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Notepad++ Logo.png
Notepad++ screenshot2.png
Developer(s) Don Ho
Initial release 11 (2003)
Stable release 6.8.2[1] (20 August 2015; 3 days ago (2015-08-20)) [±]
Written in C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Size 6.6 MB
Available in 49 languages[2]
Type Source code editor
License GNU General Public License

Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. Unlike Notepad, the built-in Windows text editor, it supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window. The project's name comes from the C increment operator.

Notepad++ is distributed as free software. At first the project was hosted on, from where it has been downloaded over 28 million times,[3][4] and twice won the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developer Tool.[5] The project has been hosted on TuxFamily since June 2010. Notepad++ uses the Scintilla editor component.


General features include:[6]

Source code editing features include:[6]

Programming languages[edit]

Running on Mac OS X using the Wine compatibility layer

Notepad++ supports syntax highlighting and code folding for over 50 programming, scripting, and markup languages.[6][8] It attempts to automatically detect the language that a given file uses, using a modifiable list of file extension bindings. Users may also manually set the current language, overriding the extension's default language. The program also supports autocompletion for a subset of the API of some programming languages.

The following languages are natively supported by Notepad++ as of version 6.6:

Users can also define their own language (for syntax highlighting) and its respective API (for autocompletion) by using the built-in User Language Define System.[6] Users may configure the syntax highlighting's font styles per element, per language, and the resulting formatted script may be printed in full-color (WYSIWYG). Additionally, Notepad++ displays indent guidelines when source code is indented with tab characters, and highlights closing braces, brackets and tags.


Notepad++ has support for macros and plugins.[9] Currently, there are 27 official plugins for Notepad++, 10 of which are included by default in the program.[10] The first plugin to be included in the program was "TextFX", which includes features such as W3C validation for HTML and CSS, text sorting, character case alteration and quote handling.[11] Plugin site lists over 140 compatible plugins.[citation needed]


This project is originally by Don Ho, a developer based in Paris and graduated from Paris Diderot University in 2000. This project, based on the Scintilla editor component, is written in C++ with only Win32 API calls using only the STL in order to increase performance and reduce program size. Notepad++ tries to reduce overall processor usage by using efficient binaries that require fewer CPU computations.[6]

Interface translations[edit]

Notepad++ supports switching into local language after providing a single XML file containing all text that should be translated. As of 2013, the user community has contributed translations into many languages, as well as into some local dialects.

Easter egg[edit]

If F1 is pressed or the About dialog is opened while the currently selected text contains a name, a new document is created and a quote from that person is entered using simulated typing.[12] Among the names that trigger this easter egg are Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, Brian Kernighan and Darth Vader. Selecting the text 'random' selects a random quote.[13]

Criticisms and controversy[edit]

In March 2008, the "Boycott Beijing 2008" banner was placed on Notepad++'s homepage.[15] A few months later, most users in China were unable to reach the website for about a month (June 26, 2008 – July 24, 2008). This led to the widespread belief that China had banned in retaliation for the Boycott banner.[16][17][18]

In January 2010, the US government forced open source project hosts to comply with US law and deny access from five countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria). As a response to what the developer felt was a violation of the free and open-source software (FOSS) philosophy, in June 2010, Notepad++ moved out of US territorial jurisdiction by releasing a version on TuxFamily, in France.[19][20]

Notepad++ has been criticized for having sexist jokes as Easter eggs. It has also been criticized for having jokes of bad taste. The jokes were discovered in a forum on late 2012.[21] In April 2013, a user of opposed them in a discussion.[22] In a reply to the opposition, Don Ho, calling them as one of the features of Notepad++, said that they would be kept.[23] However, other discussions in[24] and[25][26] were made in this regard in June 2014. After then, Don Ho officially replied that all the sexist jokes would be removed from the next release and such jokes would never be in Notepad++ binary.[27] Since then, a few jokes have been removed from Notepad++.[28]

Early versions of Notepad++ were noted for instability.[29] Its user interface has been called ugly.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notepad++ 6.8.2 released". Notepad++. 2015-08-20. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ " Project Statistics for Notepad++". Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Top Downloads - For all time, updated daily". SourceForge. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  5. ^ "SourceForge's 4th Annual Community Choice Awards". SourceForge. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Notepad++ Homepage - "Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding"
  7. ^ Fox, Geoff (July 7, 2008). "Notepad++ Does It Again Again". AppScout (Ziff Davis Media). Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  8. ^ DeCarlo, Matthew (May 26, 2009). "Download of the Week: Notepad++". TechSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  9. ^ Smith, Tim (September 21, 2009). "Notepad++ 5.5". Computeractive. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  10. ^ Notepad++ Download Page
  11. ^ Future of TextFX
  12. ^ Code inspection:NppCommands.cpp:2111..2140 - May 1, 2014 version
  13. ^ Code inspection: Notepad_plus.cpp:5244..5442
  14. ^ Source Code on Github - Code inspection:Notepad_plus.cpp:5499...5705 - Jun 24, 2015 version
  15. ^ Notepad++ homepage at the Wayback Machine (archived March 26, 2008)
  16. ^ SourceForge Blocked In China. Moonlight Blog. June 26, 2008.
  17. ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
  18. ^
  19. ^ news - Notepad++ new site:
  20. ^ news - Notepad++ 5.7 release (outside the USA)
  21. ^ A few jokes I accidentally found
  22. ^ Shameful text in notepad++.exe and in Notepad_plus.cpp
  23. ^ Don Ho: Reply to "Shameful text in notepad++.exe and in Notepad_plus.cpp"
  24. ^ Sexism and promotion of violence against women
  25. ^ Sexism in Tech: An Example
  26. ^ (OC) Sexism in Tech: An Example
  27. ^ Response and Apology for Sexist Jokes
  28. ^ Code inspection: Notepad_plus.cpp - June 13, 2014 version
  29. ^ "Open source NotePad++ is a solid contender among text editors". 
  30. ^ "The Best Programming Text Editor For Windows". 

External links[edit]