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

Jessica Cam Wong 28-08-2012

notepad++ featuresThere 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 Sublime Text: The Text Editor You'll Fall in Love With (Windows) Read More , WriteBox WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox Writebox is an online text editor with an extremely simple interface. Even better: you can connect it with your Dropbox account to edit any file you store with that service. Every keystroke you make is... Read More (which lets you edit text files stored in your Dropbox 10+ Best Apps for Your Dropbox If you've been using Dropbox for a while, you may not have noticed that a whole ecosystem of applications have been built up to use the service. Over time, these apps have sprung up to... Read More ), AkelPad AkelPad vs Notepad Plus - Can It Even Compete As A Notepad Alternative? There are lots of Notepad replacements out there, and it seems like everyone has their own favorite. Notepad++ is one of the most popular, but AkelPad is a more minimal option. AkelPad is a fast,... Read More , NoteTab Light The 6 Best Windows Notepad Alternatives Windows Notepad is too simple, but Microsoft Office is overkill? If you're looking for a Notepad replacement, here are the leading alternatives. One will be perfect for you. Read More , 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 The Top 7 Reasons To Give The Vim Text Editor A Chance For years, I've tried one text editor after another. You name it, I tried it. I used each and every one of these editors for over two months as my primary day-to-day editor. Somehow, I... Read More (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 Soup Up The Notepad++ Text Editor With Plugins From The Notepad Plus Repository [Windows] Notepad++ is a worthy replacement for Windows’ in-built and much loved text editor, and comes highly recommended if you’re a programmer, web designer or simply someone who finds themselves in need of a powerful plain... Read More ). 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 Quickly Edit CSV Files With Advanced Find & Replace Tools in Notepad++ Notepad++ is an extremely powerful (and free!) text editor. Its find and replace tools can do everything from a simple search and replace in a single file to a regular expression-based search and replace across... Read More 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++ features

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).


best notepad++

This tip was actually mentioned a while back How to Find and Replace Words in Multiple Files What do you do if you have to replace a single word in dozens or even thousands, of text files? You keep calm and download Notepad++ or Replace Text to do the job in seconds. Read More , 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.

best notepad++

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++ features

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 Soup Up The Notepad++ Text Editor With Plugins From The Notepad Plus Repository [Windows] Notepad++ is a worthy replacement for Windows’ in-built and much loved text editor, and comes highly recommended if you’re a programmer, web designer or simply someone who finds themselves in need of a powerful plain... Read More , 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.


best notepad++

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.

Related topics: Notepad, Programming, Text Editor.

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  1. Fesh
    March 23, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    thank you, i was losing my mind trying to figure out how to stop the synchronized scrolling

  2. lance burn
    October 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I have notepad but never used it yet lol

  3. Aung Thu Htet
    September 9, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I like Notepad++ and also your post.

  4. lance burn
    September 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    thanks for the start

  5. rama moorthy
    September 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

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

  6. Tudor Rusu
    September 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm


  7. Shehan Nirmal
    August 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

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

  8. flower king
    August 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

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

  9. erickhbhn
    August 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    love this app !

  10. Andrea
    August 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    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)

  11. GrrGrrr
    August 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks, i'll check it out.

    For all- it also has a portable version.

  12. thameera
    August 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm

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

  13. diwaker srivastava
    August 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    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++

  14. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. anthonymonori
    August 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

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

    • anthonymonori
      August 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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

  16. venkatp16
    August 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Good article.

  17. Kaashif Haja
    August 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

    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!!

  18. VictorGeis
    August 28, 2012 at 6:19 am

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

  19. Nguyen Tran
    August 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

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