Not to be confused with WordProcessors.
You might also be interested in processing text automatically with TextUtilities such as sed(1), ed(1), and others.
You may also want to look at http://www.texteditors.org which is a Wiki just about TextEditors.
Which editors do you like and why?
- I like using joe(1) in text mode. It's easy to find the help, and help appears in split screen mode, so I don't need to memorize the keys. It does search and replace, block cutting and pasting and indenting: there's enough features there to make it useful for editing scripts and configuration files, but not so many that it's complicated. Also if you invoke it as jstar joe(1) starts up in Wordstar mode. If you like that sort of thing.
I love Vim, in case that wasn't clear from other writings of mine throughout the wiki. :) (Whether than be on the console or as a standalone X app. I use both, each has its own strengths.)
Indeed, vi(1) is not self-explanatory, like joe(1) and others might be. (They say the only thing that's "pico" is your brain.) However, if you just take the 40 minutes to run through vimtutor once, you'll be able to use it as fluently as you work with other TextEditors. And then you've only just barely scratched, nay, not even gently blown at the surface of Vim's capabilities. Just its "visual block mode" has saved me from so much tedium, it's not even funny. And then there's the "ex mode" commands. Which can be combined with normal mode commands. And filtering. And for those occasions you need it, macros. To name but a few! Sure, you're wondering what you need all this for. Trust me, if editing text takes any more than a few minutes of your time every day, then you want to learn Vim. And with vimtutor it isn't even that daunting to get into the flow; you'll forever thank yourself for taking the 40 minutes to take the lessons (and a few more to repeat the lessons a few days later).
If there's a single thing I will always be carrying along to any computer, it's this editor -- I don't even really care about anything else. If Linux suddenly disappeared, I could even live with Windows, as long as I have my Vim. If we'll still be using keyboards in 20 years from now to operate computers, I'll still be using Vim in 20 years. There's no other aspect of using a computer that I care remotely as greatly about.
- I have been an Emacsian since I figured out the controls. I admit it may be pretty nasty for beginners, but that's why there's Emacs (and vi(1) is too). Emacs is a very powerful and efficient (no, I mean efficient to use! :) ) editor, and it has lots of geeky features and modes for almost everything. (And you can add more with Elisp.) Also it can edit multiple files at once, potentially being displayed at the same time too. But what really shines in Emacs is the unification: you can use the (powerful) keybindings anywhere, even when specifying a filename or a command (or even in bash(1)! :P) . Note that there is a built-in tutorial (Emacs doesn't need a Vimproved (Vim) version, it already is, over same), accessible via C-h t (that is "^H" then "t"). Oh, and you don't have to keep switching between modes in order to do anything. (That puts a lot of users off Vim).
- I will speak up for jed(1). You can use your Emacs fingers, but you extend it using S-lang rather than Elisp (not that I often do). It starts up faster than Emacs and never turns into an ugly X thing. It comes with reasonably good modes for most languages I use, unlike, say, joe(1), which would not recognise Python indentation.
Visitors, feel free to edit the page and add your own experiences here.