An integrated text editor in SPMF

Today, I will talk about some upcoming feature for the next release of SPMF (2.58), which is a simple integrated text editor. This new release should happen in about 1 or 2 weeks (as I am very busy recently) and will contain some new algorithms. But also, it will contain an integrated text editor. This may seem very strange? Why a text editor? I will explain briefly the idea in this blog post to give an overview of this feature as I am testing it now. If you have comments, you may leave them in the comment section below

Why a text editor in SPMF?

Well, in previous version of SPMF, there was a few options to open the output files produced by the algorithms: using the system’s default text editor (e.g. Notepad on Windows) or using the Pattern Viewer tool of SPMF. Although using the system’s text editor can be good, I was thinking that having a customized text editor could be interesting and it is actually not difficult to implement. So, I will explain how it works below.

The SPMF text editor

In the next release of SPMF, there will be a new option to open the output file using the SPMF text editor instead of the default system text editor.

The SPMF text editor looks like this:

It has some useful features such as showing the line count and the line and column numbers in the status bar at the bottom. This bar can also be hidden.

Also a useful feature is to always highlight the current line (which is not done by NotePad, for example):

Besides, it is possible to activate a “night mode” from the menu:

And there is also a search bar that is very convenient for highlighting some keywords in a file, and works like the search bar in some Web browsers:

Also, there is of course the possibility of changing the font and the font size.

Besides, all the user-defined preferences are saved. So next time that you open SPMF, the same font, font size, night mode preference, window size and location, and other preferences of the SPMF text editor are kept.

The SPMF text editor can also display the size of the last file that is opened:

And here is an overview of the menus:

It has the basic important functions such as “Line wrap” and “Word wrap”.


Interesting? You will be able to try it in the next version of SPMF to be released soon.

For now, the features are quite simple because the aim is to provide an alternative to the system text editor specialized for opening the output files of SPMF. It is not designed to compete with a more complex text editor and to be used as a general-purpose text editor (although it could).

A limitation of the SPMF text editor is that text files are loaded in memory so it is restricted to opening files that are not too big.

Many other features could be added like highlighting keywords in the output file. So there is something to think about. Which features would be useful? You may let me know what you think. If some features are not too hard to implement and useful, I may add them. I will also do some more debugging before it can be released.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, you can let me know in the comment section or by e-mail at philfv AT

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