Release 22.05 Highlights

Helix is a modal text editor with built-in support for multiple selections, Language Server Protocol (LSP), tree-sitter, and experimental support for Debug Adapter Protocol (DAP).

Today marks the 22.05 release, a featureful release with over double the number of contributors as last release (110!). A big thanks to all involved! 🙌

Also a big shout out to @amirrezaask for this great Helix introduction video!

Let's check out the flashy features of 22.05.

Indentation rework

The indentation system has been fully reworked. Indentation still works by querying the parsed tree-sitter syntax tree for a document, but now query files can use the full expressive power of tree-sitter queries rather than just simple node names. Expect more robust indentation with fewer edge cases.

Configurable gutters

Gutters can now be configured in your config.toml file. For example, you can remove the line-number gutter while still showing LSP diagnostics.

gutters = ["diagnostics"] # default is ["diagnostics", "line-numbers"]

Local language configuration

Language configuration can now be specified local to a project. Create a .helix directory and a languages.toml under it to override values from the default language configuration. For example, override a C project's indents to use tabs instead of spaces for indentation:

# my_c_project/.helix/languages.toml
name = "c"
indent = { tab-width = 8, unit = "\t" }


Vertical rulers may now be configured through the rulers option. Use them as a guide when adhering to a maximum line length.

Show visible whitespace

Whitespace characters like spaces, tabs, and newlines may now be rendered. Use the whitespace.render option either at runtime with the :set command or in your config.toml under the editor section. Visible whitespace indicators can make Helix's selection model more intuitive, especially around line endings. The characters used for tabs, spaces, non-breaking space, and newlines may also be customized as well as whether any of the characters are rendered at all. In fact, for the remaining asciicasts in this post, you'll be seeing my custom tab and newline characters!

Use registers in prompts

Values stored in registers may now be used in prompts like search or global search. In the above example, we yank a selection to the " register with y and then open up the global search prompt with Space /. The available registers are shown above the prompt and we hit " to insert the contents of the " register.

Reflow paragraphs

The new :reflow command hard-wraps text to a given column width. Default column widths may be configured on a per-language basis. Reflow recognizes matching prefixes between lines, so you may reflow line-comments, markdown quotes or lines with leading whitespace and the leading characters will be placed appropriately.

Swap windows

Windows may now be swapped with neighbor windows and splits may be transposed. With the window menu open (C-w or space w), use H, J, K, and L to swap the current window with the left, down, up, and right neighbors, respectively. Use t or C-t to switch between a vertical and horizontal split or vice versa.

Set a language at runtime

The language for a buffer may now be set at runtime. Use :set-language language (or :lang language for short) to set the language and switch language servers.

Wrapping up

These are just some highlights from the changes in 22.05. Check out the changelog for the full set. Pick up the release binaries for 22.05 on the release page. Starting with this release, an AppImage is included in the release binaries for easier usage from Linux.

Expect plenty more features and improvements in Helix 22.07 coming in July. Contribute and follow along with development in the GitHub repository and be sure to join in on discussions in the Matrix channel.