Geany A Lightweight IDE Or Code Editor For Programmers


Table of Contents

Geany is built using GTK and its documentation is read as “a small and fast editor with basic features of an integrated development environment.” still you get the feel of programming in other rich, full-blown IDEs like Codeblocks, Eclipse, etc. And it really benefits those who are crazy about computer resources or have limited virtual memory.   ​

I’m not trying to lure you with “Geany is better than that and those [IDEs]” but will look at some of its features.  

How To Install Geany?

To install Geany on your Ubuntu system, open up your terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and key in the command below –

sudo apt install geany   

Running Geany

Press alt+f2 type in geany and you will get the window like the one below –

how to run geany

Simple yet powerful. Read on below to boost your coding skill.    

Also Read – 8 Best IDEs Or Code Editors For Linux

3 tips to boost your coding speed

​You may be a good programmer but you still do need skills to speed up your programming and those typically include you to use soft-typing skill, preparing documentation first before coding and then importantly these 3 tips below that I’m going to explain.  

1. Line duplicating

Some later time you’ll be programming a program that requires repetitive decisions like in the case of file manager program where there have possibly 7 options (copy file, cut file, move file, create file, create folder, move folder and delete). So literally implementing it would be like this –

if(fileManager.value == copyFile) {
yada yada;
} else if(fileManager.value == cutFile) {
yada yada;
} /* and so on… */ 

Imagine if you’d to type in line by line. That’s going to waste a lot of time instead try to be efficient and duplicate portion of selected code by pressing ctrl+d. That means any wise guy would use this method –

  • Select
code selection a shortcut
  • then duplicate
duplicate code in short way
  • and continue with the implementation

2. Line transposing

​You wrote a block of code and (yikes!) you realize some lines were misplaced. What a typical person does is select it>cut it>place it>then paste it and that’s four steps long to correct a statement or expression order. Instead use this method called line transposing to move a line up (alt+page up) and down (alt+page down).

A good example is debugging code in C where you don’t really know what went wrong with the logic of your program and you place printf() in one line then move it up and down around a block of statements.

line transporting short way in geany

3. And copy/paste

​Not the one where you click left and right mouse buttons over and over again. That’s a bit annoying but here’s a better one that’s unique to X environment; the middle click buffer. So typically you have to select only the text you need to copy and then paste them using middle click button on your mouse. Here’s a screen-shot depicting middle mouse click:

  • Select
copy paste code in geany
  • then paste
paste code shortcut in geany

In case you are on a notebook or laptop, Ubuntu usually configures middle click with both left/mouse buttons found on your touchpad i.e., click them at the same time. Otherwise, you have to configure them on your own.  

Building programs

​To build your program press alt+f8 or press that Build the current file icon.

shortcut to building program in geany

​to run your program press alt+f5 or press the icon next to build tool.


Some GK

​These three features are not unique to Geany only. You’ll find these features on other IDEs and sometimes they just offer more but otherwise not fitting in the category “lightweight”.  


​I kinda covered a lot of things here and now it’s time to roll up your sleeve and start coding using the above technique-booster notes. 99% chance that you’ll impress your peers with that skill but don’t hesitate to hook them here in case you really liked it 🙂 and let me know in the comment section below what I missed.