20 September 2007

Notepad++ : start using a real text editor

Have you ever used Notepad? It's very simple, which is good. However, it lacks the power and features of more advanced text editors.

Notepad++ is a free and very powerful text editor. Here are some Notepad++ features:

Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
Print text in colour
User Defined Syntax Highlighting
Edit several documents at the same time
Synchronised scrolling between two documents
Regular Expression Search/Replace supported
Full Drag 'N' Drop support
Zoom in and zoom out
Place bookmarks in the text
Macro recording and playback

For more details, check out the Notepad++ homepage.

If you ever need to do any programming or scripting, Notepad++ will make your life a lot easier.


Arman said...

Thanks for Notepad++! I love it! I have been using TextPad for more than 5 years, but Notepad++ seems to be clever and more polished. Need to check whether regular expressions used in TextPad and Notepad++ are compatible. I used regular expression to filter out DMDX output files and it saves me hours of manual work.
Great job Mark! I love your blog! It has lots of practical information and is well written. Keep it up!

Mark said...


Let us know if you figure this out. I'm sure that a lot of people would be interested in filtering out DMDX out files.

Arman said...

It didn't work in Notepad++ Mark. I use the "end of line" regular expression in TextPad, which is written as "\n", to search through two lines and join these lines through replacing.
Until Notepad++ implements full range of regular expressions, I will stick with TextPad for automatic processing of DMDX output files.

michael said...

See the following wiki page for information about replacing new line characters in Notepad++


Mark said...

@michael - Arman is correct in saying that not all regular expressions work correctly in Notepad++ v.4.2.2. Arman and I have spoken about this, and we have not yet found a solution. The specific feature that is missing is stated in 1.4 of the wiki (URL in above post).

Arman wanted to search for a particular string of text that occurs on two consecutive lines. For example:

Item 2230300, -1023.32
1023.32,+Down Arrow

By including the newline character in the regular expression ,.*\n.*,\+ in the search/find box, Arman could automatically find the repeated string (i.e. 1023.32) and replace it with +, thereby concatenating two lines of text into one:

Item 2230300 +Down Arrow

In order to do this, your text editor needs to allow you to search using regular expressions that contain the newline character. This is where it breaks down.

Of course, if I find a solution I will post it on the speechblog.

D said...

Version 5 (actualy 4.9 I think) fixed this issue. If you select 'Extended' instead of regexp, \n \r \t etc work... Loved notepad++ but couldnt use it because of that... I can now, sweet!

Mark said...

Thanks for the info D. I've been battling with Notepad++ since your post, trying to bend it to my will to get it to clean up DMDX zil files. I have found a way to make it work. It takes nine steps, but it works. I'm writing a post about it now called *Notepad++ how to ues regular expressions and extended search mode to clean up a DMDX .zil result file*

Paul van Wijck said...
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