JOE iconJOE 3.7

JOE is a full featured terminal-based screen editor.
JOE is a full featured terminal-based screen editor. JOE has been around since 1988 and comes standard with many Linux distributions.

JOE is being maintained by its original author Joseph Allen, plus all of the people who send bug reports, feature suggestions and patches to the project web site. JOE is hosted by and its source code is controlled under CVS. Over the last few years there has been about one major new release a year, usually in the April-May timeframe.

JOE is a blending of MicroPro's venerable microcomputer word processor WordStar and Richard Stallman's famous LISP based text editor GNU-EMACS (but it does not use code from either program): most of the basic editing keys are the same as in WordStar as is the overall feel of the editor. JOE also has some of the key bindings and many of the powerful features of EMACS.

JOE is written in C and its only dependency is libc. This makes JOE very easy to build (just "configure" and "make install"), making it feasible to include on small systems and recovery disks. The compiled binary is about 300K in x86. Note that JOE can use either the termcap or terminfo terminal capabilities databases (or a built-in termcap entry for ANSI terminals). The choice is controlled by a "configure" option. If terminfo is used, a library is required to access the database (on some systems this library is ncurses, but JOE does not use curses to control the terminal- it has its own code for this).

Much of the look and feel of JOE is determined by its simple configuration file "joerc". Several variants of the editor are installed by default in addition to "joe": "jmacs" (emulate GNU-EMACS), "jstar" emulate WordStar, "jpico" emulate the Pine mailer editor PICO and "rjoe"- a restricted version of JOE which allows the used to only edit the file given on the command line. JOE is linked to several names. The name which is used to invoke the editor with "rc" tacked on the end gives the name of configuration file to use. It is thus easy for you to make your own variant if you want. Also you can customize the editor by copying the system "joerc" file to your home directory.

Main features:

  • Mouse support, including wheel
  • UTF-8 support
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Hexadecimal edit mode
  • Non-destructive editing of binary files even when handling MS-DOS or UNIX line endings
  • TAB completion and history for all prompts
  • EMACS-style file locks
  • Shell windows
  • Goto matching ( [ { <
  • Goto matching word delimiter, including XML tags
  • Ctrl-arrow key block selection
  • Search and replace system, including regular expression and optional incremental search
  • Tags file search
  • Paragraph format
  • Undo and Redo
  • Cursor position history
  • Multiple keyboard macros
  • Block move/copy/delete/filter
  • Rectangle (columnar) mode
  • Overtype/Insert modes
  • Indent/Unindent
  • Auto-indent mode
  • Powerful scientific calculator with block statistics functions
  • Termcap/Terminfo support allows JOE to use any terminal or terminal emulator

last updated on:
November 5th, 2008, 0:05 GMT
developed by:
Joseph Allen
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
ROOT \ Text Editing&Processing \ Others


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What's New in This Release:
  • Reorganized option setting command (^T) to be a user definable menu of macros and sub-menus. The idea was to reduce the number of options shown when you hit ^T by sticking less frequently used options in sub-menus. A side benefit is that you can now stick your own macros in the ^T menu system.
  • Add ^K ` revert file command. Also add ESC X reloadall command to revert all non-modified files.
  • Fixed a number of other user reported bugs.
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