26 May 2023

Micro Text Editor

I wish I could say I loved vim, but I don’t. Like with most things, I have a genuine distaste for anything I stink at. I am not kidding I am embarrassingly bad at vim. Why do you think I avoid using vim on my channel?

I remember when I worked at a civil engineering software company in the mid 1990s, I edited files using vi. I got better. Definitely, repetition was working, but that is the extent of my recall. I could not even tell you what kind of files they were.

I recognize the power vim and in my case, neovim, possesses. I have a desire to be able to use vim as proficiently as I see YouTube creators that I respect using the unquestioned first choice for a terminal text editor. But, after several years of struggling, I am no better.

I try. In fact, I have an init.vim file that I use. I especially love being able to see a colorpreview. It helps me figure out how I want to configure things like polybar.

My current init.vim can be found in my dotfiles on github.

More my speed - the micro text editor

sudo apt install micro

Granted, Linux users make fun of nano. It is very simplistic, not very good with regard to keybindings and, generally, ill-suited for anything other than minor text edits.

Where nano leaves you wanting more, micro picks up the middle ground between nano and vim. I believe users would agree that micro is closer to vim than it is to nano - and that’s a good thing.

For me, I install a few plugins, but it’s really unnecessary to get good use out of it.

To accomplish what I do, I install gotham-colors, filemanager, and wc (for word counting)

micro -plugin install gotham-colors
micro -plugin install filemanager
micro -plugin install wc

Things I love about micro:

  1. Keybindings: Like with most GTK text editors (including geany and l3afpad), Ctrl-S will save the document. Ctrl-q will close the document.
  2. Command line: Ctrl-e is very powerful. For example, Ctrl-e, type ‘set’ then tab key to autocomplete.
  3. Using mouse if wanted. You can turn mouse off if you want too.
  4. Simple. Simple. Simple.

Common usages for Ctrl-e

> set colorscheme gotham
> set softwrap on
> set autosave 120 (autosaves every 120 second)
> wc (for word counter)
> tree (for filemanager)
> vsplit ~/.bashrc (to open a second file)
> replaceall alt super (replaces all 'alt' with 'super')

Things I don’t love about micro:

  1. The plugins are sparse. Not like vim.
  2. The filemanager plugin is not being developed needs reworked.
  3. There is no plugin for colorpreview


With regard to the filemanager, I am wondering if I can/should use something like lf/ranger in terminal to navigate in place of the filemanager plugin which will still open the editor in a terminal window.

I recognize the vimtutor is something I should utilize if I want to get better and more efficient at using neovim. Furthermore, geany (WHICH I LOVE) has a plugin for vim mode which would allow me to practice as well as be in an environment that I can use really well.

But, I guess the question is do I need to be good at vim? Not sure I do. Meanwhile, micro is darned good. Lightweight and much more conducive for my extremely small needs.