Notepad++ is a powerful and free text editor that supports almost all programming languages. Built on the Scintilla editing component and written in C++, the free source code editor optimizes many routines and executes fast. You can also enhance its functionality with the use of plug-ins.
- Macro recording and playback
- Code completion
- Code collapse
- Syntax highlighting
- Tag matching
- Multi-view editing
- Search and replace
Notepad++ has an installer version and a portable version that does not change the registry. With the portable version, we simply created a shortcut on our desktop to open it easily, and it launched almost as soon as we double-clicked on the shortcut.
By default, the program starts as a plain text editor, but we easily used it as a source code editor selecting our desired language from the ‘Language’ tab. The program natively supports 55 languages, which are listed in alphabetical order. It also allows you to define your own language.
Notepad++ makes coding relatively easy even for starters. It uses color coding to differentiate codes from visible text and other syntaxes. It also makes necessary indentations to make code more legible.
Depending on the programming language we selected, Notepad++ offered suggestions as soon as we started typing, and we could simply double-click on something to include it. It displayed details of active files at the bottom of the program window, including its language, encoding, length and position of the cursor.
The source code editor gave us the option to save and/or print our files. If we had more than one file open, we could save them all simultaneously clicking the ‘Save All’ button. If we wanted to continue working on a file later, we saved it but exited Notepad++ without closing it, which allowed the program to open it automatically during the next launch.
Right-clicking offers more commands, and experienced users can customize the program’s context menu to suit their own preferences modifying its ContextMenu.xml file. This allows them to access their frequently used commands faster than using the menu bar on top of the program window. Any user can make some configurations in ‘Preferences’ under ‘Settings.’
The program supports several plug-ins, such as MIME tools, spell checkers, converters and FTP tools.
Notepad++ is a simple but powerful tool that serves different users equally well. Whether you want a text editor with more options than Notepad or a complete Web design tool, the program will be up to the task.