3 Handy Built-In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

notepad plus intro   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]There are a multitude of text editors for every budget out there. We at MakeUseOf have reviewed a few amazing text editors already, like Sublime Text, WriteBox (which lets you edit text files stored in your Dropbox), AkelPad, NoteTab Light, etc. and of course, Notepad++. This summer, I’ve used Notepad++ for my internship quite a bit, so I can see why almost all developers and programmers I know actually prefer it, not to mention, the thousand of Notepad++ fans that have made it such a popular product.

Even though I still haven’t explored every single option that this featured-packed editor has, within a few weeks of daily use, I have already found more than a few handy features, some of which I’m listing here, that I had not found in Eclipse or Vim (or maybe I just didn’t explore hard enough).

The neat part is also that these features from Notepad++ aren’t even plugins, though you can get them (see some recommended plugins here). The features are built-in so you (as a newly converted user) can just download Notepad++ and start making use of them!

Search Like A Detective: Find In Files/Find In All Opened Documents/Count

Notepad++’s Find features are plentiful and thus, come in very handy in multiple cases.  For example, if you’re working with multiple inter-dependent files, chances are, you need to find where one variable is used and how it’s affected in another file, you can use Notepad++’s Find in Files feature, under Search in the menu bar.

notepad plus plus menu   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

This will allow you to specify a path or folder location where Notepad++ will search for a keyword in all of its files, even when they’re not text files (but this will usually show up in Notepad++ as garbled text of course).

notepad plus plus find   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

This tip was actually mentioned a while back, but it is still incredibly useful. So is another similar feature that lets you search in all your currently opened files, which you can find when you search regularly with Ctrl + F.  Just click on “Find All in All Opened Documents” instead of “Find Next”and that will probably save you some time if the directory you want to search in has too many files.

notepad plus plus find opened   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

Another feature I have come to adore is the ability to “Count” how many times a keyword is present in the currently opened file. This comes in handy, especially before you start searching so you will know you’re not looking at the same line of code and that the search did advance to the next place where it found the keyword. It may sound like common sense, but a lot of times, the keyword will be in a block of code that may be present several times in the file so when you press “Count”, the search is performed so quickly, you don’t even know if the search took place since the code looks very similar. That’s how fast Notepad++ works.

Move Text Files To Other View For Split-Screen Productivity

If you’re coding on, say, a laptop, and don’t count with another monitor, Notepad++ allows you to split your files so you have your screen divided for productivity.

notepad plus plus other view   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

This is similar to Windows and Ubuntu’s window-snapping features, with a few differences. In Notepad++, you can apply the same zoom settings to both files in this split-screen view, snap windows to take up different widescreen proportions, and more, without having to manually adjust everything for each of the windows, like you would have to in Windows or Ubuntu. This is handy for the next feature I’m going to discuss.

Synchronize Vertical/Horizontal Scrolling

There is a Compare plugin that was discussed in the recommended Notepad++ plugins article, but when you want to be your own detective and find out differences in that snippet of code, a split-screen setting and synchronized scrolling will feel like one of the better inventions of all time.

notepad plus plus scrolling   3 Handy Built In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows]

Not only can you synchronize vertical scrolling but also horizontally, I’m guessing for those longer, more descriptive comments or maybe even very long ‘if’ statements (*shudders). If you assign a keyboard shortcut for either scrolling feature, comparing can go a tad faster as well!

Notepad++ is a powerhouse when it comes to features so this is not an exhaustive list of course. What features do you absolutely love about Notepad++? Or if vouch for an alternative text editor, why do you prefer that one specifically? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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19 Comments -

Nguyen Tran

I use Notepad for a long time.but I never knew about Synchronize Vertical/Horizontal Scrolling, They’re very useful. Thanks a lot!

VictorGeis

I’ve always like Notepad++ because of its features. It really is a swiss army knife to writing code. Great article!

Kaashif Haja

I’ve been using Notepad++ for more than 10 months. it’s good, already know these things!
I suggest you to put an article for intermediate people!!

venkatp16

Good article.

anthonymonori

Woot! Thanks. I was searching for a good free text-editor for my upcoming project.

anthonymonori

I mean source code editor, but you got the point.

Ashwin Ramesh

Thanks for sharing!

diwaker srivastava

Great job Jessica Cam Wong ,

i am using Notepad++ from almost 2 month and your article is great info for me. One thing in want to know please tell that how can i run program of java or php directly from Notepad++

thameera

Also make sure you check out the dozens of useful plugins in the Plugin Manager. There are lots of hidden gems there.

GrrGrrr

Thanks, i’ll check it out.

For all- it also has a portable version.

Andrea

I would add these other two very useful features: regex find/replace (can really save you A LOT of time) and text compare (ALT+D)

erickhbhn

love this app !

flower king

Nice article. I use TextFx plugin’s with notepad++ for more productive tasks..

Shehan Nirmal

This is the one which made me work with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Python… I got a great knowledge using this Notepad…

Tudor Rusu

nice

rama moorthy

Notepad++ is a good code editor .. I always use it for my html and css editing and .. always prefer it to my friends …

lance burn

thanks for the start

Aung Thu Htet

I like Notepad++ and also your post.

lance burn

I have notepad but never used it yet lol