How to Install GVIM (a powerful text editor) in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04?

GVIM is the graphical "implementation" of the command-line text editor (an IDE actually) called the Vim. Although may not certainly be as "connected" as with the GNU EMacs, but Vim text editor also has a quite long history with GNU/Linux thus it comes pre-installed by default in almost all the GNU/Linux distributions.

But for the obvious reason of not having a GUI, Vim (which is also based on another editor called "Vi") is not that popular among the typical GNU/Linux users but other advanced boys and gals such as system administrators still use it quite often since it allows us to edit any text (+ editing programming language code files) file without having to log-into a graphical user interface to this day nonetheless.

In short, it a GUI written using the GTK+ tool-kit (aimed at Gnome desktop, but you can use it in any desktop you want), but since it uses the Vim as the "engine", you'll be getting almost all of its features in a very user-friendly graphical environment!.

Main features...

*. Change font (size, bold, italic, etc).

*. Find and replace.

*. Undo/Redo.

*. Automatic spell checking.

*. Open multiple windows by splitting the window by horizontal or vertically.

*. A "file explorer" of its own which lets you locate and load files to the window for editing.

The "command-line" type, file explorer to the left...
*. Line numbering support.

*. Text wrap.

*. Send to print... are among the features that interests the standard users.

As mentioned, Vim is actually a programmer friendly text editor, thus GVIM also lets you do other things like Syntax editing, set compilers, "Make" files (compiling), etc which are again, not that useful for the usual users.

You can install GVIM in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by using the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install vim-gtk

But, just like with GNU/Emacs, this is not for everyone. For instance, if you enter its settings window, then almost all the settings are activated using commands! rather than graphical tools.

But still, if you usually deal with a lot of Syntax editing or HTML/XML editing... then GVIM is a fast and feature-rich front-end to the original Vim "engine" nonetheless.

But as a final verdict, in my humble opinion, if you're looking for something to replace the Gedit type text editor for instance, then you should have a look at something like the Leafpad or Mousepad or even the awesome FocusWriter will certainly suite rather than the GVIM. 

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