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Notepad++ Logo.png
Notepad++ v7 on Windows 10, with MediaWiki 1.27.1 source code, with split window view and autocompletion.png
Notepad++ v7 on Windows 10, depicting MediaWiki 1.27.1 source code
Developer(s) Don Ho
Initial release November 24, 2003; 13 years ago (2003-11-24)
Stable release 7.3.2[1] (13 February 2017; 8 days ago (2017-02-13)) [±]
Written in C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform IA-32, x86-64
Size 2.70 MB
Available in over 50 languages via Scintilla, plus additional user-defined 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. 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 was hosted on TuxFamily (fr) from 2010 to 2015; since 2015 Notepad++ has been hosted on GitHub.[6] Notepad++ uses the Scintilla editor component.


Notepad++ was developed by Don Ho in September 2003.[7] The developer used JEXT (a Java-based text editor) at his company but, dissatisfied with its poor performance, he began to develop a text editor written in C++ with Scintilla.[7] He developed it in his spare time since the idea was rejected by his company.[7] Notepad++ was built as a Microsoft Windows application; the author considered, but rejected, using wxWidgets to port it to the Mac OS X and Unix platforms.[7]

Notepad++ was first released on SourceForge on 25 November 2003, as a Windows-only application. It is based on the Scintilla editor component, and is written in C++ with only Win32 API calls using only the STL to increase performance and reduce program size.[8][9]

In January 2010 the US government obliged US-based open source project hosts to deny access from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria to comply with U.S. law.[10] 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. Some community services of Notepad++ (Such as the forums and bug tracker) remained on Sourceforge until 2015 when Notepad++ left Sourceforge completely.[11][12][13]

In 2011 Lifehacker described Notepad++ as the "The Best Programming Text Editor for Windows", stating that "if you prefer a simple, lightweight, and extensible programming plain-text editor, our first choice is the free, open-source Notepad++".[14] Lifehacker criticized its user interface, stating that "It is, in fact, fairly ugly. Luckily you can do a lot to customize its looks, and what it lacks in polish, it makes up for in functionality".[14]

In 2014 Lifehacker readers voted Notepad++ as the "Most Popular Text Editor", with 40% of the 16,294 respondents specifying it as their most-loved editor.[15] The Lifehacker team summarized the program as being "fast, flexible, feature-packed, and completely free".[15]

In 2015 Stack Overflow conducted a worldwide Developer Survey, and Notepad++ was voted as the most used text editor worldwide with 34.7% of the 26,086 respondents claiming to use it daily.[16] Stack Overflow noted that "The more things change, the more likely it is those things are written in JavaScript with NotePad++ on a Windows machine".[16] The 2016 survey had NotePad++ at 35.6%.[17]

In 2015, in response to the staff hijacking of projects hosted on Sourceforge, Notepad++ left Sourceforge completely with the forums being moved to NodeBB and the bug tracker to GitHub.[13][18]


Notepad++ supports several programming languages and natural languages.

General features include:[8]


Notepad++ is one of the most popular source code editors in the world, and supports syntax highlighting and code folding for over 50 programming, scripting, and markup languages.[2][21] Its programming-related features include:[8][16]

  • Auto-completion for a subset of the API of some programming language
  • Syntax highlighting and syntax folding
  • Indent guidelines for tab-indented files
  • Matching brace highlighting (for curly braces and square brackets)
  • Matching tag highlighting (for HTML and XML tags)
  • Various tools such as line sorting, text encoding conversion, text folding
  • File status auto-detection
  • Customizable shortcut key mapping
  • Function list
  • Automatically detect the programming language that a given file uses, using a modifiable list of file extension bindings
  • Manually set the programming language of the current file
  • User defined programming languages (for syntax highlighting and autocompletion)[2]
  • Configurable syntax highlighting (font styles and colors)

The following programming languages are natively supported by Notepad++:


Notepad++ has support for macros and plugins,[22] and has been marked for its robust plugin architecture which enabled various new features to be integrated into the program.[23] Currently, over 140 compatible plugins are developed for Notepad++, 10 of which are included by default in the program.[24] The first plugin to be included in the program was "TextFX", which includes W3C validation for HTML and CSS, text sorting, character case alteration and quote handling.[25]


Notepad++ supports switching into a local human language after providing a single XML file containing all text that should be translated. The user community has contributed translations into many languages and some local dialects.

Easter eggs[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.[26] 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.[27][28]


In March 2008 the "Boycott Beijing 2008" banner was placed on Notepad++'s homepage.[29] A few months later most users in China were unable to reach the website from June 26 to July 24, 2008. This led to the widespread belief that China had banned in retaliation for the Boycott banner.[30][31][32]

In January 2015 the Notepad++ website was hacked by Islamist hackers who objected to an easter egg endorsing Je suis Charlie.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notepad++ 7.3.2 released". Notepad++. 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "User Defined Language Files". 
  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. ^ "Notepad++ on GitHub". Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  7. ^ a b c d Orin, Andy (2015-06-18). "Behind The App: The Story Of Notepad++". Lifehacker Australia. 
  8. ^ a b c "Notepad++ Features". 
  9. ^ Gael, Arianna (2015-06-24). "Notepad++ Is Changing Code And Changing The World". Filehippo. 
  10. ^ "Clarifying's denial of site access for certain persons in accordance with US law". Slashdot Media. 25 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Notepad++ hosted on new website". Notepad++. 2010-06-06. 
  12. ^ "Notepad++ 5.7 released on French servers". Notepad++. 2010-07-05. 
  13. ^ a b "Notepad++ leaves SourceForge". Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  14. ^ a b Pash, Adam (2011-07-06). "The Best Programming Text Editor for Windows". Lifehacker. 
  15. ^ a b Henry, Alan (2014-04-24). "Most Popular Text Editor: Notepad++". Lifehacker. 
  16. ^ a b c "Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2015". 
  17. ^ "Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016 Results". 18 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Notepad++ Community". Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  19. ^ "Notepad++ Multi-editing". 
  20. ^ Fox, Geoff (July 7, 2008). "Notepad++ Does It Again Again". AppScout. Ziff Davis Media. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  21. ^ DeCarlo, Matthew (2009-05-26). "Download of the Week: Notepad++". TechSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  22. ^ Smith, Tim (September 21, 2009). "Notepad++ 5.5". Computeractive. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  23. ^ Mombrea, Matthew (2013-11-15). "Tools we love: Notepad++". ITWorld Magazine. 
  24. ^ "Notepad++". 
  25. ^ "TextFX's_Future". SourceForge. 
  26. ^ Code inspection:NppCommands.cpp:2111..2140 - May 1, 2014 version
  27. ^ Code inspection: Notepad_plus.cpp:5244..5442
  28. ^ Source Code on GitHub, Notepad_plus.cpp:5499...5705 - Jun 24, 2015 version (Complete list of triggers)
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  30. ^ SourceForge Blocked In China. Moonlight Blog. June 26, 2008.
  31. ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
  32. ^ " was blocked in China". 
  33. ^ Kovacs, Eduard (15 January 2015). "Notepad++ Site Hacked in Response to "Je suis Charlie" Edition". SecurityWeek. 

External links[edit]