Notepad++ review: an awesome, lightweight code editor for Windows

First published on February 18, 2008

As an amateur PHP coder using Windows, I’d been using WordPad, the Dreamweaver code editor, and *shudder* Notepad to write scripts. None of these programs are especially suited for the task. Notepad always seems to ruin line breaks and spacing, Dreamweaver isn’t free and is too bloated for the few code editing features it provides, and WordPad, while it is the most tolerable of the bunch, always leaves me wanting more.

Enter Notepad++, a free source code editor for Windows that packs all the right features.

Screenshot of Notepad++, my favourite lightweight code editor

Since I’m a bit of an amateur, I probably don’t appreciate a lot of its features. However, it remains simple for those who have simple needs, and has more powerful features if needed. It really impresses me that it suits its purpose so well — in the few months that I have used it, it has made the coding process so much smoother and easier.

Notepad++ also loads very quickly and takes up very little memory when running.

A few of its simple but essential features include:

  • Line numbers (have you ever manually counted the lines in your code to see what an error message was referring to?)
  • Colour coding and different formatting for different code elements
  • Easy customization of hard and soft tabs
  • Color and bold identification of the current code block that you are editing (so that you know whether you have forgotten to close things like “if” statements)
  • Ability to open multiple files in tabs
  • Ability to collapse code blocks

5 Responses to “Notepad++ review: an awesome, lightweight code editor for Windows”

  1. Thom says:

    Taco is a pretty nice editor for OS X

  2. Chris says:

    Another great editor is NoteTab

  3. Kristian says:

    Programmers Notepad is also pretty good

  4. yman says:

    I use for editing Notepad++ because is a very complex program and support languages like C; C++; Java; C#; XML; HTML; PHP; CSS; makefile ASCII art (.nfo); doxygen ini file and other. Also you can edit several documents at the same time.

  5. D John says:

    I primarily use NaviCoder Editor but Notepad++ and Crimson Editor are pretty good.

Speak your mind

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word