On the surface, Atom is the modern desktop text editor you've come to expect. Pop the hood, however, and you'll discover a system begging to be hacked on.
How To Install Atom Text Editor?
To get started with Atom, we'll need to get it on your system.
Installing Atom should be fairly simple. Generally, you can go to https://atom.io and at the top of the page you should see a download button where you can download a Debian package or RPM package either from the main Atom website or from the Atom project releases page. These packages do not currently have auto-update features, so when you would like to upgrade to a new release of Atom, you will have to repeat this installation process.
Install Atom On Debian Linux Based Distros
To install Atom on Debian, Ubuntu, or related systems:
Install Atom -
sudo dpkg -i atom-amd64.deb
Install Atom's dependencies if they are missing -
sudo apt-get -f install
Install Atom Text Editor On Red Hat & Derivative Distros
To install Atom on CentOS, Oracle Linux, RedHat Enterprise Linux, Scientific Linux or related systems that use the yum package manager:
sudo yum install -y atom.x86_64.rpm
Install Atom Text Editor On Fedora & Derivative Distros
To download and install the latest release of Atom on Fedora or other systems that use the DNF package manager:
sudo dnf install -y atom.x86_64.rpm
To download and install the latest release of Atom on openSUSE or other systems that use the Zypp package manager:
sudo zypper in -y atom.x86_64.rpm
Atom Text Editor Features At A Glance
When you launch Atom for the first time, you should get a screen that looks like this. The welcome screen gives a pretty good starting point for how to get started with Atom editor.
In that welcome screen, we are introduced to probably the most important command in Atom, the Command Palette. If you press Ctrl+Shift+P while focused in an editor pane, the command palette will pop up. This search-driven menu can do just about any major task that is possible in Atom. Instead of clicking around all the application menus to look for something, you can press Ctrl+Shift+P and search for the command.
Settings And Preferences
Atom has a number of settings and preferences you can modify in the Settings View. his includes things like changing the theme, specifying how to handle wrapping, font settings, tab size, scroll speed and much more. You can also use this screen to install new packages and themes.
Atom editor is very basic at the core, nonetheless, there are over 90 packages shipped with Atom editor by default. Right from the start, the welcome screen, the spell checker and Fuzzy finder are some packages that ship with Atom.
Packages are an incredibly powerful part of Atom. With packages, you can change everything form the interface to the basic operation of the Atom editor. You can add themes with the command palette or with the Install tab in Settings. You can easily search for a package and install by clicking on the “Install” button by the package.
Once a package is installed, it will show up in the Settings View under the “Packages” tab. You may change some of the default variables that are available for the package. You choose from thousands of open source packages that add new features and functionality to Atom—or build a package from scratch and publish it for everyone else to use.
Customization & Themes
Changing The Theme
The Settings View also lets you change the themes for Atom. By default, Atom ships with 4 different UI themes, dark and light variants of the Atom and One theme, as well as 8 different syntax themes. You can modify the active theme or install new themes by clicking on the Themes tab in the sidebar of the Settings View. The UI themes control the style of UI elements like the tabs and the tree view, while the syntax themes control the syntax highlighting of text you load into the editor. To change the syntax or UI theme, simply pick something different in the appropriate drop down list.
There are also dozens of themes on Atom themes that you can choose from if you want something different. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can also install themes created by the Atom community or create your own.
There are a ton of features that are available with Atom editor that have not been detailed in this post. There is File Switching, and Atom CLI tool to open files or folders, multi selection, markdown live preview, Tab switching and a host of others. Atom is highly extensible with regards to packages and theming, it has an active community, the design & usability of the editor is spot on for the experienced hacker or the beginner and it is completely open source. On the other side, Sublime can be slow especially with startup and it can’t quite handle larger file sizes well.
Like I mentioned earlier, some people prefer editors that are simple and straightforward like Nano. Others, especially developers prefer powerful editors such as Vi or Emacs. But for those who prefer to have a handy GUI, Atom is definitely worth looking at. It offers both a simple but capable GUI and the power for hardcore editors. Atom is a text editor that's modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core—a tool you can customize to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file.
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