In this post I’ll describe some of the basic Notepad++ plugins which I consider to be “must haves”. Most builds of the Notepad++ editor, which you can download today even from the official website, include quite a number of useful plugins. Yet many new users are unaware of these plugins and do not know how to enable them or what they are useful for. So this is an important topic that needs to be discussed.
Selection and activation of plugins
All plugins are stored here (just in case you don’t know where):
You may browse the list of available plugins within the editor itself. To do this, in the top menu go to “Plugins” > “Plugin Manager” > “Show Plugin Manager”, as shown in the picture:
There is a list of plugins for Notepad++ here. To activate or to install any of the plugins, you need to select them (mark checkboxes), and click the “Install” button. After the installation process is over, you can begin to use the plugins.
The tabs at the top of the plugin activation menu (in the red frame) represent:
Available for installation/ Update is required/ Already installed
The list of plugins and their description
Now let’s review the plugins for Notepad++
Auto save – this plugin helps to automatically save your open document. It has settings of its own that allow the user, for example, to save a text after the application lost focus.
Compare – functions the same as the WinMerge plugin. It helps to compare your files. The differences between files are highlighted in color.
Document Monitor – checks your document for changes that might have been made by another application.
Explorer – adds a file browser to the notepad. There is another plugin for this purpose called LightExplorer.
Emmet – this plugin is designed for speeding up the HTML and CSS coding process.
Falling bricks – adds the good old Tetris game. I liked it, and people of my era (the Dendy era) will also appreciate it, I think.
File switcher – this plugin allows the user to switch between multiple files. It may be helpful if you keep, for example, 30 files open in Notepad++ at the moment.
Gtag search – search using tags.
HEX-editor – this is the HEX editor that is integrated directly into the notepad. It adds a shortcut icon. I think it would be useful for specialists, but I haven’t used it.
HTML tag – adds hot keys that help process HTML documents. These keys, for example, allow you to copy the contents between the tags with just a press of a button.
Language help – this one is designed for running special help files (CHM, HLP, PDF), and for looking up words in them.
MathPad – makes it possible for you to make many calculations directly inside the document.
MIME Tools – this is a small and useful plugin that adds a base64 code / decode functionality. Printed quotable…
MultiClipboard – this plugin helps you access your clipboard history. It is convenient when you copy and paste the same text many times. For example, we copied and pasted a text, then copied something else, and after that we were able go back to what was copied the previous time. MultiClipboard accomplishes this quickly and easily.
NativeLang – a plugin that is used to translate the plugin or the menu to another language. It is basically a translator of the navigation menu.
NppAutoIndent – a smart automatic indentation tool for the languages of C/ C++, PHP, Java and others.
NppCrypt – enables encryption/encoding of the file to prevent unauthorized users from modifying it.
NppExec – adds the ability to run the command line with a parameter. This one is for professionals.
NppExport – allows you to export a file to rtf, html.
NppFTP – this is an FTP-oriented plugin.
NppNetNote – enables several people to edit the same file simultaneously! You can arrange a real chat.
Plugin Manager – a manager of plugins. With it you can download/ delete plugins very conveniently.
Plugin Update – the plugin that updates other plugins and automatically checks for the latest version. A very useful thing.
Regex Helper – this is one of the most useful plugins for professionals who are involved in web development. It allows the user to test a regular expression.
Run Me – this is much the same as NppExec. It has settings too.
ScrollPastEOF – enables infinite scrolling of the file.
Select N Launch – a plugin for saving the selected part of the file into a new file with a desired extension.
SnippetPlus – this is a more advanced version of Snippets, i.e. it offers more functions.
SourceCookifier – creates a kind of preview with a tree-like structure.
Speech – this is a text-to-speech plugin, it reads the selected text with voice.
Spell-Checker – checks words, this functions like the Word Spell Checker. But to use it you first need to install Aspell.
WebEdit – this is used for quick tag insertion. It adds tag buttons.
XBrackets Lite – this plugin automatically adds closing brackets.
Zen Coding — this is a Python plugin that supports Python Zen Coding. It is for professionals.
Xml Tools – a plugin for working with Xml files.
TextFX – allows you to perform various text transformations and operations.