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Most text editors support custom syntax highlighting and, sometimes, simple autocompletion. But, that's not enough for me :)

I'm looking for editor with autocompletion/tooltips for functions, similar to IntelliSense in Visual Studio.

For example, if my custom language has a standard function doSomething(what, when, where) and I constantly forget order of the parameters, I'd like my editor to be able to help me filling the params as soon as I type doSomething(, by for example displaying little tooltip doSomething(what, when, where).

It will be good enough if it worked with preconfigured functions only. I don't need it to autocomplete functions that are defined in the edited file.

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closed as off-topic by Tog, Kevin Panko, random May 15 '14 at 14:08

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve. Share your research. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question." – Tog, Kevin Panko, random
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I use Emacs like this all the time, but that's not the answer you wanted to hear, was it? :-)

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That: looks a bit scary. Do you know where can I see how it actually works in emacs (preferably on screenshots)? – Gepard Nov 27 '09 at 23:09
Here's a short screencast that shows very basic usage (watch the status line at the bottom): – Ken Nov 27 '09 at 23:53
BTW, for comparison, when I googled for "visual studio manual", the #2 hit leads me to this image on MSFT's site, which I'm sure is not at all scary: :-) – Ken Nov 27 '09 at 23:54

jEdit is my text editor of choice. It has a couple of features that do some of what you want; your mileage may vary:

  1. It has an autocomplete feature (by default bound to CTRL+B but I usually change it to CTRL+SPACE to be consistent with Visual Studio. It autocompletes any matching word in the current buffer (not just functions) plus any keywords defined in the currently-active syntax-highlighting mode
  2. A plugin that supports tags files generated by tools such as Exuberant Ctags

Where it falls down is support for argument tooltips (though the Tags plugin usually displays the first few lines of a function definition) There may be some language-specific plugins that will give you this but I'm not familiar with them.

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+1 for the ctags reference – DaveParillo Nov 28 '09 at 1:30

Unfortunately I could never find a windows based text editor that would do that.

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What text editor did you find that did this and didn't have a Windows equivalent? – Steve Rowe Nov 27 '09 at 23:47
Coda on the mac does it pretty well. – Toby Dec 7 '09 at 10:53

Have you tried using Eclipse for this? The workbench is very extensible, and editor plugins are available for many languages.

Eclipse is well known for its Java IDE. However, there are Eclipse base language IDEs for most of the popular languages. Some are popular Eclipse open source project, such as CDT, and others are popular open source projects and commercial solutions.


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If you are looking to complete functions from another language, you're talking intellisense and most any IDE will perform those functions for the language(s) specific to the IDE. They also all typically index your code and provide the ability to help you autocomplete functions visible when you're editing.

Short of an IDE, both Vim & Emacs contain plugins that can get either editor to perform many of the functions of an IDE, including autocomplete and jumping to function definitions. Ken Keenan mentioned ctags and it's the first thing I always install on top of vim.

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