The powerful, versatile text and source code editor: Notepad ++ Review

by February 27, 2015

Useful addition to every developer's toolkit.
It offers a wide range of plug-ins and a Plug-in Manager.
Numbering the lines is very helpful.
It's open source and free.
Tabbed interface.
Very functional and requires very little CPU resources.


In my opinion, there isn't any negative thing about Notepad++, other than for a normal user this will be just another text editor.

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Final thoughts:

Notepad++ is a valuable asset to every user, but especially for developers.

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Notepad++ is a text and source code editor developed by Don Ho and intended for Windows environment.
It is free software hosted on and was downloaded over 28 million times, twice won the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developing Tool.
It’s special kind of text editor that supports many programming languages.

One of the essential things that make Notepad++ different from the other text editors is the tabbed interface. It allows you to manage multiple documents within a single window, using tabs as a navigational widget for switching between the sets of documents.

In many ways Notepad++ is much better than Notepad.

Notepad++ allows drag and drop and there’s a multiple clipboard plug-in. You can split the screen and your document can be spell checked.
Notepad++ supports text encoding formats such as Unicode for international writing systems. There’s find and replace, of course, with regular expressions (multi-line included) over various documents. You can mark or make a sum of the occurrences. There’s zooming too.

Another tweak is data comparison – calculates differences and similarities between data objects, and provides adequate presentations of the results. You can compare an older version of your document with a newer one side by side too.

As a source code editor Notepad++ stands out in comparison to other similar applications in many ways.
There’s auto-complete and it’s smart because it remembers words that you already used in order to bring better experience. You can use bookmarks as well.

Other great thing is the syntax highlighting and folding. It means the editor displays the source code in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms, and the mechanism of code folding enables the user to hide and reveal blocks of text-usually named so that the user can get the big picture of the structure of the program or document.

Besides smart highlighting, there’s brace and indent highlighting, meaning a lot in order of seeing the overall picture of the structure of the program. There’s find and replace of a regular expression and speech synthesis (artificial production of human speech) – how cool is that?!
As a plug-in, even File Transfer Protocol Browser is included.

Macro recording and execution are available too: a pattern that specifies how a certain input sequence (often a sequence of characters) should be mapped to a replacement output sequence (also often a sequence of characters) according to a defined procedure.

I may mention Notepad++ offers even various tools and options such as text folding, encoding and line sorting, file status detection, function list, customizing shortcut key mapping and many many more.

Notepad++ supports about 50 programming, scripting, and markup languages and tries to auto detect the language of a file, based on the extension of the file.

Also there’s support for plug-ins and macro as I already mentioned, but not all included by default, as many of them need to be enabled.

The long list of the supported languages you’ll actually find in the Languages drop-down menu in the application:
– Ada, asp, Assembly, AutoIt;
– Batch;
– C, C++, C#, Caml, Cmake, COBOL, CoffeeScript, CSS;
– D, Diff;
– Flash ActionScript, Fortran;
– Gui4CLI;
– Haskell, HTML;
– Java, Javascript, JSP;
– KiXtart;
– LISP, Lua;
– Makefile, Matlab, MS-DOS, MS INI file;
– NSIS, Normal Text File;
– Objective-C;
– Pascal, Perl, PHP, PostScript, PowerShell, Properties, Python;
– R, Resource file, Ruby;
– Shell, Scheme, Smalltalk, SQL;
– TCL, TeX;
– Visual Basic, VHDL, Verilog;
– XML;

The editor is written in C++ with only Win32 API calls using only the STL in order to increase performance and reduce program size so that the resource usage is reduced by using efficient binaries.

An interesting feature of Notepad++ is called Easter Egg. If you press F1 while a name is contained in the currently selected text, a new document opens and quotes a saying from that person by simulated typing. Among the names there are: Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds, Brian Kernighan, Darth Vader, Bill Gates…
If your selected text says ‘random’, you get a random quote.


As a personal productivity tool I consider the Notepad++ a must have. I deeply and strongly recommend it. It is really easy installing and setting it up, it doesn’t use much CPU, it loads very fast and it’s very effective.

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About The Author
Natasha Karanfilovska

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