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A Guide to Notepad++: Top Use Cases and Pro Tips

If you’re learning how to code, you might want to familiarize yourself with software products like Notepad++ and see why this is the Windows go-to product for many software developers. Notepad++ is one of the most popular open-source text editors used by tech professionals, developers, and programmers worldwide. If you are a business owner or part of a big company, it is definitely worthwhile to learn how to use Notepad++.

Professionals use the handy features of this quality code editor to write and store simple data and code. This guide to Notepad++ will provide you with Notepad++ tips and detail some of its most common features. 

What Is Notepad++?

Notepad is a free text and source code editor used by programmers and seasoned developers. This handy tool runs in MS Windows environments and supports 80 programming languages, including Ruby, Pascal, HTML, CSS, and Visual Basic. It is free to download and can be accessed on its website under the GNU General Public License. Its most current version is Notepad++ 8.3.1, which was released on February 15, 2022.

Why Do You Need Notepad++?

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Notepad++ is an upgraded version of the Microsoft Notepad. It is a simple text editor often used to write documents and source code. It is often used by developers and tech professionals as a day-to-day tool for note-taking and extensive file-parsing. Notepad is versatile because it provides online support, can share plugins, and has a customizable graphical user interface.

Notepad++ Use Cases

  • Supports multiple coding languages: It is an ideal tool for programmers to edit tasks because there is an option to change the coding language setting. It will automatically follow the set code formatting. It can recognize languages such as Java, Unix, SQL, Ruby, Pascal, HTML, CSS, and Visual Basic.
  • It is fast and lightweight: The app is lightweight and does not take up a lot of storage space in your drive. It loads fast and is ideal for working with large text files. It is an excellent tool for extensive file-parsing.
  • Can open multiple files: You can use unlimited tabs, so it’s very convenient for managing multiple text files. It makes multitasking easier without lagging, unlike other text editors. You can open multiple files in a single window because of its tabbed editing interface.
  • Comes with plugin features: When the application is downloaded, it comes with several plugin features. You can choose which one to add to the installation directory. If there’s another plugin you need that’s not available in the app, you can use the import setting to install some of your favorite plugins.
  • It makes it easy to search for a string in text files: If you’re doing an impact assessment of source code, it’s easy to search for a string in text files of folders. ·        Simply type the search code into Notepad++ and it will return all results ordered by file name.

Key Terms You Need to Know to Use Notepad++

Source Code

Notepad++ is a text and source code editor. A source code is a programming statement composed of a range of features, such as words, letters, numbers, or symbols entered as an executable program. This may contain instructions or a set of rules and serves as the owner’s intellectual property. You need a text editor application like Notepad++ to make source code files.

General Public License (GNU)

GNU governs Notepad++. This means that it is under a free software license, allowing anyone to download and use it for free. Free and open-source programs can freely be used and modified according to your needs.

Windows Notepad

If you’re already familiar with Windows Notepad, you will have an idea of what Notepad++ can do. The Windows Notepad was the first and original version of this widely used text editor application. Its core functionality was to create and edit plain text documents. You can still download this original piece of software in the Microsoft store.


Notepad++ may automate tasks by recording your activities as you edit documents. This is referred to as a macro process. While editing, recording a macro is similar to shooting a video of your actions. This recording can be saved and played back later, and keystrokes can be assigned for quick access.


Sessions are a set of files that can all be opened with one click or command. This is a type of file management system in Notepad++. The files don’t even need to be in the same directory or drive to be opened. Session files save information like bookmarks, language, current selection, and file position so that when you reload a session, everything is still the same.

Equipment You’ll Need for Notepad++

  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10: To download Notepad++, you don’t need to have a powerful computer, only one with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows versions 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.
  • 512 MB RAM: The average computer RAM in most personal computers today is around 4GB to 8GB. However, you only need 512 MB RAM on Windows XP to download and use Notepad++.
  • 100 MB disk space: Downloading Notepad++ will only consume 100MB of storage space in your computer’s hard drive. This is equivalent to storing 20 MP3 audio files. This simple program does not take up a lot of disk space.
  • AMD Athlon, Intel Pentium 4 or higher processor: Windows XP and Windows 7 may both be run on AMD Athlon or Intel Pentium 4 processors. This is the bare minimal processor that Notepad++ can run on.
  • A laptop or PC with a keyboard: Notepad++ text editor is a heavy input application, so the golden rule is that you must have a working keyboard to access functions like typing. It would not be easy to use Notepad++ if you only had a mouse or a touchscreen.

How to Set Up and Start Using Notepad++

Step 1: Go to the Official Website and Find the Download Page

Go to the Notepad++ official website and you will be directed to the home page. On the left-hand side, there is a menu. Click on “Download,” and this will bring you to a page where you can see a wide range of Notepad++ versions.

Step 2: Choose a Notepad++ Version

The latest version of Notepad++ is Notepad 8.3.1. This is the most commonly downloaded version and the most recommended. However, all other previous versions are also available. The only difference is that the latest versions will have new cool features, bug fixes, additional plugins, and enhancements.

Step 3: Download the App

Depending on your operating system, click on the version you wish to download and select either the 64-bit version or 32-bit version. If you’re not sure if your computer is 64-bit or 32-bit, click on “Start > Settings > System > About” and look under device specs for the system type.

Step 4: Read the User Manual

On the Notepad ++ home page, you can also access the user manual. From the navigation lists on the left-hand side, go to “Online Help,” and you will be directed to the user manual. This contains everything you need to know about the app and its many basic features. You’ll get detailed instructions from downloading to adding Shell extensions.

Step 5: Join the Notepad++ Community

Read the announcement section, frequently asked questions, or post your dilemma on the “Help Wanted” thread. It’s a safe space to talk about anything you want related to the app. You can discuss technical matters, an editor component you are having trouble with, any issues with application settings, or the plugins menu and its additional plugins. 

The Importance of Notepad++ for Business

Many businesses in the United States use Notepad++. This tool helps the tech industry with a wide range of high-volume data requirements. With Notepad++, you can create and edit a piece of code in different languages, perform code folding, and syntax highlighting. 

The app is free for commercial use and is often the default text editor and preferred software in many IT departments. It can be used freely by any individual or large-scale enterprise, provided all license requirements are met.

Top Notepad++ Tips: Use Notepad++ Like a Pro

  • Column editing: You can easily create columns on Notepad++ by pressing the Alt key and then highlighting the text you want to put in columns. You can also press “Alt + Shift + Arrow” to highlight the text.
  • Dark mode: If you prefer working with a dark background, you can set your display to dark mode. Go to “Settings > Preferences > Enable dark mode.” You may need to close the app and restart it before viewing the new setting.
  • Multi-editing: When you enable multi-editing, you can modify text in multiple places at the same time. At the beginning, middle, and end of a file, you can simultaneously insert, delete, and edit text. Allow multi-editing, then hold “Ctrl +,” and pick all the text you want to change. It is now possible to edit all highlighted text at the same time.
  • Word count view: You can view your word count using plugins, but if you don’t have any, here’s what you can do. Go to “View > Summary” to use the built-in Summary function. In the status bar, you can also double-click on the length/lines.
  • Task automation: You can save time by recording a task and instructing the program to complete it automatically using macros. You are not required to perform repetitive tasks. The macro section is located in the navigation menu.

Notepad++ for Different Professions

Profession Applications
Software engineer Support multiple coding languages, code editing, manage large documents, store large log files
IT manager Multitask through multiple tab options, uses macros to automate repetitive work
Engineer Have useful tools for note-taking and utilizing different files at the same time
IT Support technician Fast and lightweight, flexibility when managing different files types
Finance and accounting staff Easy formatting of large files and documents, can support more than one programming language

Can I download Notepad++ on a mobile device?

No, you cannot download Notepad++ on a mobile device as it is not available for download on such devices. However, there are other mobile-friendly text editor apps you can download as an alternative. Notepad++ works best on a Windows computer where you can enjoy all of its features.

What is the difference between Notepad++ and Notepad?

Notepad++ is the upgraded and more versatile version of Notepad. It has added functions and features, such as compatibility with more programming languages, unlimited tab options, 27 official supported plugins, and a more attractive interface.

Is Notepad++ available for Mac?

Currently, Notepad++ is not available for Mac because the app relies heavily on Win32 API, which is the programming interface of Windows. Mac has other text editor options such as Brackets, Textmate, and Sublime Text.

Is Notepad++ safe to use?

Yes, Notepad is safe to use and install. It’s best to download it from its official website or Microsoft store. Programmers, software developers, and enterprises that know how to use Notepad++ believe that it is a trustworthy application.

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