The jEdit Settings Directory

jEdit stores settings, keymaps, macros, and plugins as files inside the settings directory. In most cases, editing these files by hand is not necessary, since graphical tools and editor commands can do the job. However, being familiar with the structure of the settings directory still comes in handy in certain situations, for example when you want to copy jEdit settings between computers.

The location of the settings directory is system-specific [1]. It is printed to the activity log (Utilities>Troubleshooting>Activity Log). For example:

[message] jEdit: Settings directory is /home/slava/.jedit

Another way to find the location of your settings directory is to use the "Utilities" menu, then the "Settings Directory" menu item. The first item in the pullout menu is the location of your settings directory.

From Console or the File System Browser, you can use an environment variable, $JEDIT_SETTINGS, to refer to that location.

Specifying the -settings switch on the command line instructs jEdit to store settings in a directory other than the default. For example, the following command will instruct jEdit to store all settings in the jedit subdirectory of the C: drive:

C:\jedit> jedit -settings=C:\jedit

The -nosettings switch will force jEdit to not look for or create a settings directory; default settings will be used instead.

jEdit creates the following files and directories inside the settings directory; plugins may add more:

The jEdit properties file

The jEdit properties file uses the Java properties syntax to store key/value pairs. All of the values are stored as strings, but are interpreted as other types (such as integer or boolean) by plugins at runtime.

Do not edit this file while jEdit is running. If you do, it is possible that your changes (either your edits, or jEdit settings changes) may get lost.

Site Properties

You may also put properties files in the properties directory under the jEdit home directory (NOT the jedit settings directory). You can locate the jEdit home directory by going to the Utilities menu directory, then the jEdit Home Directory menu item, and the first item in the pullout menu will be the location of the jEdit home directory. This is intended for site-wide settings. This lets you keep custom user properties separate from the jEdit site-wide properties, so they are easier to find, edit, and move between machines. Note that your custom properties files must have ".props" as the file name extension.

Prior to jEdit 5.0, this was also where site-wide keyboard shortcuts were placed, but now you can define custom sets of shortcuts as keymap files. These files can be cloned and edited from the Shortcuts Option Pane, or edited by hand. To place them in a system-wide location, copy them into the keymaps folder under the jedit home directory.

Site properties files are read in alphabetically by file name. This means that if you have a property with the same name in more than one file, the value for that property will be the value found in the last file that was read.

You can edit these files inside jEdit - changes made to these files will not be re-read until the next time jEdit is started.

[1] On Linux, it is ~/.jedit. On Windows, you will find it in %APPDATA%\jEdit. On the Mac, it is ~/Library/jEdit.