Ted: Lightweight Word processor for Ubuntu Linux

“Ted” is a word processor for the GNU/Linux platform that has a small memory footprint. It’s not as powerful as the “LibreOffice Writer” or other similar word processing applications and doesn’t support reading their file formats either. But it does have a reasonable amount of options (including adding images or tables etc) nonetheless.

However, please remember that, it doesn’t seem to have an “undo/redo” option so it can be a bit frustrating when using. But then again, it’s not a complex tool that adds complex changes so to speak, thus you should be able to easily “undo” your changes manually (I think).

Few main features …

*. Only supports both opening and saving documents in “.txt” and “.rtf” formats.

*. Add Images (PNG, JPEG, BMP, ICO, tiff and a whole lot others), Hyperlinks, Symbols, foot and end notes, Tables (add/remove rows & columns, delete etc) Page numbers, Files, Line Break, Bookmarks, Section Break etc.

Quite decent 😉 …

*. Bold, Underlined, Italic, Superscript, Subscript and change fonts.

*. Built in Spell-checker (supports a lot of languages).

*. Text align (left/right), justify and center.

*. Find and replace.

*. Insert symbols.

*. “Format” your documents by adjust other settings such as: the page layout (A4, A5, A6, Letter, Custom sizes etc), headers and footer notes settings, change text “notes” settings, change text colors and many more.

*. Send to Print.

*. Add meta-data to documents such as the Title, Author, Subject, Keywords, Comment etc.

These are some of “Ted’s” main features to mention.

The UI (user interface), specially the text indent buttons, look a bit “unpolished”. But with its current version (2.1) it uses the GTK+ toolkit, and integrates nicely with the Unity desktop (should also be true for other popular desktops as well).


The installation is pretty easy. Currently “Ted” has pre-built packages for Ubuntu/Debian and Fedora (“.rpm”). So go to this “Ted’s” home page and download the appropriate package (including separate packages with different language support).

If you use Ubuntu, then once the downloading completes (get the “.deb” file), double click on it and Ubuntu Software Center should install it for you. It installed without any issues in 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and I think it should install in other versions (11.04, 10.10 etc) too.

I’m not that happy with the Unity’s Dash and its ability to find installed applications that much actually. Because it sometimes fails to let you search and launch applications, simply because it cannot locate them for some reason. Which is also the case with “Ted” as although it’s properly installed, still “Dash” fails to find it.

So whenever you want to run it, please open the Terminal window and enter the below command (Note: it’s capital “T”).

Ted &

Then from the new window (make sure it’s selected), click on the upper menu-bar (on Unity) and choose “New” to open a blank document or “Open” to open an existing one.


That’s it!.

Any other issues ?

Well, this one time, “Ted” seemed to be using a lot of my CPU cycles. First I couldn’t figure out why. But, perhaps I got lucky ;-), as I was able to trace it back to the “Font” changing dialog box (called “Font Tool”). I don’t know why it happens, but when you open the “Font Tool” dialog, it’ll start to consume a lot of your CPU cycles. But, as soon as you close that dialog, it all goes away.

Perhaps it has something to do with a bad font previewing mechanism (as it automatically updates a small preview when you switch between fonts), so make sure not to have the “Font Tool” dialog opened, all the time. Whenever you want to change the fonts, open that dialog box and make your changes, but make sure to Close it!.

So other than that, as a final word; though ‘Ted’ it’s nowhere near the features that LibreOffice gives you, still, if you want a word processor that’s light on your PC’s resources and has a reasonable amount of features, then it is a pretty cool tool that might come in handy for some. Enjoy!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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