I am looking for a gratis editor that works on Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit that can read Arabic encodings, specifically cp1256 and iso 88859-6.

I want also the ability to save/convert them to different encoding such as utf8. I have Gvim, Libreoffice and sublime text 3 installed, if there are plugins to those editors that would do the job, it's great.

I am not that good with vim/emacs so unless there's no other solutions, lets stay away from them, otherwise, I'll try to learn them.


2 Answers 2


gedit, which Ubuntu ships by default, lets you select the encoding of your file.

enter image description here

Another option could be to convert your files prior to editing, i.e. using iconv


The text editor Geany (cross-platform and FLOSS) should be able to do this.

It’s included in Ubuntu’s packages: http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/geany

Here’s a (German) screenshot of the menu where you can select the character encoding, showing the two required options for Arabic text, ISO 8859-6 and Windows-1256:

enter image description here

Conversion of character sets is supported, as described in the manual:

Geany provides support for detecting and converting character sets. So you can open and save files in different character sets, and even convert a file from one character set to another. To do this, Geany uses the character conversion capabilities of the GLib library.

You’ll have to save/reload the file after selecting a different encoding. In the File menu there is also an option to directly reload the opened document with a different encoding.

  • just tried to do it, from geany preferences right? didn't work, can you get it to show the arabic letters? here sendspace.com/file/2hbaye
    – Lynob
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 15:16
  • @Fischer: This file seems to display fine with WINDOWS-1256 (FileReload as). However, saving it (after changing encoding in DocumentCharacter encoding) is not possible because this example document seems to contain invalid characters. Workaround: Display it as WINDOWS-1256 (via File menu), then change encoding (via Document menu) to UTF-8, then save it.
    – unor
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 17:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.