On win32-systems (Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP), Notepad may be used with References, a free alternative is notepad2. However, more comfortable alternatives exist: SciTE is an open source text editor under constant development. For use with References it is recommended to change default configuation by selecting "Options/Open User Options File". So it may be useful to change the default font to a monospaced font (for details see the file SciTEFAQ.html. A proposal for changes to be copied into the SciTEUser.properties configuration file. A related text editor with an excellent user interface is notepad++.
JEdit is a "mature", comfortable, platform independent editor requiring a Java runtime environment (JRE) on all supported OSes including Linux and win32 (to be obtained for free from Sun's website). The only disadvantage: loading times are longer than with the other editors on this page.
On Linux systems, the ``minimal'' useful text editor is nano. Users of systems with GNOME desktop may use gedit, users of the KDE kwrite. More complex text editors which are probably available for modern Linux systems are vi or emacs (see below).
An outstanding text editor is gvim, the graphical Version of Vim, (download page). Use of Vim in its ``classical'' mode of use requires quite an amount of time for learning. However, gvim ist well documented. Gvim easy mode is a simplified mode which works like any ``click and type editor''. It can be launched with the -y command line option, to make gvim available (from the etext.exe shell in v4.1 or later) with this mode, you may enter the line
into the configuration file (refs.cfg, it is assumed that the directory with the gvim.exe executable has been entered into the list assigned to the PATH environment variable). To see the documentation of easy mode, press F1, details of easy mode can be found opening ``Help Find...'' menu and enter `easy'. Editing with gvim normal mode, however, is much more efficient.
Another famous text editor is GNU Emacs, which is available in a stable win32-implementation (current version: 23.1). General Emacs documentation online. Documentation of the win32 implementation. Mirror of the ftp-site in Germany.
To install Emacs for use on Win32-systems, please download ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/windows/emacs-22.2-bin-i386.zip and uncompress this archive with unzip. Use the runemacs.exe executable. On Linux distributions Emacs should be easily available with the distribution-specific package tools.
Text files have different codings on DOS/win32 (CR/LF) and UNIX/Linux (LF) systems. On many Linux systems the tools dos2unix and unix2dos are available. On both win32 and Linux the small package tofrodos may be used. For details see the References documentation.
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