Description : Notepad alternative for everyone, with tabs, syntax highlighting on loads of programming languages, split view (with scroll sync), document comparison, drag and drop, zoom, and much much more. If you do any text editing or coding, consider Notepad++ your new best friend
Notepad++ has been around for since 2003, and since then, its grown and established itself as THE free open source alternative to notepad. It’s biggest boast is syntax highlighting for many many languages, I may just devote the next paragraph to the list, as its quite extensive. Along with the syntax highlighting, there is auto completion, just like you would expect in a full software development package like visual studio. Oh and I nearly forgot, syntax folding is also a really useful feature. Finished with a method? Fold it up, just as you expect to be able to do.
Since I’ve started university, We’ve been doing some hard coded java, using a text editor and some bat files. Everyone was using old fashioned windows notepad. Gradually people saw me using notepad++, asked what it was, and then downloaded it for themselves. This has had a rather big snowball effect, and now all I see is notepad++.
A few more big features I should mention, is the ability to write macros and have plugins! woo! Macro functions are always nice to have. I haven’t used them yet, but I’m sure someone wants to use them! As its open source, there is a whole host of plugins, and even a chance to see more created. In built light file browser, FTP, spell checking, file comparison. Brilliant.
The search and replace feature is more advanced than the normal notepad one. Really advanced search and replace, including regular expression search. Split screen is a really handy feature, and its easy to move tabs between the split screen. Comparison of documents is also really nice in split screen mode. By split screen mode, I mean split window. The scrolling can also be linked, so when your viewing the two files, they are in the same place! clever stuff!
Oh did I mention zooming in and out? A rather small feature, but really one that having, is a bonus. I haven’t used it much, but the times I have used it, I was so glad. On another note, if files have been edited since it was opened, somehow, then notepad++ will let you know, and ask how you want to continue.
Finally, if your writing your own programming language, or your chosen language to write in isn’t already part of notepad++, then you can enter the syntax rules for yourself. Heck you can even edit the colours of current syntax highlighting for your chosen language. For the uber geek, you cant really ask for much more. Anything the uber geek can think of… open source!
Conclusion : Notepad++ is brilliant. If your coding in notepad, or any form of text editor that isn’t Notepad++, you really need to rethink your position. It’s also portable! Tabbed documents is one of the best features of Notepad++, just as tabbed browsing is awesome in FireFox. Syntax highlighting and folding, is something you expect in full software development software like visual studio, however now you have that for free.