jEdit stores settings, 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; it is printed to the activity log (Utilities>Troubleshooting>Activity Log). For example:
[message] jEdit: Settings directory is /home/slava/.jedit
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:
abbrevs - a plain text file which stores all defined abbreviations. See the section called “Abbreviations”.
activity.log - a plain text file which contains the full activity log. See Appendix B, The Activity Log.
history - a plain text file which stores history lists, used by history text fields and the Edit>Paste Previous command. See the section called “Transferring Text” and Appendix C, History Text Fields.
jars - this directory contains plugins. See Chapter 9, Installing and Using Plugins.
jars-cache - this directory contains plugin cache files which decrease the time to start jEdit. They are automatically updated when plugins are installed or updated.
killring.xml - stores recently deleted text. See the section called “Transferring Text”.
macros - this directory contains macros. See Chapter 8, Using Macros.
modes - this directory contains custom edit modes. See Part II, “Writing Edit Modes”.
perspective.xml - an XML file that stores the list of open buffers and views used to maintain editor state between sessions.
PluginManager.download - this directory is usually empty. It only contains files while the plugin manager is downloading a plugin. For information about the plugin manager, see Chapter 9, Installing and Using Plugins.
printspec - a binary file that stores printing settings when running under Java 2 version 1.4.
properties - a plain text file that stores the majority of jEdit's settings.
recent.xml - an XML file which stores the list of recently opened files. jEdit remembers the caret position and character encoding of each recent file, and automatically restores those values when one of the files is opened.
registers.xml - an XML file that stores register contents. See the section called “General Register Commands” for more information about registers.
server - a plain text file that only exists while jEdit is running. The edit server's port number and authorization key is stored here. See Chapter 2, Starting jEdit.
settings-backup - this directory contains numbered backups of all automatically-written settings files.