[sf-lug] simple gui editor that will accept a paste

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Feb 7 20:40:45 PST 2008

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> The computer (Pentium II Deschutes 334.104KHz 127092KRAM) I use the
> most (for sentimental reasons - it's the first on which I installed
> Linux) is running Debian etch and I'm using Fluxbox.
> Can anyone suggest a GUI editor that will give me the functionality of
> pasting text into it?  OOWrite works but it takes a very long time to
> launch. The xedit program launches but won't accept a paste.

I'm perplexed that you say "won't accept a paste".  (I am not an xedit
user; I personally prefer using plain old vim -- by which I do not mean

Is it possible that you mean "won't accept a Ctrl-V paste"?[1] 

Try this:  Highlight some text in a window.  Click on your xedit window,
but _do not_ highlight anything.  (If you do accidentally move your
mouse pointer sideways while clicking on the xedit window, thereby
highlighting something, go back to step one and re-highlight the text of

Having changed X "focus" to the xedit window, and with the mouse pointer
somewhere (anywhere) within the xedit window, see what happens if you
click the right mouse button.

(Sometimes, the definition of "right mouse button" is unclear on
particular machines, because of messed-up X bindings or ambiguity about
which button is which.  But try both of the non-main buttons if there
are three total, or the "other", i.e., non-main button if you have only

What I'm getting at is:  (1) There is a standard, old-school X11
highlight-and-paste model that is _supposed_ to always work on all X11
clients.  I would be flabbergasted to hear that that model doesn't work
on (in particular) old-school X clients like xedit and old-school window
managers like Fluxbox.

(2) For the benefit of fugitive MS-Windows / MacOS users, it's common
for window managers and X widget sets (gtk+, Qt) aimed at novice users
to _also_ support the Ctrl-C / Ctrl-X / Ctrl-V "Clipboard" model that is
more familiar to such users.

(Sometimes, the novice-oriented X11 window managers break the old-school
highlight-and-paste model.  Old-school *ix users like _me_ regard this
as a serious bug, and file bug reports.  Depending on the particular
developers in question, it's not unknown for the window manager
maintainers to just not care about this breakage.)

So, continuing the "Is it possible..." thought from above, it's possible
that you are experiencing model #2 not working, and were unaware of the
existence of the more-basic, _should_-be-universal model #1.

On another note, many people seem to like "NEdit".  "NEdit" is based on
the very-old-school Motif graphics widget (aka "toolkit"); more
specifically, on Linux, it uses the "Lesstif" open-source
reimplementation of Motif.  (Warning:  All Motif apps look like 1992
refugees from MS-Windows 3.x.  This isn't Motif's fault:  Microsoft
ripped off the Motif look and feel, in creating MS-Windows 3.x.)

And, yes, gedit _was_ written to be vaguely similar to NEdit, except
using the gtk2 toolkit instead of Motif.

[1] This is one of many reasons why, when seeking help with a problem,
it is in your interest to always say _explicitly_ what you did, step by
step, in chronological order, rather than just writing vague
descriptions like "won't accept a paste":  It's sometimes the case that
you're making bad assumptions about what you should be trying, but
nobody trying to help you will know if you fail to be explicit.

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