Interface Overview

A View is the jEdit term for an editor main window. It is possible to have multiple views open at once, and each View can be split into multiple panes. jEdit remembers the state of open views between editing sessions.

An open file is referred to as a Buffer. Unlike some editors where each buffer gets its own View, jEdit completely separates the two concepts. A buffer might be visible in several views, or none at all.

A TextArea is an editor for a buffer. An EditPane contains a TextArea plus optional buffer switcher. A View contains one EditPane by default, and additional panes are created whenever the View is split.

The drop-down buffer switcher list at the top of each EditPane shows a BufferSet, or a set of open buffers (see the section called “Buffer Sets”). Selecting a buffer on this list will make it visible in the TextArea. Different emblems are displayed next to buffer names in the list, depending the buffer's state; a red disk is shown for buffers with unsaved changes, a lock is shown for read-only buffers, and a spark is shown for new buffers which don't yet exist on disk.

With the new Tango icon theme, these symbols are slightly different, a red square is shown for buffers with unsaved changes, a lock is shown for read-only buffers, and a yellow square is shown for new buffers which don't yet exist on disk.

As with most other graphical applications, there is a tool bar at the top of the View which provides quick access to frequently-used commands. Also, clicking the TextArea with the right mouse button displays a popup menu which also facilitates quick access to various commands. Both the tool bar and the right-click menu can be completely customized to suit your tastes in the Utilities>Options dialog box; see the section called “The Context Menu Pane” and the section called “The Tool Bar Pane”.

Most of the View is taken up by the TextArea. If you've ever used a graphical user interface before, the TextArea will be instantly familiar. Text can be inserted simply by typing. More details on text insertion and deletion can be found in the section called “Inserting and Deleting Text”.

The strip on the left of the TextArea is called a gutter. The gutter displays marker and register locations, as well as folding arrows; it will also display line numbers if the View>Line Numbers (shortcut: C+e C+t) command is invoked. Note this menu toggle action has the side-effect of changing the persistent jEdit properties for the Gutter, which can also be set from the Gutter pane of the Utilities>Options dialog box.

The gutter is divided into two sections. Right-clicking on the left side gives you a context menu, while right-clicking on the right side (where line numbers might be) toggles a marker at that position. Text can be selected by left-clicking and dragging on right side of the gutter, over the range of lines you wish to select.