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Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

Shaun M Jooste

Published

Coding programs and games can be challenging, especially for beginners. Not only do you have to work out where to place specific pieces of code, but highlighting syntaxes in different formats is also helpful. It’s better if you have a program like NotePad++ that makes it easier and more efficient for you as a developer.

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While the open-source code and text editor is free and supplies several functions, it does have limitations. There are plenty of alternatives to NotePad++ that may suit the industry you’re working in better. Let’s take a look at them and what sets them apart.

Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

What is NotePad++?

NotePad++ is a C++ code editor available in an open-source environment. You won’t have to pay to use it, which is why you’ll only find limited functionality available. Still, it’s served its purpose for more than 20 years, with amateurs and experts alike using it.

It has a plain text editor design with code-editing capabilities. When you insert new codes, NotePad++ will highlight syntax for various formats, such as JavaScript, PHP, J, CSS, and HTML. If you try it out and you notice it’s missing some advanced features you need, it’s time to look for an alternative.

Top alternatives to NotePad++

The list below contains a combination of free and paid alternatives to NotePad++. We leave it to your discretion which one will work best for you. If you end up with a paid program, we suggest you try a demo or trial first to ensure it gives you the functionality you need for your project.

UltraEdit

One of the top advantages of UltraEdit over NotePad++ is that it has a massive library of programming languages. It can also handle huge files without issue, which means you can easily code 4GB documents. The find and replace tool helps you quickly make changes to your code when there’s a large change request.

UltraEdit also lets you work in plain text when you’re not using any of the programming languages. You’ll find it easy to deal with macros or scripting, which is helpful when creating mods for games. Some other features include the auto-completion of codes, theme editing, advanced sorting of files, and the ability to encrypt and decrypt files.

UltraEdit DOWNLOAD
Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

Atom

Atom looks at coding from a different perspective than NotePad++. It’s a desktop application you can use to alter or create your own text editor. It mostly uses C++ as the basis, but it also works on Windows with Node.JS integration, JavaScript, and HTML. Due to its ability to configure text editing tools, many consider it a hackable program.

Another ability that sets it as one of the top alternatives to NotePad++ is that you can change interfaces and themes on Windows with it. You’ll need extensive knowledge and skills to deal with debugging issues, though.  

Atom DOWNLOAD
Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

Visual Studio Code

When it comes to popular names in the programming world, Visual Studio Code is certainly near the top of the list. I’ve actually spent extensive months working with codes on the text editor when coding for games I prepared for Unreal Engine 4. Its predictive text is outstanding, and the interface is exceptional for beginners and professionals alike.

One of the top features that makes it the ideal alternative to NotePad++ is that you can switch tabs and editors with ease. You can work on various functions simultaneously without having to open a secondary or tertiary program in the background. The dark theme and different colors for codes make it appealing to the eye, which is great when working on codes for several hours.

Visual Studio Code DOWNLOAD
Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

Sublime Text

While Sublime Text allows for sophisticated programming, the user interface has a minimalistic design so you don’t become lost or overwhelmed in your code. As with Visual Studio Code, you can open different tabs to work on separate documents simultaneously

You’ll almost have every programming language at your disposal, adding the likes of Python, PHP,  and SQL as alternatives to what NotePad++ offers. When it comes to syntax highlighting, it’s one of the most advanced forms we’ve seen from the others on this list. Overall, every function is designed to make your coding life easier.

Sublime Text DOWNLOAD
Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

Brackets

While not as complex or sophisticated as Sublime Text or Visual Studio Code, Brackets still stands as a viable alternative to NotePad++. It works on your browser so that you don’t need to install massive files or programs. You’ll mostly find front-end developers or website designers using it.

What makes it stand out is that Brackets merges several visual tools and cues to quickly help you during coding. It has a clean interface that makes it easy to find functions when you’re in a hurry. Since you’re working on a browser, you can quickly see a live preview of your work.

Brackets DOWNLOAD
Best 5 alternatives to NotePad++

What are the disadvantages of Notepad++?

Why would you be looking for an alternative to NotePad++? Well, there are some disadvantages, some of which we’ve already listed. One of the most significant ones is that it only caters to Windows platforms, so it’s not multi-platform like the others.

If you’re a beginner at coding, there are not many aids to show you your errors. That means you’ll spend a lot of time more time debugging than you need to. It also made the programming look confusing at first. Visual Studio Code stands out in our minds as the best alternative for the advanced user interface.

Finally, NotePad++ looks outdated when compared to many of the listed alternatives. Sadly, there’s no way to integrate it with the plain text NotePad you’ll find as a default app on Windows devices, which would have been a nice touch. 

Possibly the end of an era

With more than 20 years of existence, NotePad++ is losing face to the more advanced code editors available today. Sure, it’s still useful and many beginners may enjoy what it has to offer. It’s certainly handy if alternatives like Visual Studio Code look intimidating. However, we can’t recommend it over any of the options we’ve listed above.

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