An extensible, customizable, free/libre text editor and more!



  -  72 MB  -  Open Source
Emacs, an iconic text editor, has been a cornerstone of the software development world since its inception in the 1970s. Developed by Richard Stallman, this open-source software has evolved into a versatile, extensible, and highly customizable platform, often referred to as an "operating system within an operating system."


Intelligent Editing Modes: It offers content-aware editing modes, such as syntax coloring, for a multitude of file types, enhancing your text editing experience.

Comprehensive Built-in Documentation: It provides complete built-in documentation, including a user-friendly tutorial for newcomers, ensuring that users have the resources they need to get started.

Universal Unicode Support: Enjoy full Unicode support for virtually all human scripts, ensuring that you can work with text in any language seamlessly.

Remarkable Customizability: Whether you prefer to use Emacs Lisp code or a graphical interface, the program is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your specific needs and preferences.

Versatile Functionality: Beyond text editing, it offers a wide spectrum of additional functionality, serving as a project planner, mail and news reader, debugger interface, calendar, IRC client, and more, making it a versatile tool for various tasks.

Effortless Extension Management: It comes equipped with a packaging system that simplifies the process of downloading and installing extensions, ensuring that you can expand its capabilities effortlessly.

Key Features

Text Editing: It offers powerful text editing capabilities, with support for syntax highlighting, code folding, and auto-indentation. It supports multiple file formats, making it suitable for various programming languages and document types.

Customization: The program is highly extensible and customizable. Users can tailor the editor to their specific needs by adding packages and configuring settings through its built-in scripting language, Emacs Lisp.

Split Windows: It allows users to split the editing area into multiple windows, facilitating efficient multitasking and comparing files side by side.

Version Control: Integrated version control support for Git, Mercurial, and others simplifies tracking changes in projects.

Package Manager: It features a package manager called "package.el" that enables users to easily install and manage extensions and plugins from the vast package ecosystem.

Built-in Games: Surprisingly, it includes a collection of built-in games, providing some diversion when you need a break from coding or writing.

User Interface

It has a unique and highly efficient user interface that may take some getting used to for newcomers. It primarily consists of a text buffer and a command line, where users interact with the editor's functions. The graphical user interface (GUI) version of the app provides a more familiar environment with menus and toolbar options. Users can switch between these interfaces based on their preferences.

How to Use
  • Open the software by running the "emacs" command.
  • Use the keyboard shortcuts and commands to navigate, edit, and manipulate text.
  • Customize your environment by editing the configuration file (init.el) or using built-in customization options.
  • Explore and install packages from the package manager to extend Emacs's functionality.

How can I exit Emacs?
To exit the desktop app, you can press Ctrl-x Ctrl-c or type M-x save-buffers-kill-emacs and press Enter.

What are some essential packages for Emacs?
Essential packages include "Magit" for Git integration, "Org Mode" for note-taking and task management, and "Ivy/Counsel" for improved search and navigation.

Is there a graphical version of Emacs for macOS?
Yes, there is a graphical version called "Emacs Mac Port" that provides a more native macOS experience.

How do I split the window in Emacs?
To split the window horizontally, press Ctrl-x 2, and to split it vertically, press Ctrl-x 3.

Can I use Emacs as an IDE for programming?
Yes, it can be transformed into a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) with packages like "LSP" for language server protocol support and language-specific extensions.


Vim: Vim is another iconic text editor known for its efficiency and modal editing. It has a steeper learning curve but offers a unique experience.

Visual Studio Code: VS Code is a popular open-source code editor developed by Microsoft, featuring a wide range of extensions and a user-friendly interface.

Sublime Text: Sublime Text is a lightweight and fast text editor with a rich plugin ecosystem.


The program is FREE and open-source software, available for anyone to download and use without any licensing fees.

System Requirements
  • CPU: 1 GHz processor or higher
  • RAM: 1 GB or more
  • Disk Space: 100 MB for installation and additional space for packages and files
  • Operating Systems: Windows 11, 10, 8 or 7 (32bit or 64bit)
  • Extensive customization and extensibility.
  • Vast library of packages and extensions.
  • Cross-platform support.
  • Highly efficient for text manipulation and coding.
  • Robust version control integration.
  • Steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Non-standard user interface may be intimidating.
  • Lack of a built-in package manager prior to recent versions.
  • Requires significant time investment to unlock its full potential.

It stands as a testament to the enduring power of open-source software. While it may intimidate newcomers with its unique interface and steep learning curve, it rewards dedicated users with unparalleled customization, efficiency, and a thriving community. Whether you're a programmer, writer, or anyone who works with text, it offers a text editing experience like no other.

With its vast ecosystem of packages and the ability to mold it to your needs, Emacs remains an indispensable tool for those who embrace its quirks and invest the time to master it.

Also Available: Emacs for Mac

  • Emacs 29.1 Screenshots

    The images below have been resized. Click on them to view the screenshots in full size.

    Emacs 29.1 Screenshot 1
  • Emacs 29.1 Screenshot 2
  • Emacs 29.1 Screenshot 3
  • Emacs 29.1 Screenshot 4
  • Emacs 29.1 Screenshot 5

What's new in this version:

- Supports "pure GTK" (PGTK) build
- Uses XInput 2 on X for input events
- Uses tree-sitter parsers for several programming modes
- Includes LSP client called Eglot
- Includes the use-package package
- Can access SQLite databases using sqlite3 library
- Can display WebP images using libwebp library
- Faster editing of files with very long lines
- Better support for drag-and-drop on X
- Pixel-precise scrolling with touchpad support
- Enhanced support for editing and displaying Emoji
- Support for Unicode 15.0 and many new scripts
- Many enhancements of help and completion commands
- Numerous enhancements to Image Dired
- Double-buffering on MS-Windows