Whenever I get a new (Windows) computer, one of the very first pieces of software I download and install is Notepad++. It gets used for just about anything, and everything, and takes the concept of Notepad, a simple text editor, up a few hundred notches.
I write a lot of different things, from text for this blog, to drafts of communications to customers and coworkers, to various kinds of code and script. For a long time I simply used notepad, it was most of what I needed, and it did the job, well, OK.
Then, over a decade ago now, I discovered a far superior alternative. Notepad++ can be seen as a heavily beefed up version of Notepad. Like Notepad, it simply works, but unlike notepad, it has syntax highlighting and folding, and a sidebar explorer to mention only a few of the features..
Published under the GNU General Public Licence (GNU-GPL), it is lightweight, simple to use, very powerful, and nearly infinitely extensible through plugins. In other words, it was just the tool I didn’t know I’d been looking for. An abbreviated feature list goes as follows:
- Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
- User Defined Syntax Highlighting and Folding
- PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) Search/Replace
- Entirely customizable GUI
- Document Map
- Word completion
- Function completion
- Function parameters hint
- Multi-Document (Tab interface)
- Multi-Language environment supported
- Macro recording and playback
- Launch with different arguments
If you want to give it a try, you can find it here.