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CygnusEd 5

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CygnusEd 5

The perhaps most famous Amiga text editor for programmers was developed 20 years ago (1986/1987) by Bruce Dawson, Colin Fox & Steve LaRocque (CygnusSoft Software) and was originally self-published. Even back then CygnusEd distinguished itself through its high performance and robustness. Development on CygnusEd would proceed at a steady pace in the years to follow. CygnusEd was one of the first programs to feature an ARexx interface and the first Amiga text editor with an Undo/Redo feature. Many Amiga programmers "grew up" with CygnusEd and a considerable part of the Amiga software library was created with CygnusEd.

The last version published was CygnusEd Professional 4. It became available in 1997 and was a completely revised version of the editor and its auxiliary tools, adapted for AmigaOS 3.1.

The current CygnusEd version 5 was enhanced with new features, and robustness and performance were improved again. The "Ed" auxiliary tool was rewritten from scratch and its complete source code is included with the editor. Many limitations and deficiencies of CygnusEd were removed. Version 5 is also the first CygnusEd release ported entirely, including all auxiliary tools, to the PowerPC (AmigaOS 4) and one of the first commercial software packages specially adapted for AmigaOS 4.


Here found you the CygnusEd 5 Support Forum.


CygnusEd 5 Demoversion AmigaOS 4
CygnusEd 5 Demoversion 68k & MorphOS


To obtain an upgrade at a reduced price, send in your CygnusEd CD-ROM or the CD inlay, plus the upgrade fee. See the online shop for further information. If you own a CygnusEd version that was distributed on floppy disk and bears a version number, it is sufficient to enter the registration number into the comment field of the order form of the online shop.

CygnusEd ships with

  • DVD case
  • CD-ROM with printed label
  • All the files you could find on the older CygnusEd 4 release CD-ROM"
  • CygnusEd 5

What's new in CygnusEd Professional Release 5?

  • CygnusEd, Ed, MetaMac and RecoverCEDFiles have been ported to AmigaOS 4. This is the first complete port of all the tools to the PowerPC platform.
  • The "Ed" command was rewritten from scratch. The complete source code to "Ed" is included in the CygnusEd distribution, for developers to build their own applications upon it.
  • Literally dozens of bugs have been fixed, ranging from compatibility issues to serious problems which could crash CygnusEd instantly merely by adding a character to a very long line.
  • The text output engine has been extensively rewritten, fixing old bugs which limited the usable maximum length of a line. The changes also allow for the fast Topaz 80 column font rendering to be used on RTG screens, which was previously limited to native ECS/AGA screens.
  • The text rendering pens are configurable now and no longer limited to a fixed set of foreground and background colours.
  • The entire 105 key PC keyboard layout is supported now, including the special function keys Home/End/Page up/Page down/Insert. All keys can be bound to macros.
  • CygnusEd now supports an optional flashing cursor.
  • Automatic translation of end-of-line characters both when reading and writing files is supported now. Three different types are recognized: Unix style (line feed ends the line), Apple Macintosh style (carriage return ends the line) and IBM PC style (carriage return + line feed ends the line). CygnusEd can auto-detect which end-of-line character(s) are used, or you can preset the style to be used. CygnusEd remembers which end-of-line style was used when a file was loaded and automatically saves it back in the same style later.
  • Trailing blank spaces in text files can be automatically stripped when saving files to disk.
  • CygnusEd now supports an optional progress display which is shown when reading or writing files. This is very useful with slow file system devices, or with networked file systems.
  • The custom screen settings are now freely configurable and no longer limited to a maximum of four colours per screen.
  • Auto-indentation is now a configurable feature and is used by default when hitting the Return key. Previously, auto-indent was supported only if you hit the Alt+Return key combination instead. Whether or not the auto-indent feature is enabled is displayed in the view status line.
  • The maximum length allowed for a file name has been increased in order to support the modern Amiga file systems better which can use file names much longer than the original file systems, which limited path names to 255 characters.
  • The search & replace text can be up to 500 characters long each; previously, the limit was 100 characters.
  • The size of the macro recording buffer has been doubled in order to allow for the larger search & replace text to fit into it. Macro recording is now more memory efficient, too.
  • While entering a macro, CygnusEd now shows the key combination the macro is bound to, and how much room there is still left in the macro recording buffer. Previously, CygnusEd only warned you when the buffer had filled up.
  • Optionally, CygnusEd can show a warning message if you are about to bind a new macro to an existing key combination, thereby discarding the old macro.
  • A new safeguard has been added which prevents you from accidentally overwriting an updated file with an older copy: CygnusEd will remember when you last saved a file to disk, and how large that file was. If you save it again and the size or modification time of the file on disk differs from what CygnusEd remembers, you will see a warning message, prompting you to confirm that you want to overwrite the file.
  • CygnusEd now tries to avoid performing editing operations which it cannot undo due to shortage of memory.
  • New block transformation functions have been added which strip trailing blank spaces from the lines in the marked text block, and which convert UTF8 sequences into their equivalent ISO 8859 Latin 1 characters.
  • It is now possible to scroll a view with the mouse wheel, if present. CygnusEd supports both the native AmigaOS 4 mouse wheel feature and the older NewMouse standard.

Some Features from CygnusEd

Menu "Project"

  • Files of sizes up to 2 GBytes can be loaded and edited.
  • Printouts of files and text blocks can be sent to the printer or directly to a file.
  • Printing of text blocks or files does not block the editor. It runs in the background.
  • Right after a file is loaded its first ten lines are scanned for special control sequences such as :ts= which controls how the tabulator size for this file should be set up.

Menu "Global"

  • CygnusEd can open its window on the Workbench screen or any named public public screen. Which screen should be used can be conveniently selected from a list of names. Screenshot
  • CygnusEd can open its own custom screen and make it public, for others to use.
  • The screen colours, text font and text pens are all configurable. Screenshot
  • The AmigaOS 2.x/3.x compatible version features high speed custom text scrolling routines.
  • Macros can be bound to single keystrokes ("Short invocation macro") or a sequence of keystrokes ("Long invocation macro"). A macro can invoke any menu option, ARexx scripts, other macros or just insert/remove characters.
  • Macros can invoke up to 4000 individual functions.
  • When a macro is being entered, CygnusEd shows you how much the macro function buffer has filled up so far Screenshot
  • A keystroke bound to a macro can be rebound to a different macro at any time. CygnusEd can display a warning if you are about to rebind a macro, replacing the macro previously entered for it Screenshot
  • Macro key bindings can be stored and reloaded; the auxiliary program "MetaMac" can be used to edit them Screenshot
  • The process priority used by CygnusEd is configurable. It can be inherited by the program which launched it.
  • Optionally, icons can be added to files stored. These icons contain additional information on, for example, where the cursor was placed when the file was saved, and which tabulator settings were used. This information is restored when the file is reloaded.
  • If desired, CygnusEd can save modified files at regular intervals. The interval size is configurable.
  • When overwriting an existing file, CygnusEd can take special precautions. You can select if the file should be overwritten right away, whether a backup should be created instead, or if the data should be saved to a temporary file first which eventually replaces the file to be overwritten.
  • When saving a file which replaces a previously-saved file, CygnusEd checks if the file to be replaced has changed since the last time it was written to. A warning message will be displayed to prevent you from accidentally overwriting a newer file with older data. Screenshot
  • CygnusEd can keep running in the background with its window and screen hidden, to be activated by hitting a hot-key combination.
  • The mouse pointer will be hidden while you are typing on the keyboard and will reappear when you move the mouse
  • CygnusEd features an optional flashing text cursor. The cursor stays solid while you are typing text or moving the cursor.
  • When loading, saving or printing data an optional progress gauge display can be enabled Screenshot
  • All the configuration options can be saved to a file and reloaded. The configuration files can be saved in such a manner that they match certain types of text documents. For example, if a document name ends with the letters ".c" then the special configuration file matching its name suffix can be loaded directly.

Menu "File"

  • The tabulator size is configurable; this can be done by selecting a menu item which directly sets it to 1-10 characters per tab stop, or by selecting each tab stop individually Screenshot
  • Changes to the tabulator size do not modify the document. CygnusEd never converts tabulator characters in the document to blank spaces for convenience
  • Lines of text can be automatically wrapped while they are being entered. How many letters should go into a line before it is wrapped is configurable.
  • Whether the text on the screen should be scrolled smoothly or as fast as possible is configurable
  • The cursor can either follow the lines on the screen, wrapping around when it moves beyond the end of a line, or it can be placed freely, with blank spaces added as padding in front of new characters entered ("layout mode")
  • Optionally, blank spaces can be inserted in place of tabulator characters. If blank spaces are inserted, CygnusEd does not simply add a constant number of characters, but just as many as are required to pad the line to reach the next tabulator stop.
  • You can "edit" files in "read-only" mode, which prevents them from being modified. Files which are protected from deletion are automatically loaded in "read-only" mode. The "read-only" mode option can be enabled and disabled at any time.
  • When the current line of text is broken or ended by hitting the return key, the next line can be automatically indented to match the indentation of the current line ("auto-indent").
  • CygnusEd can convert end-of-line characters on the fly when reading or writing files. Supported are the characters and character sequences used under Unix, the Apple Macintosh and the IBM PC. CygnusEd can automatically detect the end-of-line format in use, but you can configure it, too. Screenshot

Menu "View"

  • With CygnusEd you can edit several documents simultaneously, each of which appears in its own "view" in the same CygnusEd window. Views can be moved and resized, and each document can be split into several views. You can use as many views as there is room in the window. Screenshot
  • Each view features a status line for which you can select the information it should show: file size, number of changes, ASCII code of the character under the cursor, number of pages in the document, etc. Screenshot
  • When showing the document text in a view, CygnusEd can substitute unprintable or invisible characters with printable replacements (tabulator, end of line, blank space). This affects only how the text appears on the screen and does not change the document. Screenshot
  • Escape sequences can be folded and hidden, so that only their first characters appear on the screen. Screenshot
  • The individual lines of the documents can be as long as necessary, even as long as the document itself, which may be up to 2GBytes in size

Menu "Special"

  • Text blocks can be reformatted, so that their contents fill the entire line, with the lines either padded with spaces or without any extra padding. Screenshot
  • ARexx commands can be bound to function keys and may be entered directly. The function key configuration can be stored in a file and reloaded. The output of the ARexx commands can either go to a file or a console window. Screenshot
  • The CygnusEd ARexx interface supports more than 180 commands. CygnusEd has built-in support for the SAS/C "scmsg" program. Screenshot
  • Letters can be added to a document by entering their numeric codes. The codes can be entered in decimal and other formats (hexadecimal, octal).
  • The contents of a line can be centred within the margins.
  • Text entry, menus and macros can be repeated automatically as many times as required; you just have to enter how many times you want it to be repeated and select the key, menu or macro to repeat.
  • CygnusEd finds the counterpart to a parenthesis, brace, bracket or 'C' commentary: () [] {} /* */
  • Up to three locations can be marked and jumped to in each view. CygnusEd remembers where the locations are, even if the document is changed by editing operations. The locations will be stored in the icons of the files saved.

Menu "Cut/paste"

  • Text blocks can be marked, copied, cut, inserted, deleted, saved and printed.
  • A text block need not consist of a series of text lines, it can also consist of a number text columns ("vertical block"). Screenshot
  • Marked text blocks can be shifted in/out, changing the line indentation. The same is possible for single lines, too.
  • Tabulators in a marked text block can be converted into blank spaces and the other way round.
  • Blank spaces and carriage return characters at the end of lines in a marked text block can be removed.
  • UTF8 character sequences in a marked text block can be converted into the equivalent ISO 8859 Latin 1 characters.
  • Words can be marked as text blocks, they can be deleted and recalled. It is also possible to change the upper/lower case writing of words and single characters.

Menu "Search/replace"

  • The search & replace function can search both for text that is part of a longer text, or for text that makes up a whole word. This makes it possible, for example, to search for and replace only the variable "i" in program source code without also changing the word "include" at the same time. Screenshot
  • The search & replace requester window remembers the last 20 search and replace texts, which can be recalled by hitting the cursor up/down keys.
  • The search and replace text can be exchanged through the clipboard, i.e. you can move the respective text to the clipboard or fill it from the clipboard.
  • Macro recording remembers the settings and the search & replace text used during a search & replace operation.
  • Escape characters such as r, n and even xAB can be used in search & replace texts. These will be translated into binary data during the search & replace operation.
  • When searching and replacing text CygnusEd prompts you for each text found, but you can also choose to have all instances of the search text replaced at once.
  • All the changes made to the document (e.g. text editing, deletion, insertion of documents, search & replace operations) can be undone or repeated through the Undo/Redo feature. How many Undo/Redo operations are possible and how much memory should be reserved for them, is configurable.
  • If CygnusEd runs out of undo memory before an operation such as "Clear document" is being performed, a warning message will be displayed to notify you that the operation to be performed cannot be undone.

Menu "Move"

  • You can directly jump to any line of the document, or to a specific byte offset into the document. In both cases that position may also be specified relative to the end of the document rather than the beginning.
  • When jumping to a new page position CygnusEd remembers where the cursor was last placed. You can directly jump back to the previous position.
  • CygnusEd also keeps track of where the last change to the document was made. You can directly jump to that position.


  • Text blocks are marked by clicking and dragging the mouse.
  • The mouse scroll wheel (if available) is supported and moves the contents of the view below the mouse pointer.


  • CygnusEd supports all 105 keys of modern PC style keyboards, including special function keys such as Insert, Page down, Page up, Home, End, etc. Macros may be bound to any of these keys.


  • To open a file with CygnusEd, drop its icon onto the CygnusEd window, or select the file's icon and use the "Open with CygnusEd" Workbench menu.


  • Online documentation is provided in the form of an AmigaGuide document which describes all the CygnusEd functionality including the entire ARexx interface and its commands.
  • CygnusEd and its auxiliary programs are fully localized. Locale sample files are provided, allowing for further localizations to be created.


  • "Ed" is an auxiliary program for CygnusEd which either launches CygnusEd or tells it which files should be loaded for editing.
  • If CygnusEd is running in the background with its window and screen hidden, "Ed" will activate it and bring it to the foreground again.
  • "Ed" can tell CygnusEd to load all the files which match a wildcard pattern
  • If files are loaded with "Ed", "Ed" can wait until CygnusEd has finished editing and closed the files.fScreenshot
  • The complete source code for "Ed" is provided with CygnusEd.


  • You can load, view and edit the macros created by CygnusEd in "MetaMac".
  • All the macros are listed in a window. Clicking on a macro will list the sequence of macro operations in another window, where you can edit, delete or add them. Screenshot
  • The list of macros can be printed or saved to a text file, for reference.


  • "RecoverCEDFiles" can be used to recover the documents loaded into CygnusEd when a system crash rebooted the Amiga. Any changes you may have made to these documents need not be lost. Screenshot, Screenshot, Screenshot
  • If the system startup procedure is aborted early, "RecoverCEDFiles" will search the memory of the Amiga for the documents last loaded into CygnusEd. Any documents found can be saved to disk.

Systemanforderungen/System requirement:
runs on AmigaOS 1.3? no
runs on AmigaOS 2.x? yes
runs on AmigaOS 3.x? yes
runs on AmigaOS 4.x? yes
runs on MorphOS? 68k yes
runs on WinUAE? yes
how many RAM MB? 1.0
need CD-ROM? yes
need Harddrive? yes
support Harddrive? yes
ECS? yes
AGA? yes
support GFX-Board yes
other infos -
German language yes
english language yes