Notepad++ is not just the most popular editor among programmers but also one of the best. Being a compiler, Notepad++ is more than a text editor and has built-in support for code syntax and analysis. You can open almost any file with Notepad++ — text files, source code, XML files, HTML files, and even debug symbols. It supports Unicode characters so you can use it to edit almost any kind of document or file — be it in English, Spanish, German or anything else. Even though Notepad++ is not primarily a coding IDE like others we discussed in our previous blog posts on free IDEs for programmers and developers, it has several useful features that set it apart from other text editors.
Code Analysis & Syntax Highlighting
Notepad++ has built-in support for syntax highlighting and code analysis. Using third-party plug-ins, you can add support for more programming languages. Notepad++ supports over 100 programming and markup languages. You can use the Autocomplete feature to see the list of language-specific elements and symbols as you type. Notepad++ can detect and highlight the syntax errors and show them in a different color. For example, it can highlight invalid code, missing semicolons, typos, etc. It’s very useful when you write code as it helps you avoid syntax errors and typos. Notepad++ also supports over 25 programming languages as debug symbols, which can help you write code faster. For example, in C++, you can use the operator “::” to get the data type of a variable. Debug symbols make it much easier to use and understand code.
Rich Editing Features
Notepad++ is not just a text editor; it offers a plethora of features and functionality that makes your coding experience a lot easier and enjoyable. Let’s have a look at some of its useful features: Folding: Folding allows you to fold or expand a section of code that you are not currently working on. This is useful when you have a large code file and you want to focus on just a smaller section of it. You can expand or fold sections of code by using the “Edit>Fold” menu item. Bookmarks: Bookmarks are like hyperlinks to a particular line in your code file. You can use bookmarks to create references to functions or code sections that you are currently working on. This can act as both a reminder and a quick way to jump to that section of code again. Templates: You can create templates and store them in the “File>Templates” menu item. You can use these templates to quickly create new code files with various sections and elements. This can save you time when creating new code files. Find and Replace: Finding and replacing text in your code file is easy with Notepad++. You can either replace the text in all the occurrences or just select the occurrences where you want to replace the text.
Tabbed editing is a very useful feature provided by Notepad++. What it does is that it allows you to open and edit multiple files in a single window. Let’s say you have two files — file1.txt and file2.txt — opened in Notepad++. You can click on the “File>Open” menu item and open a third file — say file3.txt. All three files will now be visible in the same window. Notepad++ will display the contents of the first file on top and the contents of the second file below it. You can then click on the “View>Tab Menu” menu item to change the file that appears on top and the order in which they appear in the window.
Another useful feature of Notepad++ is that you can open as many windows as you want. Let’s say you are working on two large code files — file1.txt and file2.txt. You can open both these files in two separate windows in Notepad++. While working on one file, you can quickly jump to the other file and then back to the first file without having to use the “Edit>Find” and “Edit>Goto” menu items. You can also use the “Window>Tabs” menu item to open a new window and work on two files at the same time.
Colored Writing Mode
When you are writing non-programming text, you can use Notepad++’s Colored Writing Mode feature to give your writing a different look. Using this feature, you can change the background color, font color, and font size. You can choose from various colors and select the one that you like the most. You can even use this feature for programming languages too. However, you won’t be able to see the syntax or symbols of the programming language like you would when writing normal code.
Notepad++ is not just a text editor; it offers a plethora of features and functionality that makes your coding experience a lot easier and enjoyable. Let’s have a look again at the 5 best features of Notepad++: – Code Analysis & Syntax Highlighting – Rich Editing Features – Tabbed Editing – Multiple Windows – Colored Writing Mode It is obvious that Notepad++ is a great tool for programmers and developers. However, it is not an IDE, and it does not have the features that IDEs have. Therefore, if you are looking for a free alternative to your current IDE and want to try something new, you can choose Notepad++.