multicursors is the killer usability feature of editors over the last years, I use it all the time, and get very frustrated when it’s unavailable.

VS Code is pretty slick, I have no problems with it being built on Electron (even on my 6.5 years old laptop).

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People seem to be getting defensive because I want to use a “modern” text editor.

I know that emacs and Vim are still actively maintained and that both have large user bases. The point of me wanting a modern editor is that I want an editor that doesn’t use a lot of arcane and obscure key bindings. I have other issues with both of these editors as well, but I don’t want to get into those here, since the point of this post is not to start a flame war about editors.

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