I'm a big fan of It's All Text for Firefox, as it's really helpful to be able to quickly open up gvim and write out code, wiki markup, etc in a powerful editor rather than trying to do edits in a large text box. Is there a similar plugin for Chrome? I'm looking for a cross-platform solution, or at least something that will work on Linux.

7 Answers 7


On macs:

  • http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/quickcursor (product abandoned and removed)

On Windows:

Other platforms:

from https://github.com/stsquad/emacs_chrome/blob/master/servers/README

Because the Chrome(ium) security model doesn't allow for extensions spawning processes we can't just exec() the editor process. Instead we have to implement an "edit server" which listens to XmlHttp requests on port 9292 (default) and then sends a response when the edit is complete. We include a couple here:

Both of these require you run a webserver too, (e.g. http://opencoder.net/edit-server):

  • +1 Didn't realize it's that hard to spawn processes with Chrome.
    – Jeff
    Mar 28, 2011 at 1:15
  • Sorry, didn't realize you already posted TextareaConnect and TextAid before harrymc. It looks a little like your post is only addressing Macs; and the links could be replaced with the program names. Edit your post for a little clarity and you have my vote =)
    – Jeff
    Mar 28, 2011 at 7:38
  • @edited for clarity =)
    – dting
    Mar 28, 2011 at 7:56
  • 5
    Note that QuickCursor doesn't work anymore on recent versions of OS X.
    – Dav Clark
    Aug 1, 2013 at 0:43
  • The link for QuickCursor is now broken.
    – JamesRat
    Feb 16, 2015 at 14:40

Have a look at GhostText. (Full disclosure: I worked on it)

It's made of two parts: browser extension (Chrome/Firefox/Safari/all) and text editor plugin (SublimeText/VS Code/Atom/Vim/Neovim/etc).

It updates the text as you type it, so if the site offers a live preview (like on StackExchange) that'll keep working (unlike with It's All Text)

This also works with complex editors like CodeMirror, ACE editor and contentEditable elements (plain HTML)


GhostText Video

  • 1
    Where has this extension been all my life! editing this with sublime right now :D
    – ptim
    Feb 2, 2015 at 10:46
  • 1
    This looks like a fantastic solution. I'd love to see a vim plugin for this.
    – Screenack
    Mar 19, 2015 at 15:06
  • 2
    @Screenack It's working for me on Linux+Chrome+Vim. Semi-realtime updates are nice. Not all sites are compatible (notably, JIRA misbehaves and doesn't allow Ghost Edit)
    – sehe
    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:56
  • @sehe — did you write your own vim editor extension? I only see Atom and Sublime listed?
    – Screenack
    Jun 10, 2016 at 13:51
  • 2
    @Screenack Oh. I somehow forgot to link github.com/falstro/ghost-text-vim
    – sehe
    Jun 10, 2016 at 13:53

Text editor anywhere is really neat if you are using Windows.

Text Editor Anywhere allows you to edit text anywhere with your favorite text editor. It provides a means of taking advantages of some advanced features (like auto-completing, spell checking and syntax highlighting) that are only available in an external text editor. It may also save you from web browser crashes.

For example, you can use Vim to tweet or reply a post in Chrome with the help of Text Editor Anywhere.

  • Support all kinds of text editors
  • Support all applications
  • Support Unicode
  • You can pass complex parameters to the editor
  • 1
    Looks pretty awesome and I like that you can use it for more than just Chrome! Thanks!
    – Jeff
    Nov 14, 2011 at 23:45
  • 1
    fjut, I can't thank you enough for making me discover this gem. Mar 16, 2012 at 23:01
  • 2
    This is really good! I was always looking for chrome extension but this do the same thing and it is even better and more polished! Thanks!
    – Jiri
    Apr 12, 2012 at 7:45
  • Really, that's awesome
    – gluk47
    Oct 23, 2015 at 11:45
  • This is awesome.
    – jdhao
    Apr 12, 2019 at 12:19

Some possibilities are listed below. It would be easier if you told us what is your operating system.

Edit with Emacs Chrome extension (extension no longer available)

It's Chrome's answer to Firefox's "It's all text" extension, which makes composing emails, blog posts, and other long-form text in a browser a lot more tolerable. (Hooray!)

Since Chrome extensions can't spawn arbitrary processes, the Edit with Emacs extension requires the cooperation of an additional edit server that can. The edit server is implemented in elisp and is bundled with the extension.


TextareaConnect a clone of the "It's All Text!" Firefox extension for Chrome. It allows you to edit any textarea using an external editor like Vim, Emacs, gedit, Kate etc. Since Chrome API won't allow spawning new external processes, TextareaConnect relies on separate http-server, TextareaServer, for starting the external editors.

[EDIT] According to its web page, TextAreaConnect is currently not usable because of incompatible updates to Chrome

  • +1 best answer I've seen so far in terms of what I'm looking for. I'll keep the bounty open for now in hopes that there's an easier solution that doesn't involve running a server to receive commands, but it doesn't sound like it.
    – Jeff
    Mar 28, 2011 at 5:11

I found this via google, and took the time to register so you don't have to :)


The hidden link is this program called listary, which seems very useful (I'm gonna try it right after this post). It works with windows explorer, it's not a chrome plugin. Basically you can pop up a sort of command prompt in the corner at any time, run a program or open a folder or whatever, and then go back to what you were doing. They show someone editing text in their favorite editor and having it go straight to an email in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDHXhm7YSw8&feature=player_detailpage#t=48s

The app page is here: http://www.listary.com/

  • This is windows specific. Runs as an app outside of the browser.
    – dting
    Mar 27, 2011 at 7:54
  • my bad, I shoulda read more closely. Bummer, I've found it pretty handy.
    – CreeDorofl
    Mar 27, 2011 at 15:06
  • +1 Good answer, but unfortunately not exactly what I'm looking for.
    – Jeff
    Mar 28, 2011 at 1:14

I've written a simple userscript (which run cross browser/platform) that takes advantage of CodeMirror's excellent Vim/Emacs functionality and allows you to change any textarea into a mini version of Vim or Emacs by double clicking on the textarea.

Note that when I say mini, the Vim version supports things like macros and registers, which is crazy!

  • There's no support for visual mode multiline as far as tested Sep 12, 2016 at 21:05

If you don't care about actually opening a separate editor, and like a vim-like editor, (wasavi)[http://appsweets.net/wasavi/] is a good option.

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