When comparing Geany vs IntelliJ IDEA, the Slant community recommends IntelliJ IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best Java IDEs?” IntelliJ IDEA is ranked 1st while Geany is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose IntelliJ IDEA is:
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a [variety of features](https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/refactoring.html) to make this possible for a variety of languages. These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Light and fast
Geany is very lightweight thanks to the smaller offering of features.
Pro Simple project management
Pro Built-in plugin manager
Geany has a built-in plugin manager which can be used to install plugins and add new powerful features to the editor.
Pro Quick search on large files
In Geany you technically search once for a whole search query, unlike Gedit, where once you start typing, the file is searched for in accordance with each substring of what you're typing, all the while leading to terribly annoying lag.
Pro Cross platform
Geany is a cross platform editor, very similar to Notepad++ in Windows.
Pro Build in terminal
Press F5 and code will run without the need to switch between windows.
Pro Actively developed Open Source
Which usually means it will remain free of charge.
Pro Real syntax parsing (not just coloring)
Hence it is capable of showing the methods and inner classes of, e.g., a Java source file.
Pro Options in the menu are easy to find
For example, there is an easy way to change the font and theme in the View menu. No need to search through several syntax styles like in Notepad++ just to be able to change the used font.
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Buit-in Git support
Pro Gradle support
Con Not very advanced
Similar to Notepad or Gedit.
Con Not many third-party plugins
Geany is not as popular as some other text editors with plugin support. As such it's understandable that it's missing lots of powerful plugins available in other editors.
Con Windows installer not digitally signed
Con Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
Con Uses too much RAM
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Although these are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.