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Learn how to edit text files with a text editor

Learn Enough Text Editor Developer Fundamentals 02

Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous is designed to help you learn to edit plain text files using a text editor, arguably the most important tool in the software developer’s toolkit. Unlike other text editor tutorials, which are typically tied to a specific editor, this tutorial is designed to introduce the entire category of application—a category many people don’t even know exists.

Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous is designed to help you learn to edit plain text files using a text editor, arguably the most important tool in the software developer’s toolkit. Unlike other text editor tutorials, which are typically tied to a specific editor, this tutorial is designed to introduce the entire category of application—a category many people don’t even know exists.

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150 pages
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hours
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3 chapters
 
27 videos
 
74 exercises

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The Learn Enough tutorials are available as books, downloadable videos, and online courses. Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous includes 150 pages of book content and 1½ hours of video.

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Full online version of the book content, embedded streaming videos for all sections, exercises with editable answers, progress tracking, and membership in the Learn Enough Society (community exercise answers, private chat group). Pause your subscription at any time!

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Online HTML version accessible from any web browser, downloadable ebooks in all common formats (EPUB, MOBI/Kindle, PDF). Files are yours to keep forever!

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Downloadable versions of all screencast videos. Note: Does not include ebooks, so the video/ebook bundle is strongly recommended. Files are yours to keep forever!

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Developer Fundamentals BUNDLE
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This is the place to start learning technical sophistication. Learn Enough Developer Fundamentals covers three essential tools for the aspiring computer magician: the Unix command line, text editors, and version control with Git. After this level, you will be in a position to collaborate with millions of developers around the world, even if you’re not (yet) a developer yourself.

All bundles include the course version of all the tutorials (streaming video, exercise answers, and progress tracking), and access to the Learn Enough society to get help if you need it.

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Learn Essential Skills

In the Text Editor Tutorial

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Text makes the world go ’round

See the power of raw text editing

Plain text is one of the most important kinds of computer data. It makes up World Wide Web pages, computer source code, system configuration files, and more. The tool used to edit plain text files is called, appropriately enough, a text editor.

Unlike other text editor tutorials, which are typically tied to a specific editor, this tutorial is designed to introduce the entire category of application—a category many people don’t even know exists. Moreover, editor-specific tutorials tend to be aimed at professional developers, and generally assume years of experience, but Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous doesn’t even assume you know what a “text editor” is.

To be productive with text editors, you don’t have to know everything about them—you just have to learn enough to be dangerous.

Starting vim

VIM: the classic text editor

Edit text anywhere there is a command line

Everyone should learn how to use at least one text editor, and Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous teaches you at least two! You’ll start by learning Minimum Viable Vim, an introduction to the powerful, ubiquitous, and extraordinary Vim editor. Vim is available on virtually every computer system in the known universe, so learning a little Vim means having a way to edit text no matter where you end up going.

Wider preview

A modern editor

It's more than an ugly word processor

Next, you’ll learn the common features of so-called “modern” text editors, with a focus on the free and open-source Atom editor but with skills transferable to many others. Learn how to move around (potentially large) text documents; cut, copy, and paste content; and find and replace text. These are useful for performing operations in seconds that could take hours by hand.

Find sample

Advanced moves

Features and tools to increase efficiency

Finally, you’ll learn advanced techniques like tab triggers, which allow the almost miraculous creation of otherwise repetitive content. You’ll also learn how to full projects, navigating quickly from one file to the next and even finding and replacing through hundreds of files at once.

The result of learning enough text editor to be dangerous is proficiency with the essential tool for editing the most common and important data format in the world.

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Happy people

saying nice things!

Jimmywales
Jimmy Wales Founder, Wikipedia

Q: What is Jimmy Wales' favorite book?

A: It changes often. At the moment, it’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl. :)


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About the Text Editor Tutorial

This is a strong introduction into Text Editor usage for programming. By the end of it you will have a base knowledge to be able to utilize the various text editors available, and be informed enough to know if this is something more that you want to pursue.

— viper941
Amazon link

A very well-written book.

I would recommend it for the novice as it provides a very quick but comprehensive overview of the 3 different categories of editors i.e. well established editors (vim, EMACS), modern editors (Sublime Text, Atom) and cloud editors (c9). The book provides enough detail to comfortably start using both vim and Atom.

In addition, I think it would be useful for people who have been using editors for years. As some one who has grown up with vim and eclipse-based IDE editors for code development, Michael’s very informative book was excellent in motivating me to start using Atom again.

I had toyed with cloud editors before, but this book motivated me to try the c9 editor.

Most importantly, I found the book fun to read, educational and useful straight away.

— Amazon Customer
Amazon link

This is a great book as an intro to text editors in coding. In Learn Enough Text Editor to Be Dangerous, Michael Hartl has a unique approach, emphasizing core principles and technical sophistication, rather than rote learning. All the Learn Enough series tutorials share this approach in a way that makes them consistent yet complementary, not repetitive. Each of the skills in the series touches on and supports the others, but all are complete by themselves.

— Jacob Rale
Amazon link

I stumbled upon your website by luck a couple weeks back and since then I have gone through the Developer Fundamentals series, which I have to say exceeded my expectations and filled in many gaps in my knowledge which multiple other online tutorials failed to do.

— Tayyab I.
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I must say, this Learn Enough series is a masterpiece of education. Thank you for this incredible work!

— Michael K.

I must say, this Learn Enough series is a masterpiece of education. Thank you for this incredible work!

— Michael K.

I want to thank you for the amazing job you have done with the tutorials. They are likely the best tutorials I have ever read.

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I have been trying to learn web development and programming on and off for the past 3 years and your website is the first one that I feel does the job right.

— Janelle S.

Just bought the new ebook and want to say keep up the great work!! The Learn Enough to Be Dangerous series re-ignited my desire to code after 10+ years of “meh”.

— Diane Y.

The Learn Enough Society and the courses are incredible. It’s the best value in the market of online courses in my opinion. Like you say, it’s learning to tech, which is very useful in our world.

— Sébastien D.

I just meant to tell you: your tutorial books from the Learn Enough series are awesome! The books are well-written, clear, concise, super-useful, and even fun to read. Thank you so, so much for this! I have bought the first three and will buy whatever you publish next. Keep up doing this very good work and thanks again.

— Pierre W.

Have been following the whole “Learn Enough to Be Dangerous” series and am VERY impressed with it. I am a project manager who works with software developers daily. These sessions have provided me with a huge amount very useful information, to the extent that I now not only understand what the dev guys are talking about, but am starting to use the tools (command line, Git, etc.) that they use.

— Brian
Amazon link

Michael Hartl is one of the best educators around when it comes to web development. I have been following him for a long time, and everything he produces is top quality. If you are looking for a quick way to become a thorough and productive professional web developer, Hartl’s books are a great place to start.

— Abram Bailey
Amazon link

Hi, my name is Philip, and I’m a beginning learner of web development. I’ve dabbled in small ways in Ruby/Rails for about a year and a half. Occasionally, I write ruby scripts to solve problems at my job. I also dabble in learning: JavaScript, Ember, more Ruby/Rails, brief intro readings into Scala.

I’ve tried Codeschool, Codecademy, and I’ll stop there, so you don’t spend the next 3 hours reading all the different learning resources I’ve tried.

Ruby on Rails Tutorial (Rails 5) is undoubtedly, the most effective and educational resource I’ve ever come across when it comes to learning anything about web development or writing any code on any level.

Here’s what you seem to understand that everyone else just gets wrong: There’s a big spectrum between the very beginner basics: declaring variables, to voodoo, magical, incantational trickery of witchcraft, like building your own web server.

Almost all tutorials make this mistake. The first couple “lessons” are good for people who don’t even have a clue what computer programming is and then suddenly, there’s a big jump to what seem to be concepts that only seasoned developers have mastered.

Thanks for such a great, educational guide in Ruby on Rails.

— Philip

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About the Author
Michael-hartl

Michael Hartl

Michael Hartl is the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, one of the leading introductions to web development, and is cofounder and principal author at Learn Enough. Previously, he was a physics instructor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a graduate of Harvard College, has a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, and is an alumnus of the Y Combinator entrepreneur program.

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