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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  COOLEDIT (1)


cooledit-3.17.17 - Full featured text editor for the X Window System, Version 11.


Commandline examples
Mailing List
Hint Messages
Default Key Definitions
Key Redefining
Jump To File And Your Personal File List
Spell Check As You Type
Unicode, Ucs And Utf-8 Support
The Interactive Graphical Debugger
Python Macro Programming
Syntax Highlighting
Html Syntax Highlighting
Drag And Drop
Script Execution
Word Processor Mode - Auto Paragraph Formatting
Miscellaneous Usage
Running Make and Man
Search and Replace
Options Menu
Further Behavioural Options
Native Language Support (nls) And International Characters
Composing International Characters
Binary Files
Tabbing Options
Anti-aliased Font Support
Specifying Fonts
Statistics Of Cooledit Usage
See Also


cooledit [-AabCEhiPsSUVv?] [options] [[+<line>] [<path>/]<file>] [[+<line>] [<path>/]<file>] ...


The information in this file is provided without warranty for its accuracy or completeness. Use of this file or its information is entirely at your own risk.


This is a portable, fast X Window text editor with beautiful 3D widgets. It requires only the X11 library to run. The engine is the same as that used for the internal editor of the Midnight Commander and hence cooledit represents a X Window version of that editor. The library that comes with Cooledit is now standalone. You can use it to write your own Cool applications. Check out the included programs Coolman and Smalledit.


-d, -display <display>
  The X server and display you would like to display to.
-g, -geom, -geometry <geometry>
  Main window size and position on the screen, eg cooledit -geom 630x490+95+5. If cooledit is envoked with the size, the size will be saved on exit. If cooledit is envoked with the position, the position will be saved on exit. cooledit -geom + envokes the default size.
-lines <n>
  Size of the edit window in text lines.
-columns <n>
  Size of the edit window in mean character widths.
-vis, --visual <visual-class> (experimental)
  Without this option, the visual class is selected from a list of preferred classes and depth ranges. Use cooledit -vis help for more information.
-C, -cmap, --own-colormap (experimental)
  Force use of own colormap. If Cooledit is started after other colour-hungry application, and you are using one of the colour-palette visuals (like PseudoColor) the colors may look poor. In this case, use this option for a separate colour palette. (Contact me if you are forced to use this option.)
-defcmap, --default-colormap (experimental)
  Force use of default colormap. If Cooledit is started with a visual other than the default, then it creates its own colormap. This overrides this behaviour. (Contact me if you are forced to use this option.)
--edit-bg <nn>
  Editor background colour. Rather edit your ~/.cedit/.cooledit.ini file, look for the option option_editor_bg_normal and others. This can be 0 to 26. Useful options are probably only 1 and 0 for dark blue and black.
-bg, --background-color <color>
  Specifies the background color for a solid background. If <color> is igloo (default) then a background color is not used, and the background is set to the igloo logo.
-R, --foreground-red <value>
  Red component of actual widget colors (buttons, windows), default: 0.9.
-G, --foreground-green <value>
  Green component, default: 1.1.
-B, --foreground-blue <value>
  Blue component, default: 1.4.
-f, -fn, -font <font-name>
  The font you would like to use. (See FONTS below.) If <font-name> is default then the default font 8x13bold is invoked. If <font-name> is -? or -h then a list of example fonts are printed. If <font-name> is a number, then the example font of that number is used, eg cooledit -font 3
-no-fontset, --no-fontset
  Turns off use of font sets under X. X has two methods of drawing fonts: the old "fontstruct" or "raw" method and the new font set method. The font set method properly interprets locales and their characters sets and is required for creating an X Input Method (for inputting international characters). Unfortunately, not all X servers understand UTF-8 (Unicode) encoding, hence the old "raw" method may be required when used with --utf8-interpretation.
-utf8, --utf8-interpretation
  Should be used in conjunction with --no-fontset if required. Enable UTF-8 interpretation. Use for Unicode encoded files.
  This is depreciated, use font-name/3 instead.
--interchar-spacing <n>
  Add extra pixels of space between each character. This option works with --anti-aliasing only. (Default is 0.)
--interwidget-spacing <n>
  Spacing between widgets in dialog boxes. Make larger for a more spacious. Different defaults for different looks.
--look [gtk|cool|next]
  Cooledit can emulate the look of a Gtk or NeXT application. Gtk is now the default, although you can invoke the old look with cooledit --look cool --widget-font default. There is some complexity in setting options for looks: certain settings, like --interwidget-spacing and --font are saved on exit, hence switching looks may inherit incorrect settings. Note that the default Gtk font for real Gtk applications is -adobe-helvetica-medium-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*, which is very close to -winfonts-arial-medium-r-normal-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*.
  For LCD displays use R-G-B pixel ordering. (Default.)
  For LCD displays use B-G-R pixel ordering. Try both of these options and see which looks better.
-S, --suppress-load-files
  Don’t load saved desktop on startup.
-U, --suppress-load-options
  Don’t load any saved options on startup.
-E, -no-override
  Command line must not override any options already set in the initialisation file.
-I, --use-initialisation-file <file>
  Use alternative intialisation file. Default: ~/.cedit/.cooledit.ini
-i, --all-characters
  Display characters outside of locale if there are glyphs for them. This does not work if you did not specify the font completely - Cooledit would then be using a font set (which does not allow non-locale characters to be printed). See FONTS for more information. Default: display only isgraph(3) characters - i.e. characters printable under the current locale.
--word-wrap <length>
  The maximum length of a line. See the next two options.
  This option causes a newline to be inserted when the line you are typing becomes longer than --word-wrap length.
  This is a more advanced form of the option above: it causes the entire paragraph to be reformatted with each edit of a paragraph. See WORD PROCESSOR MODE below.
-t, -tab, --tab-spacing <spacing>
  Interpret the tab character as being the length of <spacing> characters. Default is 8. You should avoid using other than 8 since most other editors and text viewers assume a tab spacing of 8. Use -fake-half-tabs to simulate a smaller tab spacing.
-s, -space, --space-filled-tabs
  Never insert a tab space. Rather insert spaces (ascii 20h) to fill to the desired tab size.
-nospace, --no-space-filled-tabs
-a, --auto-indent
  Pressing return will tab across to match the indentation of the first line above that has text on it (default).
-noautoi, --no-auto-indent
  Turn off auto tabs.
-b, --backspace-through-tabs
  Make a single backspace delete all the space to the left margin if there is no text between the cursor and the left margin.
-noback, --no-backspace-through-tabs
-half, --fake-half-tabs
  This will emulate a half tab for those who want to program with a tab spacing of 4, but do not want the tab size changed from 8 (so that the code will be formatted the same when displayed by other programs). When editing between text and the left margin, moving and tabbing will be as though a tab space were 4, while actually using spaces and normal tabs for an optimal fill. When editing anywhere else, a normal tab is inserted.
-no-half, --no-fake-half-tabs
  Turn off half tabbing.
  Edit windows have a toolbar on the left: default.
  Disable XIM support.
  Edit windows do not have a toolbar.
-m, --minimal-main-window
  This is used internally to create a new main window with one edit window when the user activates ‘New Main Window’ from the Window menu. You can also use it to force the main window to be just large enough to hold all the sub-windows.
-A, -save-setup
  Save options on exit (default).
-P, -no-save-setup
  Don’t save options on exit.
-W, --whole-chars-search <chars>
  Characters that constitute a whole word when searching, default: 0-9a-z_ (typed out in full)
-w, --whole-chars-move <chars>
  Characters that constitute a whole word when moving and deleting, default: 0-9a-z_; ,[](){} (typed out in full)
  Print info about X intialisation.
-h, -H, -?, --help
  Print out commandline options summary.
-V, -v, --version
  Print out version number.

Commandline examples

cooledit +10 hello.c -S -geom +
  Start cooledit with one file, with minimum geometry, with cursor at line 10.
cooledit hello.c program.c
  Start cooledit with two files, the file hello.c being the current file. The previous files are also loaded underneath these two files.


To join, email with the line subscribe cooledit in the body of the message. Patches, and anything you would like to say about cooledit, are welcome at .


Cooledit supports multiple edit windows and has all the conveniences of MSW/MAC text editors. The interface has a beautiful 3D look and feel vaguely like Motif. It has an extensible file size limit of 64Mb and edits binary files flawlessly. Besides typical functions of a basic editor, cooledit has the following features: a builtin Python interpretor for Python programmability; spell-check as you type with red wavy lines; graphical C/C++ debugger; Key for key undo; shift-arrow text highlighting; macro recording; a generic shell execution facility that can be used to run make, sort or any user defined shell function on text or editor files; easy key redefinition; mouse text highlighting; XDND drag and drop; double-click on a gcc error message to go immediately to the file and line number; desktop and cursor position memory; easy window cycling; comprehensive search and replace; input histories; and lots more. The editor is very easy to use and requires no tutoring. To see what keys do what, just consult the appropriate pull-down menu.

A complete set of key definitions follows.


Cooledit displays a new help message on the title bar every 2 minutes. All features not obvious from the user interface are documented by these hint messages, so reading them should be of considerable help to those who prefer not to read this man page.

To look at the complete list of hint messages, see the HINTS file in the distribution, or look under the doc/cooledit-3.17.17 directory in your file-system.


Keys may be redefined using an easy to use key learner. See the next section on how to get this to work.

The following is a partial list of all default key bindings and their actions, for reference. You will probably never need to refer to it because most of the editor actions can be found in the menus. Note that F14 is analogous to Shift-F4 etc. Also be aware that on some machines, what X percieves as an Alt/Meta is actually some other modifier key (our Sun-Sparc uses the diamond key).

Movement keys: 
   Left                    left one char
   Right                   right one char
   Up                      up one line
   Down                    down one line
   Home                    beginning of line
   End                     end of line
   PgUp                    up one screen full
   PgDn                    down one screen full
   Ctrl-PgUp               beginning of file
   Ctrl-PgDn               end file
   Ctrl-Home               beginning of page
   Ctrl-End                end of page
   Ctrl-Left               left one word
   Ctrl-Right              right one word
   Ctrl-Up                 up one paragraph
   Ctrl-Down               down one paragraph
   Meta/Alt-Up             scroll up one line
   Meta/Alt-Down           scroll down one line

Highlight keys: Shift with any of the above keys will highlight at the same time.

Column highlighting: Holding down the Control key while using the mouse to highlight text, will cause the highlighted text to be displayed in inverse colour. You will be able to select columns (arbitrary rectangles) of text and drag and drop them as usual.

Input History: When editing an input line, Shift-Up or Shift-Down will bring up a history of previous inputs.

Editing keys: Delete delete char to the right Backspace delete char to the left Meta/Alt-Del delete to line end Meta/Alt-Backspace delete to line begin Meta/Alt-Right delete word to the right Meta/Alt-Left delete word to the left F5 copy highlighted text to cursor F6 move highlighted text to cursor F8 delete highlighted text Ctrl-y delete line Shift-Enter insert a newline Enter insert a newline with auto indent (default) Tab insert a tab (see options menu) Insert toggle insert/overwrite Ctrl-q quote - the next key pressed will be interpreted as a literal Undo: Ctrl-u Ctrl-Backspace

File Ctrl-F1 man page F2 save F12 or Shift-F2 save as Ctrl-o load Ctrl-j jump to file under cursor Ctrl-n new Ctrl-f save highlighted text as Shift-F5 or F15 insert file at cursor

Mark: F3 toggle highlight Ctrl-b toggle highlight columns

Search and replace: F7 search F17 or Shift-F7 search again F4 replace F14 or Shift-F4 replace again

X Clipboard: Ctrl-Ins copy to clipboard Shift-Ins paste to clipboard Shift-Delete cut to clipboard Ctrl-Delete delete highlighted text Meta/Alt-Ins insert from selection history

General: F10 exit (current editor) Ctrl-F3 new edit window Shift-F3 new main window Alt-F6 maximise the window Ctrl-F6 window cycle Ctrl-F10 exit application Meta/Alt-x save all and exit Ctrl-F2 save state of desktop Ctrl-d insert date and time Meta/Alt-l goto line number Meta/Alt-F7 run make Meta/Alt-t sort Ctrl-r start/end record macro Ctrl-a execute macro Ctrl-p spell check highlighted text Shift-F9 C formatter Ctrl-Tab complete word Meta/Alt-i insert unicode character Shift/F1 rxvt terminal

Debug: Alt-F2 toggle breakpoint Alt-F3 continue until cursor Alt-F4 continue Alt-F5 run from beginning Alt-F8 single step, dive into functions Alt-F9 single step, skip over functions Ctrl-c interrupt program

New shell scripts will be added from time to time. Consult the Scripts menu for the hotkeys that envoke these.


keywords: hang, crash, halt, pause, stop, infinite loop, SIGHUP, SIGUSR1.

There are some circumstances when Cooledit may go into an infinite loop, like if there is a bug in the editor movement commands, or if you create a recursive macro. In this case, you can restore Cooledit by using the kill shell function. Try kill -SIGUSR1 pid where pid is the process ID of cooledit from: ps | grep cooledit, for example. This will send SIGUSR1, a user signal, which, for Cooledit, will force a jump into its main loop, and restore operation. It is a good idea to then save what you have done and exit immediately in case there has been memory corruption.


The Options menu has a key binding learner which is easy to use. The key learning dialog contains a list of every re-definable action that the editor can perform. Simply click on the action you want to associate a key to, and press that key. An ’X’ will appear next to the action to indicate the recording of a binding. To clear that binding click on the Clear Line button (or the Clear All button to clear all the bindings). You can even bind the same action to two separate keys: for instance using either the key pad arrows, or the normal arrows for cursor movement --- just click on that action again, and hit another key --- where two X’s will appear. Up to three keys can be associated with an action. The binding is also sensitive to the keyboard ’state’ (i.e. whether Control, Shift, Alt, Meta, or Hyper is pressed, and any combination of these) so binding Shift-Left to an action will work, and will be considered a different key stroke to Shift-Control-Left, and will also be considered a different key stroke to Shift-Left with NumLock on. Note that the difference between ’Enter’ and ’Return’ is that the one does an auto-indent.

The key binding records X11 key-codes. These are the actual hardware codes that come from the keyboard, so the key binding works on the lowest possible level of interpretation. The editor checks for these user defined keys before any hard-coded key bindings, so user binded keys will override the default key bindings. This means user defining keys will always work, but may be specific to the hardware you are using.

To redefine hardcoded keys (i.e. the default keys), modify the file edit_key_translator.c and then recompile. It contains simple C code which gets incorporated directly into the program during compilation. Note that the first function it calls is to get the user defined action for the key if there is one. To recompile, remove the file edit.o and run make in the top directory. This will allow you to change any key-binding. The editor menu however will have to be modified separately to reflect the changes you’ve made (see editmenu.c). A detailed explanation is given in the commentary of edit_key_translator.c.

(I added key redefinition mainly because different X Servers seem to interpret the same keys differently. It seems ridiculous that this should happen in the face X11’s thorough key definition standard. The new X11R6.3 for Linux does seem to interpret keys properly and all the keys should work as expected on the PC; so there should be no need to redefine keys under Linux. You can however easily emulate another editor as you like.)


As of version 3.17.8, if the cursor is over a text file, in a normal edit window, you can hit Ctrl-j to open that file in a new window, through a fast text search of your personal file list. Your personal file list is located in ~/.cedit/filelist and can be created simply with
  find /this/directory/ /that/directory/ -type f > ~/.cedit/filelist

The list of directories should reflect any source trees you are currently interested in. This is useful for C/C++ source code where a #include directive specifies a file that you would like to immediately open. If the file under your cursor contains a leading / character, then it is assumed to be a full path and the file is immediately opened without consulting the file list. Cooledit checks the file list periodically to see if you have updated it, hence you need not restart Cooledit should your file list have been updated.

The file list is also used by the built in interface to gdb wherever gdb’s output contains a file without mentioning its path. This could be because the object file currently being debugged does not contain sufficient debug information.


As of version 3.10.0, Cooledit spell checks typed words on the fly, placing the traditional wavy red line under miss-spelled words. This works by feeding typed words through ispell and placing them amidst the syntax highlighting rules if ispell returns a non-match. These rules expire after 60 seconds - which mean they won’t stay underlined indefinitely. Word feeding is initiated by most key presses and applies only to the word under the cursor. To look up a word, merely move the cursor over it.


As of version 3.15.0, Cooledit has Unicode support. What kind of unicode support it has, and what unicode, UCS and UTF-8 are is explained as follows:

UCS stands for Universal Character Set. UCS is like ASCII (see ascii(1)) but instead of storing only 128 english specific characters, UCS goes up to 65535 characters and covers every known non-fictional language as well as scientific and mathematical symbols etc.

UCS theoretically goes beyond 65535 (for example defining the very useful Klingon character set). However, it is likely that most implementations will keep to a 2 byte size requirement. Cooledit supports up to 131072 (1FFFFh) characters. UCS is also called Unicode and is officially ISO standard 10646. So wherever you see ISO-10646 it means Unicode. (Actually, Unicode is a standard to define further things like typographical layout, but for here, they are taken to mean the same thing.)

2 bytes (for UCS) instead of 1 byte for ASCII posses a problem for most programs. For example, the average C program uses a string function every few lines (that assumes a 1 character per byte format). To solve this we have UTF-8. UTF-8 stands for UCS Transformation Format. It is an encoding scheme that says that any byte encountered by an application that has a value below 128 is to be treated as ordinary ascii characters, but a byte with a value above 128 means that a sequence of bytes is forthcoming that represents some character in the range 128 to 65536 (or above). This enables a stream of single bytes to represent the UCS character set, albeit with some inefficiency. More information can be had from

Hence pure ASCII text is already in UTF-8 format.

At the time of this writing, I am not quite sure precisely what an application has to be able to do to be classified as "Supporting Unicode". For instance: what about inserting characters? Don’t input methods produce tradition charset encodings? And why are characters displayed by X’s Xmb* and Xwc* functions?

At the moment Cooledit can display Unicode characters if: (1) the "UTF8 Interpretation" is on, (2) the "Display Characters outside locale" is on, (3) you are using a non-"fontset" type font - when loading you get an error message "Font set not loaded", and (4) if the font is a Unicode font - i.e. ending in the font name iso10646-1.

This may involve you having to install Unicode fonts. See and

For instance

    cooledit --utf8-interpretation --all-characters --no-fontset 
      -font -gnu-unifont-*-*-*--*-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1

works. The GNU Unicode font is an attempt at supporting the entire Unicode character set in one font. Most other fonts will support a limited range (such as omitting the 20000 Chinese ideographs).

What Cooledit is supposed to do under a non-US locale I have no idea, so please give me a hint sometime. (Looking at the yudit documentation, it seems Gaspar also has my problems.

Note that Cooledit does no character set translations whatsoever - maybe later versions will.


As of version 3.9.0, Cooledit features an interface to gdb(1) under the new Debug menu. This means that you can seamlessly debug C/C++ programs from within Cooledit just like you used to with your DOS Turbo Debugger. This is extremely cool. You can set and clear breakpoints (the line is bookmarked in red) and follow the program flow with the green cursor line. Please remember that this an interface to gdb: Cooledit has no debugging features of its own. If you do not have the correct version of gdb, then a warning will be displayed on startup.

Interfaces are given to the common gdb commands. Any other commands can be executed with the Enter Command menu item. Automatic variable displays will soon be available though.

When a program stops for some reason (either a breakpoint or a signal), Cooledit tries to determine the file and line number. If this cannot be done, a backtrace is displayed. Backtraces do not contain full paths, hence files cannot be located if they are not already loaded. If the file is already loaded, then hitting enter on a file:line backtrace line will jump to the currect line number.

Programs must of course be compiled with the -g option and preferably the -O0 option (without -O0 gcc’s optimizations may make the program flow appear a little strange and some variables will not be accessible).

Break-points are set and cleared from the menu or with Meta-F2. If you set a break point manually (with Meta-F1) it will not display in the edit window. Similarly if you clear a break point manually or close a window (thus clearing the breakpoints) there will be discrepancy between the book marks and the actual breakpoints. The same goes if you modify a file without restarting gdb.

Variables can be displayed by selecting Display variable.... A listbox will show all the variables you have selected. Click on the listbox and press Del to delete from this list. Use Ins to highlight a variable - this will cause a watchpoint to be inserted for this variable (i.e. the program will thereafter stop whenever the value of that variable changes). The listbox will also show an X in the second column if the variable has been altered since the last time the listbox was refreshed - this enables you to easily see which variable changes as you step through the lines of your program.

Everything else you need to know is obvious from the menu. You would do well to read gdb’s info pages if you have never used a debugger under Unix before.

See also the section JUMP TO FILE AND YOUR PERSONAL FILE LIST regarding how Cooledit will consult your personal file list to resolve a path to a file.


As of version 3.8.0, Cooledit has a builtin Python interpretor. This means that Cooledit can execute arbitrary Python scripts from within its environment and bind scripts to keys and so forth. This is analogous to the way that Emacs uses a Lisp interpretor. Python is an object orientated scripting language like java, but with a much saner syntax. It is used for Rapid Application Development, and as a replacement for other intepretor languages like Perl, Tcl and Lisp.

On startup, Cooledit reads the top level Python file lib/cooledit/, and then the user’s personal file ~/.cedit/ Any Python code can go into these files. No other files are explicitely read, but the code within will call other Python files. The location of the directory lib/cooledit/ is dependant on your installation and is added to the default search path for modules.

To learn to program in Python, consult the tutorials and reference manuals that come with the Python sources.

One of the reasons for the python interpretor is to enable emulation of other editors such as vi and Emacs. It is quite feasable to write python scripts that will emulate all of the functions of these editors, and have user dialogs and menu items to switch between different editor emulations...

def get_ctrl_x_key():
    status ("\034Press \030s\033\035")
    k, m = get_key ()
    if m == 0:
        if k == "s":
            command (Save_As)

key ("x", ControlMask, "get_ctrl_x_key()")

The \034 and \035 means to draw a bevel around the enclosed text. The other escape characters cause colour changes (1 - 26, 27 = black).

Another powerful capacity is to have utilities specific to the particular file type that is being edited. When the type of an edit window is changed, the function type_change() from the script is run. This function must run an appropriate file for the given file type which defines keys and creates menu items in that window’s Util menu.

The following low level function are defined for manipulating the edit buffers. The functions operate on the current edit buffer. This is usually the one with the focus.
  Moves the cursor relative to its current position in units of one character.
  Moves the cursor to an absolute position in the buffer.
  Moves the cursor relative to its current position up or down.
int buffer_size()
  Returns the size in bytes of the edit buffer.
  Types out the given string at the current cursor position.
  Inserts tabs and spaces according to the current half-tab and tab settings. The inserted margin copies the margin from the first non-blank line above the current line. If an argument is given, then it makes the margin bigger or smaller by this many tabs. i.e. insert ("\n"); indent (3) is like hitting Enter and then hitting Tab three times.
  Inserts the given string ahead of the current cursor position.
  Deletes the given number of characters behind the cursor.
  Deletes the given number of characters ahead of the cursor.
int current()
  Returns the current absolute cursor position.
int current_line()
  Returns the current line number counting from zero for the first line.
int bol(int)
  Returns the absolute offset of the start of the given line.
int eol(int)
  Returns the absolute offset of the end of the given line.
int find_forwards(int, string)
  Searches forward from the given offset and returns the absolute offset of the found string.
int find_backwards(int, string)
  Searches backward from the given offset and returns the absolute offset of the found string.
int line(int)
  Returns the line number of the given offset. Repeated calls to this function will be slow.
string get_text([int[, int]])
  Returns a string containing the characters between the given offsets. If the second argument is omitted, then this returns a string one character in length at the given offset. If both arguments are omitted then this returns the character under the cursor.
string get_line([int[, int]])
  Returns a string containing the characters between the given lines inclusive. If the second argument is omitted, then this returns a string containing the given line. If both arguments are omitted, then this returns the current line of the cursor. The trailing newline is not included.
The following functions allow binding of arbitrary python code to menu items and keys:
key(string, int[, string])
  Binds a python statement to a key. The last argument contains python code. If it is omitted then the action is to unbind the key if it is bound. The first argument is the string representation of a key from the keysymdef.h X Window header file (with or without the XK_ prefix). The second argument is zero or the inclusive OR of any of the following modifiers:
AltMask is defined in the global.h header file in the distribution and is system dependant.

The usual usage of this function is to bind a key to a short python statement. The statement itself would then call functions that were previously defined.

The key binding will be seen through all edit windows.

bind(string, string, int[, function])
  Binds a python function to a range of keys in the current editor. If the last argument is omitted then the action is to unbind those keys if they are bound. The first two arguments are the string representation of a range of keys from the keysymdef.h X Window header file (with or without the XK_ prefix) (for example bind ("A", "Z", ControlMask, control_keys), which binds the keys A through Z to the function control_keys). The third argument is the modifier as with the key() function. The bound function must take two arguments: the key name as a string and the modifier as an integer.

The key binding will be seen in the current (focussed) editor window only. If the same key is bound globally (using the key() function), then it will be overridden by bind().

This is useful for binding particular keys depending on the type of text being edited. bind() should hence be used within the type_change() function.

menu(string, [string[, string]])
  Creates a menu item. The last argument contains python code. If it is omitted then the action is to remove the menu item if it exists. The first argument is the name of one of the menus and can be one of File, Edit, Search, Command, Options, Readme or Util. The second argument is the menu item text to be added to the given menu. If this text contains a \t then the text after the \t will be right justified (eg "Open...\tC-o"). The Util menu is specific to each editor window, hence this is useful for defining tools specific to a particular file type. The Util menu is activated by pressing on the Util tool button of each editor window, or Meta-U.

If only one argument is given, then this command clears the menu of all its items.

replace_menu(string, string, string, string)
  Replaces an existing menu item with a new menu item. The arguments are respectively: The menu (i.e. File, Edit, etc.), the old menu item, the new menu item, and the python code.
insert_menu(string, string, string, string)
  Inserts a menu item after an existing menu item. The arguments are respectively: The menu (i.e. File, Edit, etc.), the menu item before which the insertion is to be made, the new menu item, and the python code.
The following functions return information about the current edit buffer:
string file()
  Returns the file-name excluding the path.
string directory()
  Returns the directory.
int modified()
  Returns the flag to indicate if the buffer has been modified since the last load or save.
int overwrite([int])
  Returns the overwrite flag (indicating type-over mode). If an integer is given, then this sets the overwrite flag and returns the previous value of the overwrite flag.
(int, int, int, int, int) markers([int, int[, int, int, int]])
  Returns the state of the markers. The five values returned are: the starting marker, the ending marker, a flag indicating whether column highlighting mode is on, the starting column and the ending column. The last two values should be ignored if column highlighting (the third value) is found to be zero.

If nothing is highlighted then this function returns None.

If values are passed to the function, then the state of the markers will be set to those values. Note that if the end marker is -1, then the ending marker is the cursor and movements of the cursor will change the selection. If the third argument is zero then that last two arguments are ignored.

The following functions display and return information to/from the user:
(tuple, tuple) generic_dialog(string, tuple, tuple, tuple, tuple, tuple, tuple, tuple [[, int], int])
  This function takes a string value as the title to a dialog, then displays the dialog, returning the results of various checkboxes or input widgets. The dialog has the same format as what you will see when doing a Find file from the File menu. An arbitrary number of input widgets or check boxes can be specified. The arguments passed to generic_dialog are as follows.
string Title of the dialog.
(string, string, ...)
  A list of default strings to go into each of the input widgets.
(string, string, ...)
  A list of labels to go above each of the input widgets.
(string, string, ...)
  A list of names used internally to store histories of entries to that input widget. These can be anything, although a descriptive name, of about 20 characters in length, will ensure uniqueness for each widget. This is actually the internal name of the widget which must be unique within the entire application. Something of the form dialogname.entryname for each input widget is fine.
(string, string, ...)
  A list of tool hints for each input widget. Elements may be null or there may be less elements than the number if widgets.
(int, int, ...)
  A list of values for check boxes - either 0 for off or 1 for on.
(string, string, ...)
  A list labels for each check box.
(string, string, ...)
  A list of tool hints for each checkbox. Elements may be null or there may be less elements than the number if widgets.
int An optional width of the dialog. This is in units of the mean character width for the current font. The default value is 60.
int An optional options integer being the inclusive OR of one or more of the following values:

This indicates that a ‘Browse’ button should accompany the entry widget. The browse button will open a file with behaviour appropriate to loading, saving or selecting a directory.
The return values are two tuples containing a list of the values of the input widgets and checkbox’s respectively. If the dialog was canceled, the return value is null.

As an example, the find file dialog can be reproduced as follows:

x = generic_dialog ("Find file",                                \
    (".", "*.[ch]", ""),                                        \
    (   "Starting directory",                                   \
        "Filenames matching glob expression",                   \
        "Containing" ),                                         \
    (   "find-start_dir",                                       \
        "find-glob_express",                                    \
        "find-containing" ),                                    \
    (   "Starting directory for the recursive search",          \
        "Glob expressions such as *.[ch] or *.doc",             \
        "Check if file contains this sequence" ),               \
    (0, 0, 0, 0),                                               \
    (   "Containing reg. exp.",                                 \
        "Containing case insens.",                              \
        "Search follows symlinks",                              \
        "Search is case insens." ),                             \
    (   "Enter regular expression pattern to find within file", \
        "Match case insensitively when searching within files", \
        "Dive into symlinks to directories",                    \
        "Filenames are matched case insensitively" ),           \
    60, INPUTS_WITH_OPTIONS_BROWSE_DIR_1                        \
if x:
    inputs = x[1]
    checks = x[2]

The following are more simplistic utility dialogs:
string input_dialog(string, string, string)
  Brings up an input dialog. Takes a title, prompt string and default value as input. Returns the entered string or None if cancelled.
string save_file_dialog(string, string, string)
  Brings up a file browser dialog. Takes a title, a starting directory and a default value as input. Returns the entered string or None if cancelled.
string load_file_dialog(string, string, string)
  This has a slightly different behaviour to save_file_dialog - if a non existing file is entered, it reports an error.
message_dialog(string, string)
  Brings up a message dialog with the given title and message.
error_dialog(string, string)
  Brings up an error dialog with the given title and message.
int query_dialog(string, string, string, ...)
  Brings up a query dialog. Takes a header, a prompt and a number of alternative buttons. Returns the button number or -1 on cancel.
  Sets the status line of the current editor. The status line will return to its usual when a key is pressed. This can be used with getkey() to inform the user of possible key presses.
string status_input(string, string)
  Sets the status line to an entry widget with the first argument as the prompt string, and the second argument as the default text. Returns the entered text or None if Esc is pressed.
(string, int) get_key()
  This blocks waiting for a key press, and grabs the application. It returns the string equivalent of the key press as in the X Window header file keysymdef.h without the XK_ prefix. It also returns the current state of the keyboard modifiers, being the inclusive or of ShiftMask ... etc. as listed above.
The following function allows display of shell output as those in the Scripts menu.
int shell_output(string, string, string)
  This displays the output of a shell command continuously in its own window in the background. As always, clicking on file:line type messages will cause the editor to jump to that file and line number.

The arguments are: the title of the output dialog, the shell program (which should begin with #!/bin/sh or similar), and a unique descriptive magic string that identifies the dialog. An example of a magic string is FindfIlEmAgiC used by the find file dialog - if you use the same magic string, then a new window will not be created if the find file display window exists.

The following functions manipulate editor windows:
(string, ...) get_editors()
  Returns a tuple with an entry for each editor window. These are the full path names of the open files.
  Sets the current editor with the full path name. This allows manipulation of a different edit buffer, but does not set input to that buffer.
focus() Raises and the current editor window and sets the input focus to the current editor.
  Close the current edit window. If a non-zero value is passed, then this forces a close, regardless of whether the buffer is modified or not.
  Create a new editor window with no text in it.
  Load a file into the current window. This will replace any text in the current edit window.
The following are further miscellaneous commands:
  Executes an arbitrary editor command. These are listed in the Define Keys dialog.
  After the edit buffer has been modified, the window must refresh. Usually just the current line is redrawn. If you have made changes which may reflect a different display on other lines, then call redraw_page() before returning to ensure that the entire screen displays correctly.
string file_type([string])
  Forces the current file type as though you had selected it from the Options, Syntax highlighting... menu item. Forcing the type disables automatic file type selection for this window thereafter. The old file type is returned.

If no arguments are passed, file_type just returns the current file type. This is useful for creating actions specific to the type of text being edited.

New syntax rule sets are being added all the time, but the passed and returns string is least one of:

Unified Diff Output
Context Diff Output
LSM File
Shell Script
Perl Program
Python Program
NROFF Source
Pascal Program
Ada Program
LaTeX 2.09 Document
Texinfo Document
C/C++ Program
SWIG Source
Java Program
SmallTalk Program
ML Program
GNU Distribution ChangeLog File
Mail folder
Syntax Highlighting definitions


As of version 3.6.0, cooledit has syntax highlighting. This means that keywords and contexts (like C comments, string constants, etc) are highlighted in different colours. The following section explains the format of the file ~/.cedit/syntax.

The file ~/.cedit/Syntax is rescanned on opening of any new editor file. It contains a list of file types and how to identify what rule set the text you are editing belongs to. The file token dictates how to match up your text. On the same line as a file token must appear a regular expression to match the filename, a string to be displayed on the left of the editor window for description purposes, and a regular expression to match the first line of the file. If either of the regular expressions match, the file is deemed to have the particular type. For example

file ..\*\\.(py|PY])$ Python\sProgram ^#!\s\*/.\*/python

Will cause a file to be labelled as Python Program if it contains say, #!/usr/bin/python, on the first line OR of it ends in say .py.

Note that *, + and \ have to be escaped with a \, and space must be presented with a \s.

After the file keyword may come the include keyword. The include keyword says to load a rule set from a separate file, and is the preferred way of adding new rule sets. The path from where it loads defaults to cooledit/syntax/ under the lib/ directory where you installed Cooledit. See the examples in your own Syntax file and in this directory.

Each rule set is divided into contexts, and each context contains keyword definitions. A context is a scope within the text that a particular set of keywords applies to. For instance, the region within a C style quote (i.e. between " quotations) has its own separate colour and hence its own separate context. Within it, the normal C tokens, like if and while, will not apply, but %d should be highlighted in a different colour. Contexts are usually for when you have something that must be coloured across multiple lines. The default context contains the list of keywords to fall back on should there be no other applicable context. This is usually normal programming code.

A trivial C programming rule set might look like this:

file .\*\\.c C\sProgram\sFile (#include|/\\\*)

wholechars abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ_

# default colors context default keyword whole if yellow/24 keyword whole else yellow/24 keyword whole for yellow/24 keyword whole while yellow/24 keyword whole do yellow/24 keyword whole switch yellow/24 keyword whole case yellow/24 keyword whole static yellow/24 keyword whole extern yellow/24 keyword { brightcyan/14 keyword } brightcyan/14 keyword ’*’ green/6

# C comments context /\* \*/ brown/22

# C preprocessor directives context linestart # \n brightred/18 keyword \\\n yellow/24

# C string constants context " " green/6 keyword %d yellow/24 keyword %s yellow/24 keyword %c yellow/24 keyword \\" yellow/24

Each context starts with a line of the form:
context [exclusive] [whole|wholeright|wholeleft] [linestart] delim [linestart] delim [foreground] [background]

One exception is the first context. It must start with the command
context default [foreground] [background]
or else cooledit will return an error.

The linestart option dictates that delim must start at the beginning of a line.

The whole option tells that delim must be a whole word. What constitutes a whole word are a set of characters that can be changed at any point in the file with the wholechars command. The wholechars command at the top just sets the set exactly to its default and could therefore have been omitted. To specify that a word must be whole on the left only, you can use the wholeleft option, and similarly on the right. The left and right set of characters can be set separately with,
wholechars [left|right] characters

The exclusive option causes the text between the delimiters to be colourised, but not the delimiters themselves.

Each rule is a line of the form:
keyword [whole|wholeright|wholeleft] [linestart] string foreground [background]

Important to note is the line

  keyword  \\\n  yellow/24

This line defines a keyword containing the \ and newline characters. Because keywords have a higher precedence than context delimiters, this keyword prevents the context from ending at the end of a line if the line ends in a \ thus allowing C preprocessor directive to continue across multiple lines.

The colours themselves need to apply to the Midnight Commander internal editor as well as to Cooledit. Therefore the form
is used. See some of the many rule sets given, for examples on using this. Usually the background colour is omitted, thus defaulting to the usual background colour.

Context or keyword strings are interpreted so that you can include tabs and spaces with the sequences \t and \s. Newlines and the \ are specified with \n and \\ respectively. Since whitespace is used as a seperator, it may not be used explicitedly. Also, \* must be used to specify a *, and a \+ to specify a +. The * itself is a wildcard that matches any length of characters. The + is like the * but matches a length of non-whitespace characters only. For example,

  keyword         ’+’      green/6
  keyword         ’\s’      green/6

colours all C single character constants green. You could also have used
  keyword         "*"      green/6

to colour string constants, except that the matched string may not cross newlines.

The \{ wild card matches any characters that exists between it and its matching \}. For example, the following matches C style octals:

  keyword ’\\\{0123\}\{01234567\}\{01234567\}’ brightgreen/16

The \[ \] wild card is similar and matches any number of characters.

All wild cards may be used within context delimiters as well, but you cannot have a wildcard as the first character of a context delimiter. In addition, using a wildcard as the first character of a keyword, impacts hugely on performance.

The colours themselves are numbered 0 to 26 and are explained below in FURTHER BEHAVIOURAL OPTIONS. You can also use any of the named colors specified in /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt, though only one word versions of them. It is better to stick to the numerical colors to limit use of the color palette.

Comments may be included on a line of there own and begin with a #.

Because of the simplicity of the implementation, there are a few intricacies that will not be coped with correctly but these are a minor irritation. On the whole, a broad spectrum of quite complicated situations are handled with these simple rules. It is a good idea to take a look at the syntax file to see some of the nifty tricks you can do with a little imagination. If you can’t get by with the rules I have coded, and you think you have a rule that would be useful, please email me with your request. However, do not ask for regular expression support, because this is flatly impossible.

A useful hint is to work as much as possible with the things you can do rather than try to do things that this implementation can’t cope with. Also remember that the aim of syntax highlighting is to make programming less prone to error, not to make code look pretty.


Syntax colours can be any of the integer values 0 through 26. The options option_editor_bg_normal in your ~/.cedit/.cooledit.ini file (and their counterparts option_editor_fg_normal etc.) can also be set to a value of 0 through 26. Each of these 27 colours’ RGB values can be set to specific values in your ~/.cedit/.cooledit.ini file. They are called option_color_0 through option_color_26. They are in hex with 2 digits per Red, Green and Blue, (just like HTML specified colours).


Html syntax highlighting supports highlighting of legal attributes within tags. This means that legal keywords between < > sequences will be highlighting. As of this writing, about half of all HTML tags have been added with their attributes. Only attributes common to Netscape as well as IE are listed. W3C was also taken into account, hence you can be fairly certain that the attribute is portable if it gets highlighted. Note that the Netscape tags reference was used to compile these syntax rules and obeys the convention that tags are in uppercase and attributes are in lower case. The syntax highlighting is therefore case-sensitive. By the time you read this, all tags may have been added.


This feature was added in version 3.3.2. This would typically be used by typing in half a word (for example "str") and then pressing the completion key, "Ctrl-Tab" (Note that anything can be completed eg. email addresses.) A list box will then appear showing you all the words on your system that begin with str: strcat, strchr, strcpy etc. You can select the word to type out. If there is only one match then the word will be completed without showing the list box. If there is no match then nothing will happen. Note that completion is case sensitive Thanks to Michael Zagorsky for this idea.

Unfortunately, a word-list of completion words is highly dependent on your system and the programming language you are using. It is very easy to create your own word-list though. The word-list must reside in the file "/.cedit/cooledit.completion". The file is simply a list of words separated by newlines, preferably with no duplications. It may have leading or trailing blank lines, but there must be no blank lines in the text. Of course, having a word in the word-list therefore has nothing to do with whether the word will or will not be accepted by the programming language you are using.

The easiest way to create a really comprehensive word-list for C programming is just to concatenate, sift and sort all the system header files. This is done with the shell script below. If your system commands do not support some of the options used, you should replace them with GNU versions from your sunsite mirror. On my system, the script creates a file of about a megabyte in size, 83k words, which is reasonably small. The word-list will be loaded when you first press the completion key. You can append to the word-list email addresses, TeX commands, shell commands or any other kind of data. You need not sort the entries as I have done here, but you should ensure that there are no duplicate entries, or the word-list is going to be very long - of course ’sort -u’ is the easiest way of avoiding duplications. Here is an example script that generates a completion list for TeX and C. You will have to change TEXDIR and INCLUDEDIR to point to locations for your system. This script uses a lot of memory and may take a long time to run.

TEXDIR="/usr/lib/tex /usr/local/lib/tex /usr/lib/texmf /usr/local/lib/texmf"
INCLUDEDIR="/usr/qt/include /usr/local/include /usr/include /usr/openwin/include"
cat ‘find $INCLUDEDIR \
-follow -regex ’.*\.h’‘ \
| sed -e ’s/[^A-Za-z0-9_#]/\
/g’ | sed \
-e ’s/^[0-9].*$//g’ \
-e ’s/^#[0-9#].*$//g’ \
-e ’s/^[A-Za-z0-9_#]$//g’ \
-e ’s/^[A-Za-z0-9_#][A-Za-z0-9_#]$//g’ \
-e ’s/^[A-Za-z0-9_#][A-Za-z0-9_#][A-Za-z0-9_#]$//g’ \
| cat -s | sort -u > ~/.cedit/cooledit.completion
cat ‘find $TEXDIR -follow -regex ’.*\.tex’‘ | \
sed -e ’s/[A-Za-z0-9]\\/&\
\\/g’ | \
sed -e ’s/\\$//g’ | \
sed -e ’s/[^A-Za-z0-9\\]/\
/g’ | \
sed -e ’s/\\\\*/\\/g’ | \
sed -e ’s/^[A-Za-z0-9].*$//g’ \
-e ’s/^\\$//g’ \
-e ’s/^\\[A-Za-z0-9\\]$//g’ \
| cat -s | sort -u >> ~/.cedit/cooledit.completion


Cooledit supports the XDND drag and drop protocol versions 0 through 2. Cooledit used to support the Dnd, up to version 3.6.3. To copy or move text, highlight it with the mouse, then click somewhere in the middle of the text and drag. The cursor will change to indicate that you are dragging. The text will be copied to the window that you release the mouse button on. If you drag with the left button, text will be copied while if you drag with any other button, text will be moved. If you drag a file-name to an edit window from the file browser, that file will be inserted into the text at the position you release the mouse button. You can also drag from the man page and from any text box. If you find drag and drop to not work with other applications, then check that they support the same protocol.


The Scripts menu has a list of commands that can be executed from hot-keys. You can create your own scripts by clicking on New script and filling in the various fields of the dialog. Several predefined examples are given in the menu. To get a feel for how this works click on Edit a script and select a predefined script from the list. The switches you see in the dialog box are self explanatory. They cause cooledit to perform various functions before and after the execution of the script and provide for seamless interfacing between cooledit and compilers or shell commands. The script text may also contain the % character to substitute for the editor’s file-name, path, etc. For instance, if %f is found in the script, it will be, before execution, replaced with the file-name of the file you are currently editing. The complete list of substitutions is as follows:

%d The current directory as set from the Command menu.
%f The full file-name of the file you are currently editing, without the path.
%n The file-name without the extension.
%x The file-name extension only.
%p The full path of the file-name without the trailing slash.
%t The name of a temporary file if needed.
%b The name of the block file.
%c The name of the clipboard file.
%e The name of the error message file.
%a The string typed in by the user if they where prompted.
%F The current font, or 8x13bold if the current font is a proportionally spaced font - use for terminal apps.
%O The current font regardless of its size.
%% Inserts a literal %.
Typically commands will process the editor file, or some highlighted text, and then output error messages to the error file, which might be displayed for viewing. Studying the examples will give an explanation of this. Note that the options "Display script’s stdout/err continuously" must not be set simultaneously with "Insert stdout/err on completion". If both are set, the former take precedence. Also, if the script runs in the background, none of the on completion options will have effect.


If the Auto paragraph formatting option is on (Select General from the Options menu) then paragraphs will be reformatted as you type. The Word wrap line length option specifies the paragraph’s maximum width. The key Alt-p (‘Paragraph_Format’ in the Define keys dialog) will force a paragraph to be formatted when Auto paragraph formatting is off, and will find a paragraph between the illegal lines defined below. A paragraph start and end are specified by two consecutive newline characters. A "non"-paragraph is one of the following (non-paragraphs are not formatted except with with Alt-p):
- Paragraphs containing any line that begins with the characters: -+*\,.;:&>.
- Paragraphs containing any line (other than the first line) that begins with a space or tab character. The first line may contain an indent for example.
This means that all contiguous blocks of text can be bordered by a blank line, and they will be nicely paragraphed. Because of the above rules, you can pretty much leave paragraph formatting on even when programming, since program text will break these rules every time. One difference though is that pressing ‘Enter’ in the middle of a line will properly break a paragraph with a double newline, unlike normal mode, where a only a single newline is inserted.

One other nifty feature is the formatting of fully indented paragraphs. If a paragraph’s lines are all identically indented (like a quote), then the indent will be retained, while normal formatting occurs. This may be a problem when you are trying to type something that must be indented, but must not be paragraphed, like a postal address. In this case you can make one line begin with an illegal character, or make one line be indented more or less than the other lines.

See also the command-line option "--auto-paragraph", above.


The input widget can be found in most dialogs and allows the editing of one line of text. By pressing Shift-Up or Shift-Down, you can see a history of previous entries. This is the same as pressing the input widget’s button.

Pressing Meta/Alt Ins in the editor will show you a history of cuts/copies you made to the X buffer. Pressing Space or Enter will insert the selected selection.

The quote key Ctrl-q can be used to insert any decimal or hexidecimal number. Ctrl-q and then an ordinary key press interprets that key literally, eg. Ctrl-q then Ctrl-m inserts an ascii Carriage Return or 13 decimal. This is useful to convert DOS text files to Unix and back. Just do a search and replace with Ctrl-q Ctrl-j Ctrl-q Ctrl-m as one string, and Ctrl-q Ctrl-j as the other. You can insert any character from 0 through 255 by exploiting the following: Ctrl-something AND’s something with 011111Binary, and Alt-something OR’s something with 010000000Binary, eg. Ctrl-q Ctrl-Alt-a inserts a 129.

You can also type out a three digit decimal number after Ctrl-q to insert that number. Hexidecial numbers can be inserted by typing the two digit number and then pressing the h key. E.g. Ctrl-q 0 6 4 inserts an @ symbol decimal 64; the sequence Ctrl-q 1 4 2 or Ctrl-q 8 e h inserts an 8E hexidecimal.

To cut and paste to and from the Midnight Commander’s internal editor, you can save a block to the clip-file and then do an insert file. To copy text to an xterm, highlight the text with the mouse, and then click on the xterm with button 2 as usual. To copy from an xterm, highlight in the xterm and then press Shift-Insert in the editor.

To define a macro, press Ctrl-R and then type out the key strokes you want to be executed. Press Ctrl-R again when finished. You can then assign the macro to any key you like by pressing that key. The macro is executed when you press Ctrl-A and then the assigned key. The macro is also executed if the key is pressed on its own and is not assigned to any other function. Once defined, the macro commands go into the file .cedit/cooledit.macros in your home directory. The macro will overwrite any existing definition that was assigned to that same key. You can also delete macros from the command menu. The maximum number of macros you are allowed is 1024, thereafter you may get a crash. Do not delete or edit the macro file without restarting cooledit because cooledit caches the macros hot-keys in memory. This also means that macros will not be available to other cooledit’s that are running simultaneously without them being restarted.

Running Make and Man

Cooledit has an interactive man page reader. To bring up a man page, type it out in the editor, highlight it with the mouse or cursor, and then press Ctrl-F1. The browser will appear in the root window. Inside the browser, you can double-click on words to bring up new man pages. You can also highlight text, drag it, and drop it into an edit window.

Press Alt-F7 to run make in the current directory. As of version 2.3.4 make is run via the generic script execution feature (see SCRIPT EXECUTION ). The current directory can be changed in the Command menu. The output of make will go to a viewer in the root window. Here you can double-click or press enter on an error message to take you directly to the file and line number where the error appears (provided the file is already open).

Search and Replace

You can use scanf search and replace to search and replace a C format string. First take a look at the sscanf and sprintf man pages to see what a format string is and how it works. An example is as follows: Suppose you want to replace all instances of say, an open bracket, three comma separated numbers, and a close bracket, with the word apples , the third number, the word oranges and then the second number, you would fill in the Replace dialog box as follows:

Enter search string 

Enter replace string 
apples %d oranges %d

Enter replacement argument order 

The last line specifies that the third and then the second number are to be used in place of the first and second.

Note that the scanf() C function treats whitespace as being elastic. Read about the scanf format %[ in the scanf man page: it is very useful for scanning strings, and whitespace. For example, here is how to change C++ comments into C comments: For the search string type ‘/’ ‘/’ ‘%’ ‘[’ ‘^’ Ctrl-q Enter ‘]’, then in the replace string enter ‘/’ ‘*’ ‘%’ ‘s’ ‘ ’ ‘*’ ‘/’. Then make sure that you have depressed the scanf option button, and replace all.

Also, the Case sensitive switch should be turned on when using scanf strings. The conversion specifiers in scanf and printf (i.e. search and replace respectively) must match exactly in their type - float must match with float etc. Searching with %f and replacing with %f, may not work, since, if you read the man page, scanf treats %f as a type float, while printf treats it as a type double. Instead use %lf to search, and replace with %f - both of type double.

Regular expression substring replacement is available. (For those breathing a huge sigh of relief: note that you could always use Sed under the Scripts menu to do this anyway.) Substrings are not indicated by \1 \2 ... as with sed(1), but with %s. You must then use the Enter argument order field to specify the order of subtrings replacement. Hence the above example becomes:

Enter search string 
\( *([0-9]*) *, *([0-9]*) *, *([0-9]*) *\)

Enter replace string 
apples %s oranges %s

Enter replacement argument order 

The option Backwards is provided to reverse search and replace. Although this is fully functional, it is not an efficient implementation of reverse searching, even to the extent that searches using scanf or regexp may be extremely slow. Hence beware, and remember that you can kill -SIGUSR1 pid to restore Cooledit.


Besides the define keys menu item, there is a general options item, a switches item, and a save mode item. The options in the general and switches options dialogs are analogous to those on the command line. The save mode dialog allows you to change the method of saving a file. Quick save saves the file by immediately, truncating the disk file to zero length (i.e. erasing it) and then writing the editor contents to the file. This method is fast, but dangerous, since a system error during a file save will leave the file only partially written, possibly rendering the data irretrievable. When saving, the safe save option enables creation of a temporary file into which the file contents are first written. In the event of an problem, the original file is untouched. When the temporary file is successfully written, it is renamed to the name of the original file, thus replacing it. The safest method is create backups. Where a backup file is created before any changes are made. You can specify your own backup file extension in the dialog. Note that saving twice will replace your backup as well as your original file.


Other options may be set by hand through editing the file ~/.cedit/.cooledit.ini (see FILES below). The section [Options] contains various settings (search for the string [Options]). Most of the settings are self explanatary. Unless otherwise stated, the setting is 0 for off and 1 for on. Some of these settings can be set from the Options menu, while others only take effect on startup and should therefore be edited by hand. Some of the settings are explained as follows:
  (and its counterparts) These define the extents of cursor movement within the edit window. Text will be scrolled to keep the cursor this distance from the edit window border. The units are in character widths and heights.
  Sets whether matching brackets will be highlighted.
  Sets whether the Window menu will be displayed when cycling through edit windows or opening a new file.
  Changes the cursor blink rate per second. This also effects the rate at which background script file outputs are updated. Use option_flashing_cursor = 0 to turn off cursor blinking.
  Changes the cursor style to an exclusive OR cursor.
  Turn on/off cursor flashing.
  Tells how often (in seconds) to change the window title hint message; 0 disables.
options_text_ and options_editor_
  These settings set the colours of text display boxes (usually having a pinkish backround) and the editor (usually having a dark blue background). The colour palette is 3x3x3 for red, green and blue. The formula is R*3^2 + G*3^1 + B*3^0 = ColourValue. Where R, G and B are the red, green and blue components of the colour and range from 0 to 2. Hence option_editor_bg_normal = 1 is a dark blue and option_editor_fg_normal = 26 is a bright white.
  Sets the shell command that will be used to run the man command. %m will be substituted for the man page entered. The -a option is preferred because it forces man to display all matching man pages across all sections. This may not be supported on some systems.
  Number of pixel widths between lines. You can specify this as 0 for condensed text or a larger number for broadly spaced lines.
  Maximum time-out to recognise a double click in milliseconds. Default is 300.
  This is the maximum number of keypresses recorded. Each key press is recorded on an undo stack. Memory space set aside for the stack starts off small, but is doubled whenever the stack is filled. This option sets the maximum size that the stack is allowed to reach, and should be a power of 2. The amount of memory used in bytes will be four times this number (eight times on 64 bit machines). Beware of making this number to large because memory will eventually be used up. The default is 8192 which is roughly 10 pages of C program code.
  Pixel distance between each widget’s bounding box. Set to 5 or 6 widen things up a bit.
  Causes a vertical convenience tool-bar to be displayed to the left of each edit window, default: on.
  Cooledit can try to be clever by checking for the numlock key to switch between arrow keys and numeric keys on the keypad. May not be a good idea, default: off.
  For proportional fonts, the space character (ASCII 32 decimal) can be so thin that programming code is difficult to manipulate. This option doubles its width, default off.


International character support has changed as of version 3.13, and now properly uses the libc6 locale functionality as well as multi-byte (Xmb) encoding. Hence you should set the LANG, LC_ALL amd XCOMPOSE environment variables to reflect your locale, and install the appropriate locale and font files. THIS IS ALL YOU SHOULD NEED TO DO. THERE ARE NO OPTIONS IN COOLEDIT TO SET THE LOCALE. SETTING UP THE LOCALE IS BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THIS DOCUMENT.

Most distributions will have many locale files installed already in say


You can then type, for example,
    export LC_ALL=de_DE
    export LANG=de_DE

A full list of locales on my system is: POSIX, cs_CZ, da_DK, de_AT, de_BE, de_CH, de_DE, de_LU, el_GR, en_AU, en_CA, en_DK, en_GB, en_IE, en_NZ, en_US, en_ZA, es_AR, es_BO, es_CL, es_CO, es_DO, es_EC, es_ES, es_GT, es_HN, es_MX, es_PA, es_PE, es_PY, es_SV, es_US, es_UY, es_VE, et_EE, eu_ES, fi_FI, fo_FO, fr_BE, fr_CA, fr_CH, fr_FR, fr_LU, ga_IE, he_IL, hr_HR, hu_HU, id_ID, in_ID, is_IS, it_CH, it_IT, iw_IL, ja_JP, kl_GL, lt_LT, lv_LV, nl_BE, nl_NL, no_NO, pl_PL, pt_BR, pt_PT, ro_RO, ru_RU, ru_SU, ru_UA, sk_SK, sl_SI, sr_YU, sv_FI, sv_SE, tr_TR, uk_UA, zh_CN.

These days the font is chosen automatically, unless you explicitly specify a font with its character set appended. In this case, the character set may not match the one that X expects. X will fail to enable localisation support, causing Cooledit to raw load the font itself, effectively disabling any localisation support. See FONTS for more information.

Characters that are deemed to be unprintable, either because they are out of range of the font, or because they are considered unprintable in the current locale, are printed in hex, or using ^X notation if they are control characters.

If you don’t want to bother with a proper locale setting, but just want to display characters above 128 instead of hex, set the ‘Display characters outside of locale’ in the Options --> Switches menu or use the --all-characters option when starting Cooledit. Then make sure you specify the font in full on the command-line so that it can be raw loaded.

The setlocale(3) man page contains a few sketchy details on locale support.

Also see the ABOUT-NLS for details about package translations in general, how it works and how you can contribute.


As of version 3.13.0, Cooledit supports multi-byte (Xmb) encoding. This has nothing to do with using character sets that have more than one byte per character (I don’t know what Cooledit will do in this case), but rather has to do with X’s Xmb... functions that support localisation through font sets (See FONTS).

To insert a non-ascii character, you need to use the compose key specified in your X Window System settings. With XFree86 your XF86Config file contains these settings. This is usually bound to the right control key, Hence hitting right control, the ‘o’ and the ‘"’ will produce the expected character. Cooledit used to have its own method of composing characters separate from X. This still functions, but works by holding down the right control key (and only the right control key) while pressing the first character in the control sequence.

A complete list of key combinations is given in the file INTERNATIONAL which comes with the source distribution. Note the this has nothing to do with X’s method of first hitting the control key to go into compose ‘mode’.


When displaying binary files, non-printable ascii characters are displayed as follows on black:
0 ^@
1-26 ^A - ^Z
27, 28, 29, 30, 31
  ^[, ^\, ^], ^^, ^_
31-127 Displayed as standard ascii in the normal background colour.
  Display in hex eg 139 is displayed as 8Bh
  Displayed as normal if international characters option is on, otherwise displayed in hex.


A variety of tabbing and auto indent options are available. One of the problems I’ve encountered with tabbing is that the programmer often wants to indent code with half tabs (four spaces) instead of the standard tab (eight characters). It would be easy to mearly change the tab width to four, but then the resulting code would not display correctly under viewers or other character devices. To solve this, a Fake Half Tabs option is available. This makes it appear as though you are using a half sized tab by inserting and moving through four space characters when you are to the left of your text. When eight space characters are inserted, they are automatically replaced with a tab.


Anti-aliasing is specified by appending /3 to the font name, for example,
    cooledit -font -winfonts-arial-bold-r-*-*-45-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-1/3 

To use anti-aliased font drawing in the editor. This does not cause Cooledit to actually render any anti-aliased fonts (as might be done perhaps with some anti-aliased version of freetype). Instead, Cooledit shrinks whatever font you give it by a factor of 3. Always use a 45 to 60 point true type font. Trying to use a font less than 45 points or a non-true type font, will give poor results. You may have to install X4 or xfstt, the FreeType font server.

The --widget-font option also works with this.


The default font is 8x13bold (or close to it) which is an alias for -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--13-120-75-75-c-80-iso8859-1 and is similar to the PC’s vga text font. Basic recommended fonts are 5x7, 5x8, 6x9, 6x10, 6x12, 6x13, 6x13bold, 7x13, 7x13bold, 7x14, 7x14bold, 8x13, 8x16, 9x15, 9x15bold, 10x20, 12x24.

As of version 3.13.0, Cooledit supports font sets. X allows an application to support a locale’s character set from a list of possible fonts that may cover parts of that character set. The application need only specify the list of fonts that it would like to use that may cover the character set of that particular language. X will sort out all the rest.

Running Cooledit with no command-line options causes the appropriate font set to be loaded based on the locale settings. Note that font sets are incompatible with Unicode support and anti-aliasing support.

If you would like to explicitely specify a font, the --font and --widget-font options control the font of the edit window and the font of the widget controls respectively. For example

    cooledit -font "-*-fixed-bold-r-normal--13" \
        --widget-font "-*-helvetica-bold-r-*--13"

are the defaults. The fonts are partially specified leaving XCreateFontSet(3X11) to fill in the appropriate locale information (see SPECIFYING FONTS below). You may specifiy whole lists of fonts as arguments since these get passed directly to the XCreateFontSet. See the explanation in the XCreateFontSet(3X11) man page.

However, font sets will fail if you specify a complete font name against a conflicting locale (like if you specify a Russian font while your locale is set to "C"). To cope with this, Cooledit will fall back to its old (non-‘font set’) font mechanism and raw load the font, giving appropriate error messages to stderr.

Note that your X and glibc installation must first support your locale for Cooledit to work. If other applications don’t display properly under your locale, neither will Cooledit.

For proportional fonts, a tab width is a factor of the width of the space character, hence a tab spacing of eight is the same width as eight spaces. A screen with proportional fonts will redraw slightly slower than with fixed-spaced fonts due to complications with the variably spaced text.


In this section I’ll give a partial guide to the font naming conventions of The X Window System so that you can try some fonts without having to refer to other documentation.

A font name is a list of words and numbers separated by hyphens. A typical font name is -adobe-courier-medium-r-normal--12-120-75-75-m-60-iso8859-1 Use xlsfonts to obtain a list of fonts. The fields have the following meanings:
adobe The name of the font’s maker.
  The font family. Others are charter, times, helvetica etc.
medium The font weight: it can be medium or bold.
r Indicate that the font is roman, i is for italic and o is for oblique.
normal Character width and inter-character spacing. It can also be condensed, narrow or double.
12 The pixel size.
120 The size in tenths of a printers point.
75-75 Horizontal and vertical resolution for which the font was designed.
m The font spacing: m for monospaced and p for proportional.
60 The average width of all characters in the font in tenths of a pixel.
  The ISO character set. In this case the 1 indicates ISO Latin 1, a superset of the ascii character set. This last bit is the locale setting which you would normally leave out to allow X to decide on them based on your locale settings.
As an example, start cooledit with

cooledit -font ’-*-times-medium-r-*--20-*-*-*-p-*-iso8859-1’ 

cooledit -font ’-*-times-medium-r-*--20-*-*-*-p-*’ 

cooledit -font ’-*-helvetica-bold-r-*--14-*-*-*-p-*-iso8859-1’ 

cooledit -font ’-*-helvetica-bold-r-*--14-*-*-*-p-*’ 

These envoke a newspaper font and an easy reading font respectively. A * means that the X server can place default vales into those fields. This way you do not have to specify a font exactly.


User’s own temporary directory.
Initialisation file. This stores a list of files that were open when the user last exited cooledit. It also stores scripts, options, and user defined keys. The file is broken into sections separated by double newlines. Each section is headed by the section name in square brackets on it own line.
is generated automatically when macros are recorded. Each line in the file represents a macro definition. Do not edit this file while cooledit is running unless you are not going to run a macro during that cooledit session.
When the option Save block on commance is on in the script editor, the block will be saved with this file-name, on execution of the script.
This is the default file to use when you save a highlighted block to a file. A copy of the highlighted text is also saved to this file whenever you cut or copy to the X buffer.
This is a temporary file you can use in your shell scripts.
This is a file-name of the shell script when it is saved for execution. You can view it for debugging purposes.


The environment variables applicable to any of the shell commands must be set correctly for them to work. See the man and the sort man pages to see what I mean. Note that the man command formats text for the width of the current terminal, so starting cooledit from a very wide terminal (or xterm) will cause the output to be difficult to read.

The environment variables LANGUAGE and LANG may be set to one of the codes listed about under NATIVE LANGUAGE SUPPORT (NLS).


Thanks to Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, David Mackenzie, Miguel de Icaza, and GNUmans everywhere.

Thanks to

  Evgeny A Cherkashin  <eugeneai /AT/>

for his Russian translation.

Thanks to

  Leif Andersson  <Leif.Andersson /AT/>
  Gisle Aas       <Gisle.Aas /AT/>

for allowing me to convert there i2ps program into C and incorporate into Cooledit, all without their permission.

Thank to Sasha Vasko <Sasha_Vasko /AT/> for his NeXT patch to make Cooledit look like a AfterStep application.

Thanks to the authors of Rxvt. Their rxvt-2.6.1 was shamelessly ripped and mangled to make librxvt. From the Rxvt LSM file:

John Bovey
Rob Nation             <nation /AT/>
Mark Olesen            <olesen /AT/ me.QueensU.CA>
Oezguer Kesim          <kesim /AT/>
Geoff Wing             <gcw /AT/>

Thanks to the following people for their bug reports, suggestions, extensions and fixes:

Glenn Ammons           <ammons /AT/>
Vadim Berezniker       <vadim /AT/>
Scott Billings         <aerogems /AT/>
Olivier Boursin        <gimpi /AT/>
Ross Campbell          <rcampbel /AT/>
David Chan             <dpc29 /AT/>
David M. Cook          <davecook /AT/>
Miguel Cruz            <mnc /AT/>
Liviu Daia             <daia /AT/>
Peter Danziger         <danziger /AT/>
Derkjan de Haan        <j.d.j.dehaan /AT/>
Vaughn Dickson         <vaughn /AT/>
Martin Dufour          <dufm02 /AT/ pollux.GEL.USherb.CA>
Hans Dumbrajs          <hansd /AT/>
Yuriy Elkin            <yury /AT/>
Alex Fortuna           <alex /AT/>
Jeff Garzik            <jgarzik /AT/>
Arpd Gereffy           <arpi /AT/>
Andreas Haack          <ahaack /AT/>
I. Ioannou             <roryt /AT/>
Johnny Johansson       <johnnyj /AT/>
Pavel Hampl            <phampl /AT/>
Matej Knopp            <matej /AT/>
Juha Laukala           <juha.laukala /AT/>
Andrew Lees            <andrewl_oz /AT/>
Daniel Lyons           <fusion /AT/>
Alex Maranda           <amaranda /AT/>
LeRoy C. Miller III    <qball /AT/>
ET Mogaswa             <MOGASET /AT/>
Rob Nelson             <ronelson /AT/>
Norbert Nemec          <nobbi /AT/>
Frank Niessink         <frankn /AT/>
Michel Pelletier       <michel /AT/>
Joao Luis Marques Pinto <Lamego /AT/>
Curtis W. Rendon       <curtis_rendon /A/>
Oleg Yu. Repin         <repin /AT/>
Pavel Roskin           <pavel_roskin /AT/>
Ronald Rietman         <rietman /AT/>
Elliot Sadlon          <esadlon /AT/>
Benjamin Sher          <sher07 /AT/>
Mark N Summerfield     <Mark.Summerfield /AT/>
Paul Seelig            <pseelig /AT/ trudi.zdv.Uni-Mainz.DE>
Jeroen R. v.d. Werven  <asmodai /AT/>
Norbert Warmuth        <k3190 /AT/>
Nathan Whitehead       <nwhitehe /AT/>
Max Xu                 <max /AT/>
Pierfrancesco Zuccato  <pf.zuccato /AT/>
(anyone I left out?)


Cooledit mailed me when it first ran on the following machines.

unknown                          84
alpha-debian-linux-gnu           4
alpha-dec-osf2.1                 1
alpha-dec-osf3.2                 12
alpha-dec-osf4.0                 13
alpha-dec-osf4.0b                2
alpha-dec-osf4.0d                5
alpha-dec-osf4.0f                3
alpha-unknown-linux              62
alpha-unknown-linux-gnu          28
alpha-unknown-none               2
alphaev5-dec-osf4.0a             1
alphaev5-dec-osf4.0b             3
alphaev5-dec-osf4.0d             8
alphaev5-unknown-linux-gnu       2
alphaev5-unknown-linux-gnulibc1  6
alphaev56-dec-osf4.0b            4
alphaev56-dec-osf4.0d            14
alphaev56-dec-osf4.0e            2
alphaev56-dec-osf5.0             2
alphaev56-unknown-linux-gnu      8
arm-linux-elf                    1
arm-unknown-linux-gnu            1
arm-unknown-linux-gnuelf         7
armv4l-unknown-linux-gnu         2
hppa1.0-hp-hpux10.20             5
hppa1.0-hp-hpux11.00             1
hppa1.1-hp-hpux10.01             3
hppa1.1-hp-hpux10.10             39
hppa1.1-hp-hpux10.20             350
hppa1.1-hp-hpux11.00             5
hppa1.1-hp-hpux8.07              1
hppa1.1-hp-hpux9.01              3
hppa1.1-hp-hpux9.03              10
hppa1.1-hp-hpux9.05              8
hppa1.1-hp-hpux9.07              1
hppa2.0-hp-hpux10.20             4
hppa2.0n-hp-hpux11.00            11
hppa2.0w-hp-hpux11.00            7
i386-gnu-linux-gnu               1
i386-pc-bsdi3.1                  1
i386-pc-bsdi4.0                  2
i386-pc-linux-gnu                1
i386-pc-sco3.2v5.0.5             1
i386-pc-solaris2.6               3
i386-pc-solaris2.7               9
i386-unknown-bsdi2.1             3
i386-unknown-bsdi3.0             1
i386-unknown-freebsd2.1.5        1
i386-unknown-freebsd2.1.6        4
i386-unknown-freebsd2.1.7        1
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2          4
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2.2        4
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2.5        16
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2.6        9
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2.7        14
i386-unknown-freebsd2.2.8        1
i386-unknown-freebsd3.0          10
i386-unknown-freebsd3.1          13
i386-unknown-freebsd4.0          2
i386-unknown-freebsdelf3.0       1
i386-unknown-freebsdelf3.1       3
i386-unknown-freebsdelf3.2       7
i386-unknown-freebsdelf3.3       7
i386-unknown-freebsdelf3.4       5
i386-unknown-freebsdelf4.0       15
i386-unknown-linux               11
i386-unknown-netbsd1.1           1
i386-unknown-netbsd1.3.2         2
i386-unknown-netbsd1.4           1
i386-unknown-netbsd1.4.1         1
i386-unknown-netbsd1.4I          1
i386-unknown-netbsd1.4K          1
i386-unknown-none                4
i386-unknown-openbsd2.3          1
i386-unknown-openbsd2.4          2
i386-unknown-openbsd2.5          6
i386-unknown-openbsd2.6          4
i386-unknown-solaris2.5.1        5
i386-unknown-solaris2.6          2
i486-ibm-linux                   1
i486-pc-linux-gnu                84
i486-pc-linux-gnulibc1           95
i486-pc-linux-gnuoldld           1
i486-unknown-linux               1522
i486-unknown-linuxaout           6
i486-unknown-linuxoldld          1
i486-unknown-none                2
i486-unknown-solaris2.5.1        1
i586-intel-linux                 4
i586-intel-none                  4
i586-k6-linux-gnu                2
i586-mandrake-linux-gnu          90
i586-pc-linux-gnu                2792
i586-pc-linux-gnuaout            1
i586-pc-linux-gnucoff            1
i586-pc-linux-gnulibc1           732
i586-pc-none                     1
i586-pc-sco3.2v5.0.2             1
i586-redhat-linux                1
i586-unknown-linux               2844
i586-unknown-linuxaout           5
i586-unknown-none                12
i586-unknown-sco3.2v4.2          1
i586-unknown-sco3.2v5.0.2        1
i686-pc-linux-gnu                14457
i686-pc-linux-gnulibc1           867
i686-pc-none                     1
i686-redhat-linux-gnu            1
i686-tech-linux-gnu              1
i686-unknown-linux               6
i686-unknown-linux-gnu           3
m68k-apple-netbsd1.3.3           1
m68k-unknown-linux-gnu           2
mips-dec-ultrix4.3               1
mips-sgi-irix5.3                 36
mips-sgi-irix6.2                 33
mips-sgi-irix6.3                 13
mips-sgi-irix6.4                 2
mips-sgi-irix6.5                 22
mips-sni-sysv4                   3
mips-unknown-linux               2
powerpc-ibm-aix3.2.5             2
powerpc-ibm-aix4.1.4.0           3
powerpc-ibm-aix4.1.5.0           5
powerpc-ibm-aix4.2.1.0           16
powerpc-ibm-aix4.3.1.0           1
powerpc-ibm-aix4.3.2.0           2
powerpc-ibm-aix4.3.3.0           1
powerpc-unknown-linux            1
powerpc-unknown-linux-gnu        2
rs6000-ibm-aix4.1.4.0            3
rs6000-ibm-aix4.2.0.0            1
sparc-mandrake-linux-gnu         1
sparc-sun-solaris2.4             20
sparc-sun-solaris2.5             63
sparc-sun-solaris2.5.1           200
sparc-sun-solaris2.6             224
sparc-sun-solaris2.7             46
sparc-sun-solaris2.8             1
sparc-sun-sunos4.1.3             2
sparc-sun-sunos4.1.3_U1          6
sparc-sun-sunos4.1.4             8
sparc-unknown-linux              3
sparc-unknown-linux-gnu          16
sparc64-unknown-linux-gnu        3

There were a total of 22524 unique addresses as of September 2000. I don’t know if it completely worked on these machines, but it certainly compiled and ran. I also don’t know if the user’s had to make modifications to get it to compile.


This program is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. See Copying in the Readme menu for details on the License and the lack of warranty.


The latest public release of this program can be found at

The latest development release can be optained from:


mc(1), mcedit(1), X(1), scanf(3), coolman(1), smalledit(1).


Paul Sheer (psheer /AT/


* Reloading Python scripts eats memory. This is because reloading proved to unstable when Cooledit tried to clean up Python before reloading. If the Python scripts give lots of error messages, things may crash. This is only really of concern to developers.
* Libtool is not yet complete and gives some harmless warnings when installing. On some systems the correct library or library sequence is incorrect, so some fiddling is required to get Cooledit to compile.
* Unicode characters do not display inside input widgets. You can still search and replace them though.
* Reverse displaying of Hebrew is a crude hack and doesn’t work properly.
* On openwindows, the left mouse button sometimes doesn’t work properly. The right button can be used instead. (I think olwm is at fault here.)
* Sunos 4.1.3 crashes on startup. Other machines may also crash because of non-standardness. Define CRASHES_ON_STARTUP at the beginning of stringtools.h and recompile if this happens.
* Man pages rely on the man page command. Its formatting is sometimes filtered for terminals and won’t be in colour. Try using GNU man instead, or starting cooledit with a different TERM (environment variable) definition.
* Some proportional fonts leave trails where they print out of their bounding box.
* Redraws and cursor movements near the end of very long lines ( lines > 64k characters ) slow down in proportion to the line length. This is not nearly as bad with Cooledit as with some other popular editors though.
* Large cursor jumps ( jump > 1M characters ) are slow, worse than some other popular editors.

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