Monday, October 1, 2007

Notepad++

I just found a new favorite text editor: Notepad++.

I've been doing quite a bit of JavaScript coding lately, and the desire for a good code editor quickly becomes apparent.

The two main features I was looking for were capable syntax highlighting and code folding. (While other languages such as Java and C++ are commonly supported, many other editors seem to lack good support for JavaScript.)

Notepad++ does both of these nicely, does them by default, and does them well. Additionally, it is free and open source, with a GNU GPL license.

Other useful features included are:

  • Search and replace using Regular Expressions.
  • "Find in Files". Handy for searching for a string or pattern across multiple files and directories.
  • Block-select mode / rectangular block selection. Select and manipulate columns of characters, without selecting the entire row(s).
  • Bracket matching, auto indentation, and compiler integration.

Notepad++ even has somewhat stated support for Linux, through the use of Wine: details here and/or here.

Read more from Wikipedia: Notepad++ and Comparison of text editors.

My 2nd choice would be SciTE. While it has native support for both Win32 and X11 for Linux, the default options aren't the most favorable, and most preferences have to be set through a config file only, since the GUI options are a bit limited. (Read more on Wikipedia: SciTE.)

Both Notepad++ and SciTE seem far better than two other editors I had been using: TextPad (Wikipedia) and EditPlus (Wikipedia). Neither are free nor open source. Neither support code folding. EditPlus supports basic syntax highlighting by default, as does TextPad, but only after adding a syntax definition file.

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