I'm looking for an

  • open source
  • cross platform

editor that I can use to write documentation. I'm not looking for a web based solution - i.e. it should work without a web server, and I want to save my files directly to disk.

The result could be any structured format, like Wiki markup, ReStructuredText, DocBook, or a small subset of HTML, ... But it's important, that

  • Subversion diff can be used to see differences between the versions easily (this wouldn't work with .odt or .rtf files for example)

I'm currently thinking about using Open Office, and saving the files as HTML, but is there a better solution?

3 Answers 3


If you're going to save as HTML it might be better to use a dedicated HTML editor like KompoZer, which is WYSIWYG, open-source and cross-platform.

  • @Hugh: Thanks for this link! I just installed it (it's even in the Ubuntu Repository BTW :-), and it already looks quite promising: I like its interface, and it produces very clean HTML. The split view is practical, too. It even seems to handle long files pretty well. Apr 2, 2010 at 10:01

Use plain text and your favorite programmer's editor.

As format I would suggest asciidoc since its markup is very non-intrusive and it can be converted to HTML, DocBook and others pretty easily. This will make the diffs much more pleasant to look at.

  • @honk: I love programmer's editors, and use them for almost everything. But in this case we need real WYSIWYG... Apr 2, 2010 at 0:36
  • @chris: asciidoc almost is a WYSIWYG markup ;) Apr 2, 2010 at 0:37

A little bit late, but Texts fits your requirements except being open-source. It's WYSIWYG, works on Mac OS X/Windows and saves files in Markdown format that is diff-friendly.

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