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GNOME’s Text Editor to Get Recoloring Support, Revamped “Open” Popover in GNOME 42

Text Editor GNOME 42

GNOME’s Text Editor simple and lightweight text editor app is getting some new features and improvements as part of the upcoming GNOME 42 desktop environment series, due out in Spring 2022.

GNOME usually ships with Gedit (a.k.a. Text Editor), but it’s been a while since it was in the spotlight. To be honest, I don’t even remember the last time I got to write something about GNOME’s default text editor. I mean, Gedit just works, and it’s always there when you need to fire up a simple text editor just to write your rough draft or just paste some code.

Gedit is one of those default GNOME apps that didn’t even got to be fully updated for the latest release of the popular desktop environment. It was updated in GNOME 40 and 40.1, but GNOME 41 ships with Gedit 41 Alpha.

Earlier this year, GNOME Builder creator Christian Hergert started working on a new Text Editor app for the GNOME desktop. In a recent blog post he talks about some of the major changes coming to the the next major release of his Text Editor app, which will probably replace Gedit in the upcoming GNOME 42 release.

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of recoloring support based on the controversial libadwaita library, which the GNOME devs use these days to build modern GNOME applications, and using a CSS provider to override the colors in Text Editor’s theme, making it look really awesome.

“When you select a style-scheme Text Editor will now use the colors defined in the scheme to alter how the entire application looks,” explains Christian Hergert. “I expect there will be a recoloring API in the not-too distant future for libadwaita which will provide this for us.”

As you can see from the images above, the new recoloring support is reflected throughout Text Editor’s entire interface. You should check out Christian Hergert’s blog post for more examples.

Among other things coming to Christian Hergert’s Text Editor app in GNOME 42 there’s a revamped “Open” popover that features a more slimmer and “to the point” style, and better keyboard navigation, as well as a redesigned Preferences dialog, experimental Vim emulation, and an option for setting visual spaces.

Text Editor GNOME 42
Image credits: Christian Hergert

I heard that GNOME 42 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting releases of the desktop environment in past few years, and that’s probably because most of the default apps will be ported to GTK4 and libadwaita, looking really pretty and also providing some new functionality.

GNOME 42 will be ready for public testing early next year, but the final release will probably hit the stable repositories of some of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions sometime in early or mid-April 2022. If you want to give Christian Hergert’s Text Editor app a try, you can install it right now from Flathub.

Last updated 12 months ago