Chapter 17. Introducing the Plugin API

The jEdit Plugin API provides a framework for hosting plugin applications without imposing any requirements on the design or function of the plugin itself. You could write an application that performs spell checking, displays a clock or plays chess and turn it into a jEdit plugin. There are currently over 50 released plugins for jEdit. While none of them play chess, they perform a wide variety of editing and file management tasks.

A detailed listing of available plugins is available at You can also find beta versions of new plugins in the Downloads area of

Using the Plugin Manager feature of jEdit, users with an Internet connection can check for new or updated plugins and install and remove them without leaving jEdit. See Chapter 9, Installing and Using Plugins for details.

Requirements for plugging in to jEdit are as follows:

As noted, many of these features are optional; it is possible to write a plugin that does not provide actions, configuration options, or dockable windows. The majority of plugins, however, provide most of these services.

[2] You should test your plugin by loading and unloading it from both the Plugin Manager, as well as the Activator Plugin.