How to set up an external text editor for AB Commander



As you probably know, AB Commander comes with a built-in text editor that you can use to quickly edit text files. It's easily accessible from within AB Commander: just select the text file you want to edit or view, and press the Ctrl+Q key combination. The text file will open in a separate window, offering the basic file editing capabilities:

The built-in text editor of AB Commander

In addition to the internal text editor, AB Commander also offers a way to set up an alternative text editor for use in cases when the capabilities of the built-in editor are not sufficient enough. By default, the external text editor is set up to run Windows Notepad. (Try it: you can open a text file with the external text editor by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Q). Notepad, however, does not offer much more than the built-in text editor. If you really want to have a powerful text editor at your fingertips, you may want to change the external text editor from Notepad to something more advanced.

There are many text editors available (a quick Google or Bing search should reveal many of them). One of the more popular ones is Notepad++  , a free and open source tool that offers many advanced text editing features, including syntax highlighting, tabbed user interface, plug-in support, etc.

To set up Notepad++ as the external text editor in AB Commander, choose View - Options from the AB Commander menu, and select the Editor page:

Changing options for the text editors used by AB Commander

Click on the Options button next to the External choice, and then enter the path to the Notepad++ executable into the box:

Changing options for the external text editor of AB Commander

Also, enter "%1" in the Command line arguments box. This will tell Notepad++ which file it should open when you invoke it from AB Commander: the placeholder %1 will be replaced with the path of the currently selected file, and the double quotes around it will ensure that even if the path contains spaces, it will be recognized as a path of a single file rather than several paths separated by spaces.

Keep in mind that on your computer Notepad++ could be installed into a different folder than shown. For example, if you have a 64-bit version of Windows, then Notepad++ could be installed under the C:\Program Files (x86) folder. You can always determine the correct path by analyzing the properties of the shortcut to Notepad++ that you use (on the Desktop or on the Start Menu):

Properties of the shortcut to Notepad++ show the correct path to the external text editor

Another option you have is which editor (internal or external) you want to be the preferred one (that is, accessible via the Ctrl+Q keyboard shortcut), and which one alternative (accessible via the Ctrl+Shift+Q combination). You can choose that on the Editor page shown above.

Happy text editing!

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