FAQ: Best Practices


This is where we are going to keep a list of best practices as collected by Discuss! Whether it is something big or small, related to hacking our Hackable Editor or not, or maybe just some advice on workflows, we’ll link to it here. If you’ve got a topic you want to nominate for inclusion in the Best Practices FAQ, flag it and notify the moderators!


Q: What is that vertical line in the editor view?

A: That’s the Wrap Guide, it indicates your preferred line length (which defaults to 80). Use the Settings for “Soft Wrap” and “Soft Wrap at Preferred Line Length” to find the ideal behavior with your line length.

To customize further, e.g. to set preferences based on the used language, read through this topic:

Q: What’s with the caffeinated language everywhere? Can we not just use Javascript to hack Atom?

A: Both Coffeescript and Javascript are fully supported for Atom-related development. Although the core team prefer Coffeescript (most documentation assumes it as well), feel free to use Javascript instead of any coffee file.

See this topic as well, for a more in-depth discussion:

Q: What tool is being used to create the animated GIFs I see posted here and in Atom bug reports?

A: Mostly LICEcap, though some have other preferences.



Q: How do I style the find-and-replace results or the flash that happens when you cycle to the next result?

A: See this topic:

Q: How do I use different font sizes depending on screen resolution or DPI?

A: See this topic:

Q: How do I load non-system fonts for Atom to use?

A: You’ll have to create a package so that the font you want to load is made available to Atom as an Atom resource through the atom:// scheme. The following topic list the steps needed to create such a package:

Commands and Keybindings

Q: How can I create a keybinding that executes two pre-existing commands?

A: You can create a command that composes the two commands and then create a keybinding for that.

See this Stack Overflow answer for details.


Q: How can I speed up my package start up?

A: Avoid requiring too many modules straight, use lazy initialization and serialization instead:


Q: What are some tips on how to write a good bug report?

A: See this post:

A: Use the bug-report package. It generates a bug report template for you in Markdown including all relevant version numbers and, if you supply a GitHub API token, will post it to GitHub for you directly from the editor.

Why is Atom so slow?
Atom Environment
What tool do you use to take GIFs of the editor?
Execute and combine two+ commands with only a keystroke?
Archived FAQs (see FAQ category for all current FAQs)
Editor different font sizes for different screen resolutions?
Gray vertical line center of the opened file