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 A tiny fullscreen, text editor written in portable C.  Source supplied.

 Author:       Ross N. Williams (
 Homepage:     TBD
 Family:       TinyEditors
 Download: (C source code)
 License:      Custom, with source code
 Availability: Yes
 Platform:     Just about any OS that supports C and the C standard library.  Known to work on Unix, Linux, Windows, HP/UX and MSDOS.


This is the Rocksoft portable editor, for use on machines that have a C compiler, but don't have a very good (or familiar)text editor.


When porting programs to many different operating systems, a problem that repeatedly arises is that of having to learn many different text editors. This would not be such a problem if it it weren't for the fact that many of the built-in text editors in common operating systems are brain dead. After attempting to learn a number of different text editors on different machines, I decided to solve the problem once and for all by writing my own highly portable text editor that I could use on any machine. For me, Rockedit is "The Last Text Editor"! :-)

Design goals

Current state

I wrote this editor during a two-day hack session to avoid having to use a particular editor when porting the Veracity data integrity product to HP/UX. While it generally works, this editor is NOT polished and is NOT in terrific shape. Under no circumstances should it be treated as typical of the quality of code generated by myself or Rocksoft. The sole reason that I released this editor unpolished is because I know that if I wait until I find time to clean it up properly then it probably won't be released for another year or so. I feel it's better to at least let people benefit from it now, even though it's imperfect.

User Manual :-)


This editor is dedicated to Chris Farmer (, of the University of Adelaide Information Technology Division, whom I noticed using an ancient editor in a window on a modern colour workstation ("because it's the only editor available on that machine"). This observation resonated with my own frustration at editors, and triggered by construction of Rockedit. Thanks Chris!


Copyright (C) Ross N. Williams 1994-1998. However, permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim or modified copies of this program on a non-commercial basis, provided that this header block and copyright notice are retained verbatim, and all modifications to the original release are documented in the modification log below.

No warranty

This program is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Latest version

The latest version of this program is available in the following FTP directory:

Please direct comments and patches and anything else to the author

 Name    : Dr Ross N. Williams
 Company : Rocksoft Pty Ltd
 URL     :
 Email   :
 Phone   : +61 8 8232-6262
 Fax     : +61 8 8232-6264
 Snail   : PO Box 3066, Rundle Mall SA 5000, Australia.

Hope you find this editor useful!

Supported Commands


This is a small, easy to follow text editor written in C. It is fun to modify, especially if you are a C programmer looking for a simple text editor to work with. At less than 1600 lines of source code, even novice programmers can figure out how it works. A great program to learn how text editors operate.

It can be compiled with standard C on many platforms.

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Last edited June 26, 2010 7:13 am (diff)