Geany Newsletter #3


About Geany

Geany is a small and lightweight Integrated Development Environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. Another goal was to be as independent as possible from a special Desktop Environment like KDE or GNOME - Geany only requires the GTK2 runtime libraries.

More information about Geany can be found at

Geany Development

Bumping dependencies for GTK2 and GLib

Starting with SVN r5839 Geany depends on GTK2 >= 2.12 and GLib >= 2.16 to make use of some new features introduced with these releases and to avoid maintaining duplicate code and complicated #ifdef structures.


Bumping dependencies for Geany-Plugins project at Geany 0.21 and GTK2 2.12

Starting with SVN 2095 the general section of the combined Geany-Plugins project depends on Geany 0.21 and similarly Geany depends on GTK2 >= 2.12.

Geany Universe

New Geany Wiki

Several weeks ago the Geany wiki was created, in which interesting facts around Geany can be collected. Some pages are still empty and some topics might be missing, but a good start has been made. Check out the pages at Please contribute whatever you can, including your favorite snippets, color schemes etc.

Let us introduce you...

This section is intended to introduce particular plugins or features on a regular basis.

Plugin Focus

Spell Check

Although Geany is primarily an editor aimed at programming tasks, it's often used to write plain text. All of us would like to think that we can spell correctly but, especially for foreign words, a little help is always welcome: Geany's Spell Check plugin can help, either checking on demand or as you type.

To check the spelling of the current document on demand, select Tools > Spell Check > [language] from the main menu. If you often use this feature consider creating a keyboard shortcut to make activating it easier.

In case you would prefer to have your spelling checked immediately, enable the "Check spelling while typing" option in the plugin's preferences: Edit > Plugin Preferences > Spell Check.

The default language used by Spell Check is configured in Spell Check's preferences.


The Spell Check plugin can offer suggestions for misspelled words in the Message window, in the context menu or both. Choose whichever option suits you best by checking the options in the plugin's preferences.

Any suspect words are marked with a red squiggly underline. To correct these, right-click on them and highlight the "Spelling Suggestions" item in the context menu. From there you can either select from a list of suggested words, add the word to your personal dictionary or ignore it. You can install extra dictionaries in Myspell format which is especially useful if you're often using words which are not in a standard dictionary.

Feature Focus

Line Breaking vs Line Wrapping

In the Document menu are check boxes Line Breaking and Line Wrapping. Although their names are similar, they behave differently.

Line Breaking

When the Line Breaking option is enabled and you type a word past the "Line breaking column" (set in Preferences), Geany will input a carriage return at the end of the line and put the cursor on the line below. This option is best used with plain text files when you you want to keep every line to a maximum length. It's not recommended for code since you might not notice the line break occur and later have to debug the result.

Line Breaking is activated only when you move the cursor past the "Line breaking column" while editing. This means that an already long line will simply get longer if you add text before the "Line breaking column". When this happens you can use the "Reflow Lines/Block" function (in the Edit > Format menu) to adjust all lines so that they're within the line breaking column. Line Breaking must be enabled per document via the menu option Document > Line Breaking.

Line Wrapping

The Line Wrapping option is similar to Line Breaking but the lines are only wrapped visually; no carriage returns or line feeds are added. This option is best used when you want to be able to see the entire file within the current window. So that it's obvious which lines have been wrapped, a visual indicator is added to the end of each wrapped line. Line Wrapping is very CPU-intensive and can slow down Geany if it's enabled while editing a very large file.

If you prefer to have Line Wrapping enabled by default, there is an option for this in the Preferences dialog box Editor > Features. With this option enabled, you can disable Line Wrapping via the menu option Document > Line Wrapping.


People behind Geany -- Interview

This is the first in a series of interviews with Geany's contributors: core developers, plugin developers, translators, wiki maintainers and any other job we can think of. The purpose of the interviews is to get to know each of these people a little better: their hopes, dreams, plans and favourite Geany plugin.

Columban Wendling

Thank you to Colomban Wendling for agreeing to an interview and congratulations for being the very first. Now on to the questions...

What motivates you to develop Geany?

I use Geany on a daily basis, so I'm concerned about its development and improvement. I'm also happy to give back a little bit of all the good Geany given me through the years I used it :) And don't be silly: the FAME! :D

Why do you develop for free instead of devoting this time to paid projects?

Philosophy, naivety... Actually I don't "develop for free" if it only means "without being paid", I develop for free "as in freedom" software because I like the ideology behind it. Not being paid is only a concern in the way I need to do some other stuff beside to get money in.

What I probably prefer in free software is the fact one can learn from reading the code. It was a great source of help and knowledge when I started learning programming, and it still is. A related thing is the ability to modify the software to better fit my needs, or simply to fix a bug that concerns me. It serves me from time to time (once I discover an annoying bug ^^) and allows me to send back the fix to upstream developers, hopefully helping other users.

I won't give all the philosophy behind free software, I think you've got my point :)

Do you do development on other projects that are of interest to you?

Not really beside my personal projects. As said above, I send patches from time to time to developers of software I use, but I'm not really involved in any other project than Geany.

Do you have a favourite Geany feature and if so, what is it?

Most probably the tag completion; but also that almost everything is configurable to fit ones needs.

Do you have a favourite Geany plugin and if so, what is it?

If I'd not fear to sound selfish, I'd say GeanyGenDoc :D Otherwise, SpellCheck without a doubt.

What do you do when you're not developing Geany?

I continue studying programming, or work on personal projects though it's almost the same thing.

What do you use Geany for?

Every one of my programming tasks, and some other text editing.

Do you use any editors other than Geany? (Of course the answer here should be "Absolutely not!" but I'm asking it anyway. :)

I use Nano for commit messages and administration tasks I need to do as root, but for all serious text editing I use Geany.

In which environments do you use Geany?

GNU/Linux (with GNOME), and occasionally Windows (but only when I'm forced to use Windows).

About this newsletter

This newsletter has been created in cooperation by people from Geany's international community. Contributors to this newsletter and the infrastructure behind it, ordered by alphabet:

Colomban Wendling, Enrico Tröger, Frank Lanitz, Russell Dickenson