back to article Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches

Version 8.0 of the popular Windows editor Notepad++ has arrived with new features including Dark Mode, a native build for ARM64, and optional new toolbar icons using the Fluent UI. Despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of Visual Studio Code, there is still a place for a fast and capable native code editor. Notepad++ is coded …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Notepad++: +++++

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      + Infinity

      Just keep adding those +s.

      My main editor for coding C#, C++ and C is MS visual studio, for anything else Notepad++.

      XML, scripts, decompiled resource DLLs in fact anything outside C#, C++ and C. It is fast at loading files great for opening data like postscript and other printer languages.

      + lots of add ins for formatting.

      Not a day goes by where I have not opened Notepad++.

      1. teknopaul

        Re: + Infinity

        I swapped to (paid) sublimetext when notepad++ played fully with a multi monitor setup.

        I am glad that that bug, and (via github) markdown is finally supported because Sublimetext just autoinstalled version 4, invalidated my license and broke my extensions.

        Hats off to Don Ho.

  2. Binraider Silver badge

    Isn't it amusing how people that do heavy text editing for anything other than DTP / Word are returning to Black screen / Coloured text. Rather than White screen and the inevitable white glare induced headaches? Anyone would think they have to look at crappy reflective glare-filled laptop monitors all day, every day...

    People used to think I was weird for using dos edit right up to WinXP in preference to other editors stuffed into corporate build. I mean, features like a row and column display - cutting edge!

    Notepad++ must have made a mark on someone in our IT organisation as someone has gone to the bother of paying to get it packaged. Definitely not arguing, it is one of my favourite windows programs. This is yet another improvement.

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      There was research done a long time ago (probably before Windows was a thing) that showed black on white (which was not the norm at that time) caused less eye strain than white (or green) on black.

      But then, eggs were bad for you, then not, doctors used to say smoking was good for the chest and pregnant women used to get Guinness on the NHS...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Mishak - Sigh! Green on black

        those were the days. There was also amber on black, I loved it.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: @Mishak - Sigh! Green on black

          never drink a Pelforth ambrée after a Guinness, they don't mix well...

          1. TheTut

            Re: @Mishak - Sigh! Green on black

            Never heard of it.

            Is it not sold over in the U.S.?

            Only wondering because is sounds like a challenge, one that I will surprise someone else with.

            Just like I surprised them with the "Cement Mixer" drink.

            Always a crowd pleaser.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the inevitable white glare induced headaches?"

      That depends only on how your monitor is set, and the environment light intensity, distribution and direction.

      Having a monitor set for photo editing - with brightness well set taking into account ambient light as well, instead of being at 250% as in most monitors, plus colour temperature at 6500K instead of 9000 and over which makes it too blue, white background is quite fine. Both natural light and artificial one are designed to come from one side, diffused, at the proper angle and with proper contrast around - something that unluckily not many places, especially offices, can deliver. I still find incredible how many working places are inundated with the wrong kind of light.

      Especially for me because my sight depends on the size of the pupil - and with a black background it means it opens more and I see worse, incrementing eye strain, not decreasing it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the inevitable white glare induced headaches?"

        Yes, 100-120 nits maximum brightness, fairly accurate white point, ambient light coming from the side, and a flicker free monitor - it's very nice. Never felt the need for dark mode myself, I still find text less tiring to read black on white.

        OTOH I understand the curved ultrawidescreen crowd using dark mode, if they are not hyper-focused on keeping their windows organized and sized to their liking.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the inevitable white glare induced headaches?"

        The one redeeming feature of the lock-downs was that I had to sit in front of my nice "bought to be easy on the eyes" Eizo monitors rather than the crappy low cost LG ones at work. I'm aware that LG make the panels for Eizo but the difference is stark.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Notepad++ is genius

    I really appreciate how it does not balk at file size, does not waste any time in opening a file of any size, and is just generally working.

    So it's not the prettiest editor. I don't care, it works. That's what counts.

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      does not balk at file size

      Yeah. I tried Atom once and found it was totally unusable for files with tens of thousands on lines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: does not balk at file size

        Atom is totally fine for multi-megabyte files so I'm not sure where you get that from.

        But then I'm not using it on Windows...

      2. Proton_badger

        Re: does not balk at file size

        Last I looked the Atom team said they’d never support macro recording. It’s a bit pretentious to call that bloated pus covered whale a programmer’s editor if it doesn’t support macro recording.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ is genius

      I view Notepad as a true text editor and not some bloated behemoth.

    3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Notepad++ is genius

      The one reason I actually use snaps on Linux is to install Notepad++. Otherwise I don't trust 'em I don't.

    4. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ is genius

      Notepad++ has a much smarter file loading mechanism than most similar applications, however this approach does have some drawbacks.

      Most applications just load the entire file into memory, parse it and then display. Notepad++ initially only loads the start of the file into memory and displays this. While this works really well for opening very large files but if one needs to search the entire file or the (entire) file needs to be parsed for formatting reasons then the entire file needs to be loaded. This is still done in a reasonably efficient manner though, but this parsing will be slower - on the other hand if it's not required, then it doesn't matter.

    5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ is genius

      I think years ago I had a reliability problem when using it to convert file encoding type of ridiculously large text data files - but using the 32 bit version may have contributed to the trouble.

    6. Cuddles

      Re: Notepad++ is genius

      "So it's not the prettiest editor."

      Have to admit I'm a bit confused by this comment in the article. There's a small menu bar at the top, and then a blank page for writing text in. What exactly could be done to make this somehow look pretty? It's a text editor, not an art installation. Anything unnecessary added on top would just get in the way. But there are various optional features that can be used if you happen to want them. It looks exactly as pretty as I would expect a blank page for writing on should look.

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++ is genius

        I think it is very pretty. Although I use Eclipse most for dev work, I still do open it for misc config files and the like.

        I love the fact that it efficiently handles very large files. Some of the files that I have to search through visually are many MB log files.

  4. Red Ted
    Thumb Up

    Worthy successor to Programmers File Editor

    I used PFE until the early 2000's and then switched to Notepad++.

    A fantastic bit of software.

  5. PJ H

    "...but bans Bing from web searches."

    But it hasn't - all he's done is remove it from the defaults[1]. It can be added back manually.

    It's hardly as if he's proactively looking to see if someone's using it and refuses.


    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: "...but bans Bing from web searches."

      Tank Man's image, plus all web content relating to such, is fully available on DDG now. I just checked. It is hard to say what originally happened and why: did some China-facing PFY in Microsoft get overzealous with the settings, rolling out China's restrictions worldwide?

      1. TheTut

        Re: "...but bans Bing from web searches."

        If a "China-facing PFY" can censor the rest of the world on bing then the issue is so very much bigger than your attempt at deflection allows for.

  6. Elledan

    Still the best Crimson Editor replacement

    I have been using Notepad++ ever since Crimson Editor stopped being developed, and do not regret it one moment. While arguably NP++ has some rough spots, it does do an amazing amount of tasks really well, with minimal CPU & RAM usage. I generally use NP++ in split-screen mode, with side-by-side editing of documents. Together with the Explorer plugin, it's pretty much my go-to for anything on Windows that needs editing or programming.

    Over the years I have drifted away from behemoths like Visual Studio (VS 2012 was a kick in the teeth) and don't get me started on monstrosities like websites pretending to be real desktop applications, like VS Code. These days I find myself comfortably switching between NP++ on Windows and a Vim session in a (remote) Linux Bash session.

    It's maybe not flashy or cool, but when you just want to get stuff done, you go for something that does the job without causing a fuss, and that's definitely what NP++ is. It's not supposed to be exciting, because it just works and has a load of plugins that make it work even better :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censorship? In an editor?

    > "When a search engine does the censorship instead of its job, the search result loses its quality and it's not reliable anymore,"

    So why is an editor now censoring the user from free choice?

    Don't get me wrong, I love Notepad++, but isn't this guy being just as bad as Bing by being a censor and removing free choice? Actually worse as Bing fixed their hiccup within a few hours.

    1. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: Censorship? In an editor?

      As mentioned above, it's just not in the defaults. Anyway, he is using HIS write of free speech; his right to see somebody pull bullshit and respond "F! you".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Censorship? In an editor?

        "he is using HIS write of free speech"

        Assuming "pun intended", well played sir, considering the topic :-)

  8. Charles Calthrop

    the text editor for granddads

    going to get downvoted into oblivion, but I really hate notepad ++. The UI is just awful, I find the plugins fiddly, and I don't like the find in files.

    I find sublime and visual studio much smoother experiences.

    1. Fogcat

      Re: the text editor for granddads

      I won't down vote you, because hey, personal preference; but I use Visual Studio and Notepad++

      Visual Studio for the IDE, code hinting etc. Notepad++ for log files (some very big), XML and everything else (with a few plugins added). NP++ is fast, has a "classic" interface and does it's job very well.

      Also NP++ is free Sublime isn't. When I trialled Sublime (a while ago I admit) it seemed more about "style" than usefulness.

      1. Mishak Silver badge

        Re: the text editor for granddads

        A pity it's Windows only. I use Sublime because it runs on all the platforms I use, giving a consistent user interface that isn't Eclipse based.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: the text editor for granddads

          So what's vi - the text editor for the undead ?

          1. Dr_N

            Re: the text editor for granddads

            vi is the field engineer's weapon of choice.

            Who knows what obscure editor you'll end up with on other's systems, but vi will always be there for you.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: the text editor for granddads

              An elegant weapon, for a more... civilized age.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: the text editor for granddads

              vi will not be there for you on a Windows box. Then again, perhaps you won't be there either.

            3. Someone Else Silver badge

              Re: the text editor for granddads

              [...] but vi will always be there for you.

              ...providing that steel-reinforced brick wall to beat your head against regardless of what system it's on....

          2. damiandixon

            Re: the text editor for granddads

            So I'm a zombie....

            I use vi because it's the first editor I used on Unix and it's easy to do some fancy search and replace stuff with. I can easily navigate around the command line and open files... works when I'm using remote SSH. But it's not for everyone as the learning curve is high.

            I use notepad++ to quickly load huge files and simple text as well as unicode conversions.

            I also use VisualStudio on windows as an ide.

            I also use CLion and qtcreator.

            I pick what's easy to use for the job at hand.

        2. Boothy

          Re: the text editor for granddads

          You can run Notepad++ on Linux if you don't mind using snaps.

          For example Ubuntu has snaps on by default, and Notepad++ can be installed from the Ubuntu 'Software Center'.

        3. Swarthy

          Re: the text editor for granddads

          NP++ plays very well with Wine, but I agree, I wish it ran native cross-platform.

    2. Trollslayer
      Thumb Down

      Re: the text editor for granddads

      Different tools exist for different reasons.

      I use Notepad++, Visual studio Code for different tasks.

  9. IamAProton
    Thumb Up

    PSpad and Notepadqq

    I use Notepad++ daily but I keep handy PSPad too. Similar but with some different features, for example better 'file compare', ascii table, good regex search etc.

    For Linux I'm using NotepadQQ.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So far so good, but the new icon look terrible and completely out of place with the rest of it.

  11. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    The best software out there is not pretty, but it is intuitive and functional, and certainly doesn't change its look every time a new manager who wants their piss-stench over everything, you know the types, new, wants to mark territory, etc. we’ve all met these pricks at least once in our lives

    Nobody gives a toss about UI tweaking, it just means I am forced to relearn something I already knew

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VS Code and Notepad++ is a good combination.

    Never knew Notepad++ had web searches - I see it's there in the context menu but never paid attention to it... maybe this is guerrilla marketing of the feature.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >Never knew Notepad++ had web searches

      All software expands until it can read email

  13. John Savard

    I Use It

    My regular text editor is the old Programmer's File Editor, as it still works, it's simple, and I'm used to it.

    But when I need Column Mode, a fancy feature it doesn't have, I use Notepad++.

    I do not use most of its features, as my text editing needs are modest.

  14. Dave559


    Fuck me, but those are some seriously ugly (and less distinguishable from each other, surely defeating the whole point?) icons. Is there nothing that the plague of "flat design" won't infect?

  15. Unicornpiss

    A favorite feature.. the ability to dynamically refresh open files, which is very handy for viewing certain log files.

  16. LisaJK

    Best text editor so far

    I use Notepad++ for all text file editing / viewing that is not part of a software project.

    I wouldn't use it for comparing files or source code editing though.

    For source code, I prefer Source Insight, but usually end up using Visual Studio for C# and other MS software projects and Pycharm for Python.

    For file comparison, Beyond Compare has been my favourite for almost 2 decades and is still in my view the best.

    FWIW I hate the confusing MS ribbon and similarly confusing Flat UI style. Unfortunately I have to do everything on MS platforms on most contracts.

    1. Steve Aubrey

      Re: Best text editor so far

      Thumbs up for Beyond Compare. Started using it multi-years ago as an internal software distribution tool.

  17. prinox

    Granddads use z/OS

    Occasionally using Notepad++, but nothing beats the ISPF editor (or SuperC to do compares), happy with the overhead of IPL'ing z/OS, and the WSA makes the process seamless.

    1. John R. Macdonald

      Re: Granddads use z/OS

      "... but nothing beats the ISPF editor ..."

      Xedit on VM/CMS gives ISPF a good run for its money. TBH I like both.

  18. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I haven't yet moved beyond Metapad. Everything else just seems too cluttered.

    The only thing I'm missing with Metapad is hex display/edit of binary files.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like