OpenSCAD User Manual/Using an external Editor with OpenSCAD

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OpenSCAD session using emacs as an external editor

Why use an external editor[edit]

Many people prefer to use a certain editor. They are used to the feature set and know the keybindings. OpenSCADs editor is functional and simplistic but might lack features people know from other editors.

How to use an external editor[edit]

OpenScad is able to check for changes of files and automatically recompile if a file change occurs. To use this feature enable "Design->Automatic Reload and Compile"

Once the feature is activated, just load the scad file within OpenSCAD as usual ("File->Open.."). After that, open the scad file in your favorite editor too. Edit and work on the scad file within the external editor. Whenever the file is saved to disk (from within the external editor), OpenSCAD will recognize the file change and automatically recompiles accordingly.

The internal editor can be hidden by minimizing the frame with the mouse or by selecting "View->Hide editor".

Support of external editors[edit]

In principle all editors can be used. For some exist extensions/modes to provide features for OpenSCAD.

Additional benefits[edit]

Besides using your editor of choice, this solutions enables the flexible usage of multi-monitor set-ups. One can have one monitor set-up to depict the 3D object on the entire screen and a second monitor for the editor and other tools.