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Text editor and source code editor for Windows
Developer(s)Don Ho
Initial release24 November 2003; 17 years ago (2003-11-24)
Stable release7.9.1[1] (November 2, 2020; 36 days ago (2020-11-02)) [±]
Written inC++
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
PlatformIA-32, x86-64
Size3.86 MB
Available in90 languages
TypeSource code editor

Notepad++ is a text and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window. The project's name comes from the Cincrement operator.

Notepad++ is distributed as free software. At first the project was hosted on, from where it has been downloaded over 28 million times,[2][3] and twice won the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developer Tool.[4] The project was hosted on TuxFamily [fr] from 2010 to 2015; since 2015 Notepad++ has been hosted on GitHub.[5] Notepad++ uses the Scintilla editor component.


Notepad++ was developed by Don Ho in September 2003.[6] The developer used JEXT (a Java-based text editor) at his company but, dissatisfied with its poor performance, he began to develop a text editor written in C++ with Scintilla.[6] He developed it in his spare time since the idea was rejected by his company.[6] Notepad++ was built as a Microsoft Windows application; the author considered, but rejected, the idea of using wxWidgets to port it to the Mac OS X and Unix platforms.[6]

Notepad++ was first released on SourceForge on 25 November 2003, as a Windows-only application. It is based on the Scintilla editor component, and is written in C++ with only Win32API calls using only the STL to increase performance and reduce program size.[7][8]

In January 2010 the US government obliged US-based open source project hosts to deny access from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria to comply with U.S. law.[9] 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. Some community services of Notepad++ (Such as the forums and bug tracker) remained on Sourceforge until 2015 when Notepad++ left Sourceforge completely.[10][11][12]

In 2011 Lifehacker described Notepad++ as "The Best Programming Text Editor for Windows", stating that "if you prefer a simple, lightweight, and extensible programming plain-text editor, our first choice is the free, open-source Notepad++".[13] Lifehacker criticized its user interface, stating that "It is, in fact, fairly ugly. Luckily you can do a lot to customize its looks, and what it lacks in polish, it makes up for in functionality".[13]

In 2014 Lifehacker readers voted Notepad++ as the "Most Popular Text Editor", with 40% of the 16,294 respondents specifying it as their most-loved editor.[14] The Lifehacker team summarized the program as being "fast, flexible, feature-packed, and completely free".[14]

In 2015 Stack Overflow conducted a worldwide Developer Survey, and Notepad++ was voted as the most used text editor worldwide with 34.7% of the 26,086 respondents claiming to use it daily.[15] Stack Overflow noted that "The more things change, the more likely it is those things are written in JavaScript with NotePad++ on a Windows machine".[15] The 2016 survey had Notepad++ at 35.6%.[16]

In 2015, in response to the staff hijacking of projects hosted on SourceForge, Notepad++ left SourceForge completely with the forums being moved to NodeBB and the bug tracker to GitHub.[12][17]


Notepad++ is a source code editor. It features syntax highlighting, code folding and limited autocompletion for programming, scripting, and markup languages, but not intelligent code completion or syntax checking. As such, it may properly highlight code written in a supported schema, but whether the syntax is internally sound or compilable, cannot be verified.[15][18][19][7] As of version 7.6.3, Notepad++ can highlight the elements of 78 syntaxes:

The language list also displays two special-case items for ordinary plain text: "Normal text" (default) or "MS-DOS Style", which tries to emulate DOS-era text editors.

Notepad++ has features for consuming and creating cross-platform plain text files. It recognizes three newline representations (CR, CR+LF and LF) and can convert between them on the fly. In addition, it supports reinterpreting plain text files in various character encodings and can convert them to ASCII, UTF-8 or UCS-2. As such, it can fix plain text that seem gibberish only because their character encoding is not properly detected.

Notepad++ also has features that improve plain text editing experience in general, such as:


Notepad++ has support for macros and plugins,[22] and has been marked for its robust plugin architecture which enabled various new features to be integrated into the program.[23] Currently, over 140 compatible plugins are developed for Notepad++, 10 of which are included by default in the program.[24] The first plugin to be included in the program was "TextFX", which includes W3C validation for HTML and CSS, text sorting, character case alteration and quote handling.[25]


Notepad++ supports internationalization through XML files in an application-specific format containing all internationalized strings (dialog captions, menu titles and items, etc.) in a certain language; this file can be reloaded from the application settings. Translations to new languages can thus be written by simply editing an existing file.

Political messaging[edit]

In March 2008, the "Boycott Beijing 2008" banner was placed on Notepad++'s homepage.[26] A few months later most users in China were unable to reach the website from 26 June to 24 July 2008. This led to the widespread belief that China had banned in retaliation for the Boycott banner.[27][28][29]

In January 2015, the Notepad++ website was hacked by activists from the Fallaga Team who objected to an Easter egg endorsing Je suis Charlie.[30] The Fallaga Team has been linked to ISIL and is also believed to be responsible for the 2017 hacking of websites of the British National Health Service.[31]

In October 2019, Notepad++ released a version codenamed "Free Uyghur" (v7.8.1). In the release notice, the author expressed concern that hundreds of thousands of Uighurs are believed to have been "subjected to political indoctrination, and sometimes even torture" in the Xinjiang Re-education Camp. He called for "additional pressure on the Chinese government to stop their oppressive actions and crimes concerning the Uyghur people".[32] The software's dedicated site came under a distributed-denial-of-service attack and its GitHub issue page bombarded with nationalistic rhetoric, though it later recovered after being moved behind Cloudflare's anti-DDoS service.[33][34]

In July 2020, Notepad++ released a version codenamed "Stand with Hong Kong" (v7.8.9). In the release notice, the author expressed his concern on the Chinese government implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong.[35] In retaliation, Chinese browsers developed by Tencent (QQ Browser and WeChat’s built-in browser), Alibaba (UC Browser), 360 and Sogou started blocking official site's "Download" page, but not other pages.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"Notepad++ v7.9.1 release". Notepad++. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  2. ^" Project Statistics for Notepad++". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  3. ^"Top Downloads - For all time, updated daily". SourceForge. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  4. ^"SourceForge's 4th Annual Community Choice Awards". SourceForge. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  5. ^"Notepad++ on GitHub". Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  6. ^ abcdOrin, Andy (18 June 2015). "Behind The App: The Story Of Notepad++". Lifehacker Australia.
  7. ^ ab"Notepad++ Features". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  8. ^Gael, Arianna (24 June 2015). "Notepad++ Is Changing Code And Changing The World". Filehippo.
  9. ^"Clarifying's denial of site access for certain persons in accordance with US law". Slashdot Media. 25 January 2010.
  10. ^"Notepad++ hosted on new website". Notepad++. 6 June 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  11. ^"Notepad++ 5.7 released on French servers". Notepad++. 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  12. ^ ab"Notepad++ leaves SourceForge". Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  13. ^ abPash, Adam (6 July 2011). "The Best Programming Text Editor for Windows". Lifehacker.
  14. ^ abHenry, Alan (24 April 2014). "Most Popular Text Editor: Notepad++". Lifehacker.
  15. ^ abc"Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2015".
  16. ^"Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2016 Results". 18 March 2016. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. ^"Notepad++ Community". Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  18. ^"User Defined Language Files". Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  19. ^DeCarlo, Matthew (26 May 2009). "Download of the Week: Notepad++". TechSpot. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  20. ^"Notepad++ Multi-editing".
  21. ^Fox, Geoff (7 July 2008). "Notepad++ Does It Again Again". AppScout. Ziff Davis Media. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  22. ^Smith, Tim (21 September 2009). "Notepad++ 5.5". Computeractive. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  23. ^Mombrea, Matthew (15 November 2013). "Tools we love: Notepad++". ITWorld Magazine.
  24. ^"Notepad++".
  25. ^"TextFX's_Future". SourceForge.
  26. ^"About Notepad++". Archived from the original on 26 March 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  27. ^SourceForge Blocked In China. Moonlight Blog. 26 June 2008.
  28. ^SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. 24 July 2008.
  29. ^" was blocked in China".
  30. ^Kovacs, Eduard (15 January 2015). "Notepad++ Site Hacked in Response to "Je suis Charlie" Edition". SecurityWeek.
  31. ^Sengupta, Kim (7 February 2017). "Isis-linked hackers attack NHS websites to show gruesome Syrian civil war images". The Independent. London. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  32. ^Ho, Don. "News - Notepad++ v7.8.1 : Free Uyghur". Notepad++. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  33. ^"Notepad++ on Twitter". Twitter. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  34. ^Cimpanu, Catalin (30 October 2019). "Chinese users attack Notepad++ app after 'Free Uyghur' release". ZDNet. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  35. ^"Notepad++ v7.8.9 : Stand with Hong Kong". 16 July 2020. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  36. ^"Text editor Notepad++ banned in China after 'Stand With Hong Kong' update". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Notepad++.

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