Developer(s)Don Ho
Initial release24 November 2003; 20 years ago (2003-11-24)
Stable release
8.6 Edit this on Wikidata / 23 November 2023; 36 days ago (23 November 2023)
Written inC++
Operating systemWindows
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, AArch64
Available in90 languages
List of languages
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Aragonese, Aranese, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Brazilian portuguese, Breton, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Extremaduran, Persian, Finnish, French, Friulian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kabyle, Kannada, Kazakh, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Ligurian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Mongolian, Norwegian, Nynorsk, Occitan, Piglatin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samogitian, Sardinian, Serbian, Serbian Cyrillic, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Spanish Argentinian, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik Cyrillic, Tamil, Tatar, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Uzbek Cyrillic, Venetian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Zulu
TypeSource code editor
License2021: GPL-3.0-or-later
2003: GPL-2.0-or-later

Notepad++ is a free and open-source 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 product's name comes from the C postfix increment operator; it is sometimes referred to as npp or NPP.

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


Notepad++ was developed by Don Ho in September 2003. Ho first 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. He developed it in his spare time since the idea was rejected by his company. 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.

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 Win32 API calls using only the STL to increase performance and reduce program size.

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. 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.

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++". 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".

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. The Lifehacker team summarized the program as being "fast, flexible, feature-packed, and completely free".

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. 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". The 2016 survey had Notepad++ at 35.6%.

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.


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. 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, and has been remarked for its robust plugin architecture which enabled various new features to be integrated into the program. Currently, over 140 compatible plugins are developed for Notepad++, 10 of which are included by default in the program. 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.


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

In March 2008, the "Boycott Beijing 2008" banner was placed on Notepad++'s homepage. 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.

In January 2015, the Notepad++ website was hacked by activists from the Fallaga Team who objected to an Easter egg endorsing Je suis Charlie. 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.

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 Uyghurs 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". 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.

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. In retaliation, Mainland Chinese browsers developed by Tencent (QQ Browser and WeChat’s built-in browser), Alibaba (UC Browser), 360 and Sogou started blocking the official site's "Download" page, but not other pages.

In early and mid-February 2022, Notepad++ released a version codenamed "Boycott Beijing 2022" (v8.3) and (v8.3.1). In the release notice, the author expressed his concern on human rights in China, especially for Uyghurs and Hongkongers. He suggest his audience "not watch or pay attention to the games".

In late February 2022, Notepad++ released a version codenamed "Declare variables, not war" (v8.3.2). In the release notice, the author condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for support of Ukraine. In March 2022, Notepad++ released a version codenamed "Make Apps, not war" (v8.3.3). The author continued to express his views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-01-02 14:24 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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