GNU Emacs

Version28(as of 4/27/2023)
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Linux
LicenseOpen Source
Go to Website
Rating:3.5  |  28 Votes

Main Features

  • Open-source, multiplatform text editor
  • Includes IDE tools, games, and many other additional features
  • Can be customized using extensions
  • Contains helpful manual and tutorials

Software Overview

Screenshot of GNU Emacs 28
Screenshot of GNU Emacs 28

GNU Emacs is an open-source text editor available for Linux, Windows, and macOS. In addition to simple text editing tools, it contains many other features, including Integrated Development Environment (IDE) tools, a calendar, a mail and news reader, games, and more.

Primarily, developers and other advanced PC users use Emacs to write and edit source code files, webpages, and other documents. Emacs' suite of keystroke commands and content-aware editing modes make writing programs and webpages a breeze for seasoned users. Developers can then use the compiler, runtime, and debugging tools Emacs contains to run and test their programs.

However, Emacs contains other features that make it a useful and fun text editor for even novice users. For example, Emacs allows users to play Snake and Tetris within the editor if they need a break from whatever document they're writing. And while Emacs can seem daunting to new or less-advanced PC users, it includes a manual and tutorials that will help you learn its commands and features.

Emacs also allows (and encourages) you to install extensions, which add even more features to the program. A host of extensions are available on the program's website, and developers can create their own extensions using the Emacs Lisp (Elisp) programming language.


GNU Emacs is at its best in the hands of users who are willing to learn its many keystroke commands, dive deep into its suite of advanced features, and add extensions that customize the program even further. If you're looking for a simple, quick-to-pick-up text editor, GNU Emacs likely isn't for you. But if you want a customizable, feature-rich, and highly-extensible editor, Emacs might be what you're looking for.

Primary File Type

file  icon.ELEmacs Lisp Code File

Supported File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.ELEmacs Lisp Code File
.1Unix Section 1 Manual Page
.AStatic Library
.ASMAssembly Language Source Code File
.CC/C++ Source Code File
.CCC++ Source Code File
.CELCelestia Script File
.CFGWesnoth Markup Language File
.CONFUnix Configuration File
.ELCEmacs Compiled Lisp File
.ERRError Log File
.EXEuphoria Source Code
.EXWEuphoria Source code File
.HC/C++/Objective-C Header File
.HSHaskell Script
.INCInclude File
.INFOTexinfo Document
.JAVAJava Source Code File
.JSONJavaScript Object Notation File
.LLex Source File
.LHSLiterate Haskell Script
.LPDLPD Daemon Print Permissions File
.LUALua Source Code
.MMercury Source Code File
.MANUnix Manual
.MDMachine Description File
.MDMarkdown Documentation File
.MENUQuake 3 Engine Menu File
.MLML Source Code File
.MPSMathematical Programming System File
.OPTSLinux Configuration Options File
.ORGEmacs Org Text Document
.PROPERTIESJava Properties File
.PROPERTIESMinecraft Properties File
.PYPython Script
.SSource Code File
.TRITriangle Mesh File
.TXTPlain Text File
.UTF8Unicode UTF8-Encoded Text Document

Additional Related File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.CONFGeneric Configuration File
.INFOGeneric Information File
.JAVJava Source File
Updated 4/27/2023