What is Notepad ++

Notepad ++ 7.9.5

There are many code and text editors - including Edit, Ultraedit or SciTE, which is based on Scintilla. Some of them are just simple notepads, while others are complex programming editors like Atom and Sublime Text. The open source code editor Notepad ++ also falls into the last category. The freeware is available as an installable version and a portable version for Windows and can be expanded with plug-ins.

The Notepad ++ text editor is one of the best open source programs and can do a lot more than the "Notepad" editor included in Windows. In particular, the freeware offers numerous functions for programmers who, for example, edit source code for Windows or Linux. The code editor highlights HTML tags and programming instructions in color or marks the start and end points of code blocks, loops or functions. This means that Notepad ++ is also suitable for creating text documents with LaTeX, which we go into in the blog post Introduction to LaTeX.

Text editor for developers

Although the open source editor Notepad ++ for Windows can also be used to write simple texts, the real potential of the freeware lies in its programming. The open source software can handle numerous languages ​​such as C, C ++, Java, JavaScript, HTML, Perl, PHP and PowerShell and is not just an XML editor. The Notepad ++ text editor offers syntax highlighting for these languages ​​so that programmers can keep an overview through the colored highlighting. This is supplemented by an auto-completion for frequently used expressions, a drag & drop support and a macro recorder with which one can automate frequently recurring commands.

Supports UTF-8

When saving text files, Notepad ++ supports not only ANSI coding but also Unicode through UTF-8 (with and without BOM) and UCS-2 with little or big endian. Various character sets such as Western and Eastern European, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese are also available. Even the OEM 852 code page used under DOS is supported by the open source editor, which can edit old source codes and save them converted to UTF-8.

If the range of functions is not enough, the Notepad ++ can be expanded with plug-ins, some of which are available for download on the manufacturer's website. Neither Notepad nor Notepad ++ bring a PDF converter, but now all modern operating systems can generate a PDF using the print function.

Surface with tabs

The user interface of Notepad ++ comes without ribbons. Important functions are not only found in the menus, but can alternatively be reached using the icons in the upper area of ​​the program window. If you open a new file, it appears in a new tab instead of another window, which makes it easier to switch between scripts and prevents the same file from being opened multiple times. If you accidentally reopen a text file that was opened in Notepad ++, the program only jumps to the tab in which it is already displayed. There is no need to reopen it, as is the case with Microsoft's Windows editor, so that you don't accidentally "break" a document in a mess of several open windows. In addition, files that are opened in the Notepad ++ tabs are still available after a session has ended and are displayed again when the program is restarted. This behavior can be switched off in the settings so that Notepad ++ closes all tabs together with the program and does not open them again automatically.

Search and change

In the open source editor Notepad ++ for Windows, searches can be carried out using simple strings and regular expressions, with auto-completion helping. The search function is not limited to documents opened in Notepad ++. With the folder search function, text files can be searched in entire folder structures. Notepad ++ also takes spelling into account. The open source editor can be expanded to include the GNU Aspell spell checker, for which a German dictionary is available.

Install or use portable

Notepad ++ can be downloaded as open source software for Microsoft Windows and installed in the appropriate version or used as portable software. The portable version can be unpacked on a USB stick and then run on different computers without installation. If you want to use Notepad ++ under Linux, you have to use Wine and should download the Notepad ++ Portable version, as it comes with the necessary libraries. Alternatively, there is Notepadqq, which is inspired by Notepad ++, for Linux.

Tips & tricks for Notepad ++: