There are plenty of text editors available for programmers, but most of the people often choose Notepad++ as an alternative to Notepad since it is free, user-friendly and feature-rich. If you are not familiar with Notepad++ for Windows PC, you should know that it is possible to write different languages including .html, .css, .php, .asp, .bash, .js, and more. Here are a few Notepad++ tips and tricks that you may use to get started.
Notepad++ Tips and Tricks
1] Perform certain things automatically
This is probably the most time-saving feature that Notepad++ has, since it will let you do a repeat a task more than once without actually doing it again. You can record a Macro and perform an act automatically. Let’s assume that you want to replace a certain text in different files and save it in a particular format. You just need to record the whole process and play it later whenever you want to perform that task. It is possible to save as many macros as you want. To record a Macro, just head over to the Macro section in the navigation menu of Notepad++.
2] Launch code in a particular browser
Let’s assume that you have written a few lines of code in HTML and CSS. Now, you want to check the look of that page without applying it on a live website. You have two options. First, you can save that code with the respective extension (here it is .html), and open the file in any web browser. Or, you can just launch the code in a particular browser without doing any of this. Just write down your code, select Run > Launch in Firefox/IE/Chrome/Safari. Now, the page will open directly in your desired web browser.
3] Change preference
If you think that the default interface of Notepad++ is boring, and it needs some customization, you can certainly do that without using any third party software or plugin. It is possible to change the theme, font family, font size, font style, font weight, font color, background color, and more. If you have installed a font from third party sources, you can still use it as your default font in Notepad++. To change the preferences, just click on Settings > Style Configurator. You will see a screen, where you can choose everything mentioned earlier. Select your preference and place a tick-mark in the checkbox on the same page. Otherwise, the change will not be effected.
4] Create and set own Notepad++ theme
If you do not like the default themes of Notepad++, you can make one according to your wish and set it as your default theme. The primary requirement is that you have to save the theme file with a .xml extension, and place it inside the following folder:
Don’t forget to replace user_name with your actual username. Having done this, go to Settings > Style Configurator. You will see the theme inside the Select Theme drop-down menu.
5] Open recently opened files quickly and change the number
Suppose, you have a folder full of your codes, and you need to open a particular file. It will certainly take time if you have to navigate a long path. At such times, you can simply click on File and check your recently opened files. You can get up to 15 files in the list with the actual path. If you think that this feature is useful, and you want to increase the number of “Recently Opened” files, here is a trick to increase or decrease the number. Open Settings > Preferences. Under the Recent Files History, you will get the option to change the number.
6] Open file in the tree view
If you are developing a theme, obviously there are more than one files. It is quite difficult to open and close different files in a particular folder. To solve this problem, Notepad++ has an awesome feature called Folder as Workspace, which helps users to view all the files and folders in the tree view. You can see a sidebar on the left-hand side that will let you open a particular folder and file. To open a folder, click on File > Open Folder as Workspace, and choose the folder that you want to show in a tree view.
7] Open all files in a folder at once
If you want to open all the files in a folder at once in Notepad++, you can do two things. You can simply open a folder, select all the files and hit Enter. Or you can click on File > Open Containing Folder > Explorer, select the files and hit Enter. Both actions will perform the same task.
8] Find word or text in multiple files
Suppose, you have made a mistake in writing a particular word. For instance, you have written ABC instead of XYZ. To find all the wrongly written words, you do not have to open one file at a time and check them. Instead, you can just open all the files at once using the guide mentioned above. Then, press Ctrl + F and go to Find tab. Now, write down what you want to find and hit the Find All in All Opened Documents button. You will get the result in the bottom of your Notepad++ window. From here, you can go to that particular file and find the error.
9] Replace word or text in multiple files
If you want to replace a particular word or text with some other word, in multiple files, open all the files in Notepad++. Press Ctrl + H, type the word you want replaced, and the new word in the given fields and click on the Replace All in All Opened Documents. To save all the files at once, press Ctrl + Shift + S.
10] Find changes side by side
Let’s assume that you have made few changes in a particular file or say you want to make two instances of a single file. To do this, open or create the file that you want to place side by side or make another instance. Then, right-click on the tab and select Clone to Other View.
10] Make a file edit-proof
If you often press buttons by mistake, here is a solution that will help you to edit a particular file and make other files edit-proof when you have placed two files side by side. Right-click on the file’s tab that you want to Read Only and then, select Read Only.
Notepad++ is available for download from its homepage.
Bonus Tip: You can also access FTP server using Notepad++.
Hope you find these Notepad++ tips useful.