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Elvis is a multi-platform text editor that basically clones the functionality of the vi/ex editor that is shipped with most UNIX-like systems. It simulates both the visual mode and ex mode of vi and supports the bulk of the commands vi offers but in addition has features such as support for multiple files, multiple windows, binary editing, a variety of display modes including notably a HTML mode that even has rudimentary browsing capabilities, a mode for viewing LaTeX files, on-line help and other miscellaneous extensions.

Available for DOS, MS Windows and a few UNIX-like systems in addition to OS/2. While primarily a text mode application Elvis also provides an X11 graphical interface on OS/2 and Unix like systems and can be used natively on OS/2 with a X server like Hoblink.


  • Latest version: 2.2.1 (2014-12-23)
Note that the Unix versions of the editor rely on a spell checking library shipped as standard with the system, for DOS, Windows and OS/2 versions you should download the "linux.words.2.tar.gz" file from the main file archive listed below to get a full spell checking functionality.

Language Support

  • English - Built in

Syntax highlighting

Built in

AWK, C, C++, diffs, FORTRAN, HTML, Java, Make files, Man pages, Pascal, Perl, PostScript, sh, Tcl and VRML.




  • Steve Kirkendall (Original author)
  • Martin Dietze (OS/2 port)
  • Lee Johnson (X11 code)