ScriptEditorBase in Godot – Complete Guide

Embarking on a journey to learn game development with Godot 4 is an exciting experience filled with endless creative possibilities. Godot’s robust framework offers several classes and features that can supercharge your development process, one of which is the ScriptEditorBase class. This class forms the backbone for script editing within the Godot environment. In this tutorial series, we’ll dissect the functionalities provided by ScriptEditorBase, giving you the tools to craft your scripts more efficiently and with greater control. Whether you’re taking your first steps in game development or looking to refine your scripting prowess, this in-depth exploration will empower you to unleash your full creative potential.

What is ScriptEditorBase?

The ScriptEditorBase class serves as the fundamental building block for editing scripts in Godot’s dedicated ScriptEditor. It’s part of the core engine’s class structure and inherits from a hierarchy that begins with the foundational Object class and extends to include VBoxContainer, which means it benefits from a suite of functionalities that make script editing more intuitive and manageable.

What is it for?

Essentially, ScriptEditorBase provides a standardized framework within which developers can perform script editing tasks. It’s designed to help you manage multiple scripts, apply syntax highlighting, and navigate your code with ease. The class also offers a suite of signals that respond to user actions, such as requesting help or changing the method the script is currently displaying, which is particularly useful for creating a unified script editing environment.

Why should I learn it?

Getting to grips with ScriptEditorBase can significantly enhance your workflow in Godot. This knowledge allows you to tailor the script editing experience to your project’s needs, potentially by creating custom plugins or extending the editor’s capabilities. It’s not just about making things look pretty—understanding this class enables you to track changes, search for code blocks, and replace strings throughout your project. You’ll learn to create a more organized and efficient scripting environment which can pay dividends as your game development project grows in complexity.

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Understanding the Basics of ScriptEditorBase

Before diving into the examples, it’s crucial to get a firm grasp on the fundamental concepts behind ScriptEditorBase. This class provides methods for integrating with the script editor, managing script texts, and reacting to editor events.

Let’s start by looking at how to get the currently active script in the editor:

var current_script = ScriptEditor.get_current_script()

This is useful for when you want to perform actions on the script currently being edited without needing to hardcode a specific script’s path.

Next, we’ll explore adding a new customized script to the editor using ScriptEditorBase. This enables us to insert specific functionality or to define new behavior for the script within the editor.

func _add_custom_script(path):
    var script = preload(path)

This function preloads the script using its given path and tells the ScriptEditor singleton to begin editing it, effectively opening it up in the editor.

Sometimes, you might want to detect when a script is about to be closed. This can be done by connecting to the ‘script_close’ signal:

func _connect_script_close():
    EditorInterface.connect("script_close", self, "_on_script_close")

func _on_script_close(script):
    print("Script closed: " +

The “_connect_script_close” function sets up a connection to the ‘script_close’ signal, designating the “_on_script_close” method as the callback to invoke whenever a script is closed.

Interacting with the Script Editor

Customizing the script editor to your liking is often about understanding user actions and reacting to them. Let’s illustrate this with an example where we identify the function under the cursor in the built-in script editor:

func _get_function_under_cursor():
    var function_name = ScriptEditor.get_current_func()
    print("Current function under cursor: " + function_name)

This function retrieves the name of the function that the cursor is currently positioned over and prints it to the console—handy for debugging or tool development purposes.

If you want to customize the syntax highlighting or even better, define a new language with its own highlighting within Godot, you would interact with ScriptEditorBase’s text editing features:

func _set_syntax_highlighting():
    var code_editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    code_editor.add_syntax_highlighting(keyword_list, color_list)

In this snippet, ‘keyword_list’ would be an array of strings representing the keywords you want to highlight, and ‘color_list’ would contain Color objects corresponding to each keyword.

Finally, let’s look at a quick way to jump to a specific line in a script:

func _goto_line(line_number):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

Replace ‘line_number’ with the desired line number. This can be a powerful feature for quickly navigating code, especially when working with large scripts or debugging.

These examples scratch the surface of what you can achieve with ScriptEditorBase. Through these building blocks, you can start crafting a tailored scripting environment and workflow that suits your development style and needs in Godot 4. Stay tuned for further examples in the next part of our series, where we’ll delve into more advanced features and capabilities.ScriptEditorBase provides additional functionalities that are essential for a robust and efficient script editing process. One such feature is the ability to comment or uncomment lines of code quickly. If you’ve ever been in the zone while coding, you know how invaluable shortcuts like this can be.

Here’s an example of how to toggle comments:

func _toggle_comment():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

Using the toggle_comment method, any selected lines can be commented or uncommented with a single command.

Another practical feature is the ability to get and set bookmarks in your script. Bookmarks can be incredibly useful for navigating complex scripts, allowing you to swiftly jump to important sections of code. Here’s an example of setting and going to a bookmark:

func _set_bookmark(line_number, set):
    var script_text_editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    script_text_editor.set_bookmark(line_number, set)

func _go_to_bookmark(line_number):
    var script_text_editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    if script_text_editor.is_bookmark_set(line_number):

In the above snippet, set_bookmark takes a line number and a boolean to either set or clear the bookmark. The method is_bookmark_set is then used to check if a bookmark exists before using goto_line to navigate to it.

Code completion is a critical part of any modern IDE, saving time and helping avoid typos. Fortunately, Godot’s ScriptEditorBase has a mechanism for adding code completion suggestions:

func _add_code_completion_options():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    editor.add_code_completion_options(["func", "var", "extends"])

With this function, you are adding a list of code completion options that will be available in the script editor.

It’s also important to be able to search within your script. Implementing a find text feature may look like this:

func _find_text(search_query):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

By using the search method in the editor, you can quickly locate instances of ‘search_query’ in the active script.

For those inevitable times when mistakes happen, having an undo and redo setup can be a lifesaver. Here’s how you could implement such a feature:

func _undo_action():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

func _redo_action():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

The undo and redo methods allow you to step backward and forward through your recent changes, adding a much-needed safety net to your scripting process.

Customizing keyboard shortcuts is another way to speed up development with ScriptEditorBase. Below is the method to bind an action to a shortcut key:

func _bind_shortcut_to_action(action_name, shortcut_key):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    editor.get_action_shortcut(action_name).shortcut = shortcut_key

Here, ‘action_name’ is the name of the action you want to perform, and ‘shortcut_key’ is the InputEvent representing the desired keyboard shortcut.

By leveraging these additional features and functionalities of the ScriptEditorBase class, you can dive deeper into personalizing your coding experience in Godot 4, optimizing for productivity and ease of use. The coding journey in Godot isn’t just about the end product; it’s also about honing an efficient and comfortable development process that lets your creativity flow without hindrance. We’ll continue to explore more of this class in the upcoming parts of the series. Keep coding, and stay tuned for more tips and tricks!Continuing from our earlier explorations of the ScriptEditorBase class in Godot 4, we will delve into more complex functionalities that can elevate your scripting prowess to new heights. Let’s examine how to customize Godot’s script editor further to fit our game development workflow more snugly.

One of the key features available through ScriptEditorBase is the ability to auto-indent the code. Proper indentation is crucial for readability and maintenance, and Godot can help maintain a clean code base with its auto-indenting feature:

func _auto_indent_code():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

This function triggers the editor to automatically reformat the indentation in the active script.

If you wish to implement dark mode in your script editor or adjust the color theme for better visibility during those late-night coding sessions, you might manipulate the theme colors directly:

func _set_theme_color():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    editor.add_theme_color("font_color", Color(1, 0.5, 0.5))

Here, ‘font_color’ is the name of the theme property you wish to change, and the Color value represents the new color you want to apply.

For script navigation, you might sometimes want to quickly find and navigate to a declared variable within your code. Implementing a ‘jump to declaration’ feature can be achieved through the script editor API:

func _jump_to_variable_declaration(variable_name):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

The get_variable_line method will find the line where ‘variable_name’ is declared, allowing you to use goto_line to jump right to it.

Godot’s ScriptEditorBase makes customizing text editor settings a breeze. For instance, to toggle the visibility of line numbers, you can use:

func _toggle_line_numbers():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    var show_line_numbers = editor.is_showing_line_numbers()

This toggles the line number visibility according to its current state.

Collaborative editing might involve adhering to specific coding standards, such as the use of soft tabs (spaces) instead of hard tabs. Configuring this setting can be done easily:

func _use_soft_tabs(space_count):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

Setting use_soft_tabs to true and defining indent_size lets you specify the number of spaces to use for each tab.

Furthermore, we might want to control the script editor’s read-only mode, particularly when creating editor plugins or when we wish to prevent modifications to certain scripts:

func _set_read_only(is_read_only):
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()

The set_read_only function is straightforward – pass a boolean to restrict or allow editing in the current script.

Lastly, for those who always strive for efficiency, creating macros for commonly used code templates can save valuable time. Let’s define a macro for a common function structure:

func _create_function_macro():
    var editor = ScriptEditor.get_current_script_editor()
    var function_template = "func %s():\n\t# Your code here\n"
    var function_name = "new_function"
    editor.insert_text(function_template % function_name)
    editor.goto_line(editor.get_line_count() - 2)  # Move cursor into the function body

The insert_text method lets you insert a predefined template, and the %s placeholder is where your function name (in this case, ‘new_function’) will be substituted.

These code samples provide a window into the depth and flexibility Godot 4’s ScriptEditorBase class offers. Whether you’re looking to implement a specific feature or simply want to customize your development environment, the tools provided by Godot enable you to program an efficient, personalized workspace.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore ways to enhance your game development experience with Godot 4 in further sessions of our tutorial series. We at Zenva are committed to helping you learn, thrive, and break new ground in your coding and game creation endeavors!

Where to Go Next in Your Godot Learning Journey

Congratulations on expanding your Godot 4 scripting knowledge! The path of game development is long but incredibly rewarding. As you continue to grow and refine your skills, consider the next steps that will take your capabilities even further. We encourage you to explore our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, where we offer a structured and comprehensive compilation of courses designed to cover various aspects of game creation using the Godot 4 engine.

Our courses are tailored for both budding developers and those with more experience under their belt who are seeking to deepen their proficiency in Godot. From 2D and 3D game development to scripting and designing complex game mechanics across various genres, you’ll find a vast array of topics to explore at your own pace. This Mini-Degree is a testament to our commitment to accessible and project-based learning which has been the cornerstone of Zenva’s philosophy.

For those eager to broaden their horizons even further, our extensive selection of Godot courses can offer you a wider array of tools and techniques to complement the knowledge you’ve gained thus far. Whether it’s fine-tuning your skills, picking up new tips and tricks, or embarking on creating your very own game from scratch, Zenva is here to support you in this thrilling undertaking. Let your creativity and passion guide you as you continue to learn and produce amazing game experiences with Godot.


Armed with the intricacies of the ScriptEditorBase class in Godot 4, you stand on the brink of unlocking even greater potential in your game development journey. By mastering the art of customization within the Godot environment, you pave the way for not just seamless coding experiences, but also for the realization of your unique vision for game design. Remember, every great game starts with a line of code, and your journey from here is boundless.

Keep on exploring, keep on creating, and should you need a beacon to guide you through the vast landscape of game development, know that our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is here to light the way. At Zenva, we are proud to be part of your story, offering the resources, support, and community to turn your dreams into digital realities. Let’s code, create, and change the gaming world together!

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