Fake Web IDE with External Tools in Gedit

Gedit is my favorite text editor. I like that it is fast, reliable, cross platform, and has a ton of useful plugins and features. I am currently using it to work with LaTeX and unless I am working on a huge project, I will typically use gedit for all of my development work, specifically when it comes to web development. I use a lot of the plugins in gedit, but I have never used the External Tools plugin before. External tools is a very useful plugin because it allows you to do pretty much anything.

The reason why I wanted to use it in the first place was to find a way to quickly launch HTML files that I was currently working on in a web browser, while also saving all of the changes to other HTML/CSS/JavaScript files that were related and currently opened in gedit. This is essentially what an IDE would do when you hit Run.

In the past, I would just save all of my document and find the file in Nautilus to launch it. The problem with this approach is that I have an obsessive need to organize all of my projects into obscure and seemingly endless file paths. This can make it pretty difficult to find the file that I am looking for.

The External Tools plugin solves all of these issues in a very elegant and simple way. So, without further ado, here is how you make a fake Web Development IDE in Gedit using External Tools.

  1. Enable External Tools: Edit –> Preferences –> Plugins
  2. Create a New External Tool: Tools -> Manage External Tools -> Hit the Plus sign
  3. Name the tool whatever you would like
  4. Assign it a shortcut key (optional)
  5. Set the following options on the bottom right
    • ** Save: ** All Documents
    • ** Input: ** Current Document
    • ** Output: ** None
    • ** Applicability: ** All Documents
  6. In the script editor, enter the following short script. This script will open the current document in your default web browser.
    #!/bin/sh x-www-browser $GEDIT_CURRENT_DOCUMENT_PATH
  7. Close, and you are done!

You should now be able to use whichever shortcut you created to save all documents that you are working on, and open the current document in a web browser. This makes debugging much easier for web applications, and makes gedit a perfect lightweight web IDE.

If you have some handy tips and tricks for gedit custom tools, please share in the comments below!

If you made it this far, you should probably follow me on twitter. 🙂

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