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Notepad++ Logo.png
Notepad++ screenshot2.png
Developer(s) Don Ho
Initial release 11 (2003)
Stable release 6.8.8[1] (10 December 2015; 56 days ago (2015-12-10)) [±]
Written in C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Size 6.6 MB
Available in over 50 languages via Scintilla, plus additional user-defined languages 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.


Notepad++ supports several programming languages and natural languages. 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.[2][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.[2] 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 to increase performance and reduce program size.[6] On 25 November 2003, it was made first available on Sourceforge.

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]

Early versions of Notepad++ were noted for instability.[15] In a 2011 review in Lifehacker, Adam Pash wrote that its user interface was "fairly ugly".[16]

In March 2008, the "Boycott Beijing 2008" banner was placed on Notepad++'s homepage.[17] 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.[18][19][20]

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.[21][22]

In January 2015, the Notepad++ website was hacked by Islamist hackers critical of an easter egg endorsing Je suis Charlie. [23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notepad++ 6.8.8 released". Notepad++. 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  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. ^ a b c "Notepad++ Features". 
  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++". 
  11. ^ "TextFX's_Future". SourceForge. 
  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. ^ "Open source NotePad++ is a solid contender among text editors". 
  16. ^ "The Best Programming Text Editor For Windows". 
  17. ^ Notepad++ homepage at the Wayback Machine (archived March 26, 2008)
  18. ^ SourceForge Blocked In China. Moonlight Blog. June 26, 2008.
  19. ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
  20. ^ " was blocked in China". 
  21. ^ "Notepad++ Notepad++ new site:". 
  22. ^ "Notepad++ Notepad++ 5.7 release (outside the USA)". 
  23. ^ Kovacs, Eduard (15 January 2015). "Notepad++ Site Hacked in Response to “Je suis Charlie” Edition". SecurityWeek. 

External links[edit]