Atom Editor Awesome Setup

By James Peret – 7 years ago in software

Recently i have switched my programming environment from Text Mate to the HTML5 based Atom IDE made by GitHub. It’s an awesome code editor with lots of plugins and themes.

Everything in the editor is customizable from the layout to shortcut keys. And its easy to customize it to your needs or even create new plugins.

The feature that i like the most in this app is the ability to have a web browser inside the IDE for live preview of your work.

Installing the app

Download the app here. Its available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Atom already comes with about 70 plugins installed that do many things like syntax highlight for diferent languages, the autocomplete function or the status bar.

If you have node.js installed, then after downloading and installing Atom, launch it and click on “Install shell commands” in the app menu.


Open the preferences pane by clicking in preferences on the app menu or by pressing CMD + , on mac or CTRL + , on windows.

Use the packages tab to install plugins and the themes tab to view and install themes. Its possible to browse the Atom plugins thru their website too.

Atom has two types of themes: Editor UI themes and syntax highlight themes. There are also plugins, witch can add or change any aspect of the editor.

James Peret’s Package List

This is my current list of packages for the Atom Editor. Since Atom is in constant development, some packages may be depreciated.


Custom Key Bindings

Its really easy to create your own keyboard shortcuts. Click on the menu item “Open Your Keymap”. This will open a keymap.cson file. To create your key bindings, just add the key combination and action to the body object:

  'f6': 'status-bar:toggle'
  'ctrl-tab': 'pane:show-next-item'
  'ctrl-shift-tab': 'pane:show-previous-item'
  'ctrl-alt-tab' : 'window:focus-next-pane'
  'ctrl-alt-shift-tab' : 'window:focus-previous-pane'
  'ctrl-alt-cmd-p' : 'project-sidebar:toggle'

To find the correct action name, use the Atom action navigator. Open it with CMD + Shift + P on mac or CTRL + Shift + P on windows.

Custom CSS

In the same way that modifying keybindings, its possible to modify Atom’s styles. Click on the menu item “Open Your Stylesheet”. This will open a styles.less file. Here you can override any of Atoms CSS classes.

Here is my stylesheet with some overrides:

atom-workspace .browser-page webview {
  margin: 0px;

webview {
  margin: 0px;

.pane-info {
  margin-right: 12px;
  margin-top: 8px;

.right.tool-panel.panel-right {
  background-color: #2B2E31;

.project-sidebar.padded {
  background-color: #3a3e42;
  line-height: 32px;
  height: 40px;
  padding: 0px;
  color: #ffffff;

.project-sidebar.padded h1 {
  margin: 0px;
  padding: 0px;
  height: 40px;
  font-size: 13px;
  font-weight: 400;
  padding-top: 16px;
  padding-left: 8px;

.project-sidebar.padded li {
  padding-left: 8px;
  padding-right: 10px;

body {
  -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased;
  -moz-osx-font-smoothing: grayscale;
  /*text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; */

.tree-view-resizer, .editor {
  ::-webkit-scrollbar {
  width: 0.5em;
  height: 0.5em;

::-webkit-scrollbar-track {
  background-color: #303030;

::-webkit-scrollbar-thumb {
  background-color: lighten(#303030, 15%);

To find what classes to modify, you can use the Chrome Developer Tools inside Atom. To open the panel press CMD + Option + i on a mac or CTRL + Option + i on windows. Then you can use the magnifying glass tool to click on any element of the Atom IDE layout and see its HTML and CSS classes.

Shortcut Keys (mac)

Basic Atom shortcut keys
  • CMD + \ - Toggle folders and files sidebar
  • CTRL + Shift + P - Command Launcher
  • CMD + Shift + N - Open new Atom window
  • CMD + Shift + W - Close atom window
Plugins shortcut keys
  • CTRL + ALT + b - Toggle web browser toolbar
  • ALT + ALT + 1 - Change layout to single pane
  • ALT + ALT + 2 - Change layout to dual pane
  • ALT + ALT + 3 - Change layout to 3 panes
  • ALT + ALT + 4 - Change layout to 4 panes
  • ALT + ALT + 5 - Change layout to 5 panes
My Custom shortcut keys
  • F6 - Toggle status bar

  • CTRL + ALT + CMD + p - Toggle project sidebar

  • CRTL + TAB - Switch to next tab in pane

  • CRTL + Shift + TAB - Switch to previous tab in pane

  • CTRL + ALT + TAB - Switch to next pane

  • CTRL + ALT + Shift + TAB - Switch to previous pane

Hello, I'm James Peret, a designer, programmer and filmmaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

My skills include developing games with unity and C#, coding web apps with node and javascript, designing user interfaces and 3d modeling for games and industrial design.

I'm available for work in the areas of programming, design and filmmaking assistance.