This Was Written with Helix

Published: 2023-01-26 12:00 |

Category: Technology | Tags: editor, helix, terminal, learning

I'm writing this blog post using Helx. This is the first time I've really committed to using a terminal-based text editor, focusing on keyboard commands for working in the file.

This is definitely a stretch for my brain, but here are a couple things I like about Helix:

  • The command pallet has some auto-complete options. In Vim, you needed to memorize commands to get working. With Helix, I can type : to open the list of commands. It also has seaching built in, so I can poke around what I want to do.

The helix command pallet view

  • The command pallet text has help that shows the short commands (hotkeys or chords) to do that thing without needing to type out the whole command.

The helix command pallet view including descriptions and shortcuts for action

  • Helpful commands pop up on the right. If I know the category of command, I can type the first letter and then look for the specific action. This feels similar to looking at hotkey hints in app menus.

Action chords pop up on the right

  • It's fast. Dang, it's fast. Now, I don't do any really intense work, but this thing runs like lightning compared to VS Code or others.
  • It feels modern within the terminal. It's easy to open a file picker, open new files, and just work without ever moving my hands off they keyboard.

The hardest part, by far, is training my fingers to move around the editor with h, j, k, l instead of the arrow keys. I've started watching some YouTube channels on using terminal editors and it's incredible how fast experienced users move. I'm hoping to get there eventually.

Anyways, this is a really small chunk of what I've learned after a couple hours of use. I'll probably post an update after a week or two of more focused use with more learning.

Comments are always open. You can get in touch by sending me an email at