Notepad++ is a Windows based, multi-award winning text editor and source code editor. First published in November 2003 by Don Ho, Notepad++ has since grown to become the de-facto source code editing tool for developers around the world.
Notepad++ derives its name from the increment operator of the C programming language – “++”, also an homage to the langue it is written in – C++. And it is befitting for an editor which can support over 75 programming languages – from C++ to HTML to SQL – Notepad++ can highlight the syntactic elements of the languages and can perform auto indentation for all of them.
Along with being lightweight (merely 3 MB in size), Notepad++ has a host of other features including code folding, scripting, mark-up languages and auto-completion for programming. It can also be used as a plain-text editor by virtue of it’s MS-DOS mode.
However, what truly sets it apart from its competitors are its advanced features like Autosave, split screen editing, support for Macros, auto-removal of whitespace, case conversions, tabbing of windows just like in a browser and a quite powerful find and replace utility.
Perhaps the only major drawback of Notepad++ is its lack of MacOS support – it is released only on the Windows platform, although it can be ported to MacOS using Wine. Mac users can use the inbuilt TextEditor utility, the Script Editor utility or Sublime Text – another powerful source code editor which offers live previews on code. Also, it must be noted that Notepad++ is only a source code editor and as such does not offer any compilation abilities and cannot check the logical correctness of the code written.
Overall, Notepad++ is one of the world’s best source code editors, a feat further epitomized by the fact that it was voted the world’s most popular text editor in 2016 survey by Stack Overflow. Despite it’s Windows only support, it has been downloaded more than 28 million times and its plugin manager has been download nearly 1.6 billion times, due its availability in 84 different languages. A must have for all programmers!