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Like webbrowser, but for the text editor.

Project description


Programmatically open the system's editor from your Python program (like webbrowser but for text editors).

Unlike other libraries, TextEditor makes an effort to find the text editor the users really prefer, specially for those that doesn't know what an EDITOR environment variable is.

import texteditor

text ='This is the starting content')

Opens a temporary file with some content to edit, and returns the new content when the user closes the editor.

text ='')

# text ="This will be used instead of the file content", filename='')

You can also edit an existing text file. If the file cannot be opened, an OSError is raised.


Using pip of course!

python -m pip install texteditor

Usage, filename=None, extension='txt', encoding=None)

Opens filename or a new temporary file in the default editor.

  • text: The starting content for the edited file. This will also be used instead of the original contents of filename if one is also defined.

  • filename: Edit this file instead of a new temporary one.

  • extension: When editing a new temporary file, this will help the editor recognize the intended filetype, so syntax highlighting and custom settings for that filetype can be used. Examples: txt, md, ini. Ignored if filename is used.

  • encoding: To encode the content and decode the result, uses the default encoding for the platform, but you can use an encoding argument to specify any text encoding supported by Python.

How it Works first looks for the $EDITOR environment variable. If set, it uses the value as-is, including any command-line argument, without fallbacks.

If no $EDITOR is set, it will try to guess.

On MacOS, it calls the system default for editing that file extension.

In other operating systems, the function will search through a very short list of known editors, and use the first one that founds.

You might notice that vim and Emacs are not in that short list, that's because:

  1. If you are using it, you know what the EDITOR variable is, and you probably has set it already.
  2. If you aren't using it, finding yourself in their UI for the first time is going to be super confusing. In fact "How to exit vim" is a common Stack Overflow question. Having to google how to set an EDITOR variable is a less scary alternative.

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