Notepad++ Review – A Powerful, Free Code Editor Packed With Features

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Published date: 19 December 2022
9 January 2023 on 11:35 am

If you’re a frequent reader, you might have noticed that we’ve published a lot of in-depth reviews of code editors lately. Atom was our first choice, after which Sublime Text and Adobe Brackets were used.
It is our intention to help you comprehend the advantages and disadvantages of each editor so you can select the one that is best for you and your needs.
In this article, we’ll discuss Notepad++, an editor that our readers have asked about in the comments sections of the previous articles. We’ll look closely at this code editor and what it can achieve for WordPress users in the sections that follow.
Installation and Overview of Notepad++
A free and open source code editor is Notepad++. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of it are available for download from the official website. The installer file is only 2.7MB because it is developed in C++.
Since there is a large and active community supporting Notepad++, it is accessible in many different languages. The editor only takes up about 4MB once it is saved on your hard disk. It does, however, deliver a powerful punch in that small area, as you will see below.

You have the option to choose whether Notepad++ will launch automatically after installation is complete. If so, the following screen appears:

The text you are reading is the current version’s change log. Although the UI is not as polished overall as some of the competitors, you can still navigate it with ease.
The lengthy row of action buttons at the top is what immediately stands notice. Many common activities are available here, including new document creation, window closing, copying and pasting, undoing and redoing, zooming in and out, and more. Notepad++ delivers the most functionality on a single screen while other code editors strive for minimalism. That is a recurring subject in the article, as you will see.
By selecting File > Open Folder as Workspace, project folders can be added. Following that, you may double-click on any of the folder’s files to start modifying them. They’ll instantly launch in new tabs. So far, nothing new, so let’s delve a little deeper.

Let’s first take a closer look at the strengths of this code editor.
Free and Open Source
Notepad++ is a free and open source project, just like the other code editors on our list. Users have a variety of ways to contribute:
• Submit feature requests and problem reports; • Provide bug fixes and patches; • Provide online support; • Translate the editor; • Share plugins, themes, and auto-completion files; • Purchase stuff, including—of all things—the official Notepad++ thong.
As a result, the editor is likewise unrestricted. good news for all budget-conscious people. Additionally, the software runs on Linux, Unix, and may be adapted to MacOS X in addition to Windows, where it replaces the default Notepad.
Good Default Features
Notepad++ has a ton of common functionality. First of all, it includes syntax highlighting and code folding and supports more than 50 scripting, markup, and programming languages. A first among the code editors we have seen is the ability for users to define their own.
Notepad++ offers everything it can to make coding faster and simpler, including auto-completion for words, functions, and function parameters as well as auto-indentation and brace highlighting.
Then there is the search and replace feature, which has a variety of choices and can search across many documents. There are also line operations like divide, join, sort, and move.
Finally, Notepad++ operates from a USB stick and is quite portable.
Full User Interface Customization
The interface of Notepad++ can be altered in numerous ways. The alignment of tabs, for example, can be changed to be either vertically, horizontally, or even behind one another. Full-screen mode and working split screen with multiple files are both available.
The editor also comes with 20 themes that you can enable by going to Settings > Style Configurator.

Be aware that themes only affect the areas where you code; the rest of the user interface is left unaltered.
To design your own theme, you can modify the background and foreground colors, typefaces, font styles, and much more in the same location as the themes.
The absurd thing is that you can regulate these things via language in addition to making global adjustments. Yes, you may change the design to suit your preferences and requirements for each programming language separately if you so choose!
In case that wasn’t enough, keyboard shortcuts can also be fully customized to meet your workflow.
Map of the Document and Multiple Cursors
The amazing thing about Notepad++ is that it has a number of capabilities that other code editors heavily promote but which are completely unnoticed in this one.
One of them is the capability to modify code simultaneously in several locations by using multiple cursors. This is buried in Notepad++’s options menu and needs to be enabled in order to function (Settings > Preferences > Editing, then check Enable under Multi-Editing Settings).
The document map is the same. Similar to Sublime Text’s minimap, you won’t be able to see it unless you enable it under View > Document Map.

You can see a quick overview of your current document and navigate to any section using this helpful little map.
Numerous plugins
Since Notepad++ is open source, it has plugins for practically any purpose. The complete list is available on this page, however using the built-in plugin management is how you actually install plugins.

The manager automatically downloads the complete list of plugins when you launch it, including their name, category (apparently they are all in the Others category), version, and stability. It only displays stable plugins by default, however you can modify this if you’d like.
Although there isn’t a search option in the list, each plugin has a description, and installation is quick (though a restart is required for new plugins to work).
The plugin manager displays each installed plugin along with any updates that are available (the plugin manager automatically checks for that). Generally speaking, very cozy.
However, take note that the 64-bit edition of Notepad++ does not yet come with the plugin management. This is due to the fact that it was created by a third party who is behind in the development. Therefore, you must choose the 32-bit version if you want to use it. Install plugins manually if not.
When it comes to the different plugin kinds that are offered, they range from auto-publish features, FTP support, and color pickers to autosave, document comparison, spell check, and much more. Each plugin can be accessed from the Plugins menu after installation.

Working with macros is Notepad++’s final fantastic feature. For those who are unfamiliar, macros are recordings of intricate procedures that may be automatically repeated, saving you the time and effort of performing them by hand.
Imagine, for instance, if you wanted to insert commas in place of the line breaks that currently separate the items in a list. Then, you might write down the steps required to accomplish this for the first item and instruct Notepad++ to repeat them automatically for the remaining items in the list.
This is a huge time saver, especially for large data sets. Here is an animated example with explanation. The Macros menu contains all information related to macros, and the top bar also has shortcut icons.
Environmentally Responsible (No Joke!)
A final tidbit: Notepad++ is a good option if you care about the environment (and who doesn’t these days?). As stated on the website:
Notepad++ is written in C++ and employs pure Win32 API and STL, which guarantees a faster execution speed and reduced program size. It is based on the robust editing component Scintilla. Notepad++ aims to lower global carbon dioxide emissions by optimizing as many processes as it can without sacrificing user friendliness. The PC may throttle down and use less power while using less CPU power, making the environment greener.
Not something that many software manufacturers can boast on, but I think it’s a nice point.
Cons of Notepad++ and Turnoffs
Of course, there is always room for improvement, and Notepad++ is no exception.

Old-School Style
The editor’s design is one of its main deterrents. Notepad++ appears to be stuck in Windows 95 in an era when even Microsoft can design a usable user interface for its operating system.
You can alter that, but the improvements are mainly cosmetic and fall short of the smooth UI of JavaScript and CSS-built code editors.
Although the apparent functionality-before-design philosophy is commendable, Notepad++ could appear much more professional with better packaging.
Better Plugin Management Is Possible
Another flaw in this code editor’s handling of plugins is that the plugin management doesn’t (yet) function with the 64-bit version.
Even if they download and install rapidly, locating plugins is excessively difficult in the absence of a search feature. Notepad++, like many of the other code editors we have tested, could learn from Atom’s strategy in this area.
To Sum Up
Notepad++ is undoubtedly a surprise when compared to the other code editors available. A robust, customizable code editor with numerous useful features that supports a wide range of programming languages is hidden beneath its relatively unassuming façade.
The program may be modified to pretty much anything you require and even provides standout features of other code editors without making a big deal out of them. How amazing is it to get all of that for nothing? It makes sense why so many of you asked to hear more.
In relation to it, we still need your opinion. Do you have a favorite Notepad++ feature or plugin? If so, kindly let us know in the comments section so that we may all utilize this fantastic code editor to its fullest potential.

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