Despite its name, Notepad++ is far from being yet another notepad-like app. It is much more than that. This open-source text editor has been developed not only to take plain-text notes in a minimalist interface, but to be used for code developers to write and edit code in a wide variety of languages, with a wide variety of syntax highlighting options, and a wealth of features and functions.
The interface itself will strongly remind you of Notepad’s simplicity, and though that surely helps to maintain a high level of user-friendliness, it could certainly use a bit of revamping without damaging its ease of use. Based on Scintilla, an open source code editing component, it is more of a source code editor than a simple note-taker. It can not only open nearly any file in nearly any programming language, but also offers you a different syntax highlight for each of them and the possibility of creating your own style for those languages you use most. Nearly anything that has to do with how code (or any other text, for that matter) is displayed on the screen is customizable. You can not only create your own styles, but also configure the existing ones to meet your preferences. What is more, you can create your own “language” and define the way you want it displayed down to the tiniest detail.
The functionality it offers, however, has very little to do with its Windows note-taking counterpart. It comes with all the features you would expect to find in most heavy-weight text editors and that programmers find so useful – a powerful search and replace tool, numbered lines, zoom in and out capabilities, End-of-Line settings conversion, trailing space removal, code completion, auto formatting features, and many more for you to discover. Its extensive support for shortcuts will help programmers to automate their coding tasks even further. You can assign hot keys to nearly every action, command, and feature present in the app – from editing tools to macros, and from run and plug-in commands to Scintilla commands.
This plethora of code-oriented functions and features shouldn’t prevent you from using Notepad++ as probably the best (yet simple) ASCII editor you will ever come across. While coders will still find some limitations – you’ll need a third-party tool to compile or debug your code and it’s not available for Linux users – this Notepad on steroids does cover most (if not all) of anyone’s text writing and editing needs as far as raw text goes.
- Wealth of editing features
- Custom visualizations for each type of code
- Style editor for custom programming languages
- Not available for Linux
- No debugging/compiling capabilities
- May crash at times