ConTEXT text editor a boon for programmers

Potent free tool ConTEXT is a programmer's editor with good template and highlighting features.

ConTEXT is a powerful, free, and open-source text editor squarely aimed at programmers. Its feature set makes it especially useful for system administrators, toolsmiths, and Web mavens, all of whom often have to juggle many small files written in a variety of languages or markups.

The features which aid in this type of work (though ConTEXT is by no means limited just to this style of development) are the multitude of syntax highlighters (with the option to add your own), code templates (which allow you to insert preformatted snippets of code), the built-in file browser, and the ability to create projects which group files of different types, stored in different disk locations, together for easy manipulation and editing.

ConTEXT has the full suite of expected tools for text editing: fast file navigation, searching (including regular expression parsing and the ability to search multiple files and show all matches), word wrap/unwrap, ability to change line feeds between different formats, and so on. It has several code-aware features, such as the ability to comment or uncomment text according to the currently selected language. (It will use "/*" for Java, for example, and "&&" if you're editing Foxpro.)

It also has a few quirks. ConTEXT's built-in file browser, for example, sometimes does not display the directory tree as expected. I had a problem with "find next" that I was unable to replicate after noticing it (so it may have been user error). Both of these are related to an acknowledged issue with controls gaining focus properly, that is expected to be fixed in the next release (0.98.7).

As a free tool that comes with a boatload of editing features, ConTEXT is well worth checking out by anyone who regularly works with text files, especially those who work with code and markup files.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags softwaredownloadsUtilitiestextfreewareDocument Editors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Harac

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?