back to article Veteran editors Notepad++ and Geany hit milestone versions

One of the best FOSS text editors for Windows, Notepad++, is turning 20, while cross platform Geany just hit version 2.0 as it turns 18 years old. Notepad++'s version 8.6 is the twentieth anniversary release of one of the go-to FOSS text editors for Windows. Yes, Notepad is always there, and it even gets occasional updates, …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Notepad++ FTW

    Restarting where you left off works too well, I must have about 100 untitled tabs with notes open and I never get round to organising and saving them...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ FTW

      Absolutely agree. I've been using it for over a decade now. No other editor handles large text files as quickly, and the program-language support is a godsend.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++ FTW

        > No other editor handles large text files as quickly

        Much as I like Notepad++, I have to disagree with that. And I will now come across as a total fanboi for *my* fave editor :-)

        As a test, I just dropped a 1.9GB[1] file into CodeWright[2] and then into NotePad++.

        CodeWright: no time to react, was just displaying the file, I had not time to start counting. Go to end of file: tap tap tap, counted up to three (as it gave a mini-dialogue box and progress bar explaining that it would be a moment) and ta-da; after that first pass, skipping top to bottom is as fast as I type Home-Home-Home then End-End-End.

        Notepad++: on first load, had time to watch the swirly thing for a count of nine (sort of seconds); no progress info. After that, Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End are just as fast (as it is all in RAM these days, of course; CodeWright was working that well when the entire hard drive wasn't 1.9GB in size!).

        [1] Yes, it *is* a binary file - a YT video about "Improv Everywhere" - but I'm not interested in an editor that can't hack binary!

        [2] Yes, CodeWright! Maybe these days it doesn't get as many new features as NotePad++, does but since 1992 I've sort of built up muscle memory for the keystrokes; if anyone has a CW32 keymap (the mapping that uses Alt-L for line select etc) for NP++ I'd love to know of it: maybe I could swap over: NP++ *did* open a 4.7GB file (count of 21) which CW32 politely refuses...

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Notepad++ FTW

          >mapping

          If you only have a few, you could DIY.

          Eg,I used the macro+keybinding to put in a bizarrely missing functionality: swapping 2 characters. Ctrl-T on Emacs, IIRC. Not perfect: it uses/wipes the clipboard (can anyone identify a less-destructive method?), but it does the job.

        2. Sgt_Oddball
          Coat

          Re: Notepad++ FTW

          Real devs do it in Vim....

          Mine the big great coat. I'll see myself out.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Notepad++ FTW

            I use vim (and gvim) myself, and I'm tickled to see that even some of our recent hires prefer it as well. I wouldn't recommend it, though. It's very idiosyncratic, and if I hadn't started using vi on UNIX systems back in the mid-1980s I wouldn't be using vim now.

            My religion is letting developers use what they want. There are murmurings around these parts of forcing all developers to use the same IDE, which I think is blindingly idiotic. (Apparently the code phrase for this is "developer experience", by which management presumably mean "we don't give a shit about how experienced our developers are; they should all be fungible clones".)

        3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: Notepad++ FTW

          I'm going to go ahead and guess that the reason CW32 could open a 1.9GB file and not a 4.7GB one, is that "32" part of the filename, and that it's using a 32-bit integer as a file index for the cursor; either signed (in which case the largest file it would handle is 2GB), or unsigned (4GB). The NP++ you are using is probably a 64-bit build, and if that uses a 64-bit integer to index a file, it would be fine for up 9 (or 18) exabytes. That's still 4,500 times the size of the world's largest dataset, from the LHC, and I think you'd probably not want to open that in a text editor.

      2. Fred Daggy Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Notepad++ FTW

        I love it.

        But I would love an MSI/MSIX file, just so we can easily push with the various MDM solutions. I'd have it on the whole estate if I could.

      3. chololennon

        Re: Notepad++ FTW

        > No other editor handles large text files as quickly

        Ultraedit handles large files as quick as Notepad++ (in order to do that you have to turn off the option "use temporary file for editing" )

        1. PRR Silver badge

          Re: Notepad++ FTW

          > Ultraedit handles large files

          Quite true; and I have used nothing else since maybe 1997. Certainly Win3.1, though the oldest key-code I find is UltraEdit-32.

          Long ago they kinda ran out of "New features!" which made sense to my tiny use-cases. I upgraded a few times (I have a perpetual) but some versions added stray bugs

          Ian retired and sold-off to another software house a couple years back. I've stopped suggesting it except for very corner cases: scrolling gigantic files, elaborate scripting, integration with their other tools (I did use U-Compare once, academic cheating.)

          That Perpetual License turned out to be a bargain! $40 in 2005, more colors (why?), a 64-bit update(why?), one support incident (resolved by me RTFM-ing a moment before their staff got back to me). It's open ALL the time on my main machine.

    2. Captain Scarlet
      Coat

      Re: Notepad++ FTW

      Why do I have a feeling you were at some point a Lotus Notes User (Since I'm the same and I did the same in Notes for leaving emails open between sessions).

      If not apologises for calling you a possible Notes user like me!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++ FTW

        Yes, I have been at some point used by Lotus Notes. We'll see each other in the support group.

    3. JessicaRabbit

      Re: Notepad++ FTW

      Likewise although I recently discovered you can right-click a tab and choose "Rename" to give the tab a name without having to save it which is really helpful for when you want a bunch of tabs open and you want to be able to find a specific one without having to commit to actually saving them explicitly (notepad++ is obv. saving them somewhere).

  2. Contrex

    A funny thing I have Geany, SciTe, Notepad++ installed on all my Windows and Linux machines, and guess what I use, and prefer? Kate. I don't know why.

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Kate. I don't know why.

      I use aXe, because, er, habit.

      Every couple of years I try geany again, but at some point forget, or get annoyed about something, and drop back temporarily. Or, rather, "temporarily". Ah well.

  3. John H Woods Silver badge

    EMACS or death

    N/T

    1. BenDwire Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: EMACS or death

      Surely you meant to type Vi ?

      /s

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: EMACS or death

        ITYM "the text editor that's built into systemd".

        Before you explode in rage, note icon :)

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        Surely you meant to type iVi<Esc>?

    2. Philip Storry

      Re: EMACS or death

      A strange choice, but as a Vim user all I can say is... have you considered living and using vim? ;-)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        As an nvi users, yes. Very briefly.

    3. Knightlie
      WTF?

      Re: EMACS or death

      I tried, I really, really tried during my switch over to Linux. But no matter how hard I try, using it always ends with me yelling WHAT THE FUCK.

      Currently trying Neovim, with similar results.

    4. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: EMACS or death

      [Author here]

      > EMACS or death

      + inevitable "have you tried Vi?" responses...

      This is my position:

      https://www.theregister.com/2021/12/17/tilde_text_editor/

      I think the main reason people still use Vim, Vi, Elvis, Emacs and the whole VILE, EVIL, SLIMEy flock is Stockholm Syndrome.

      There is a standard UI for editing apps and has been since the late 1980s, and it is called IBM CUA. Conform or die in a fire. *No* possible editing power or functionality is possibly worth making me learn a new UI in the 3rd decade of the 21st century.

      I learned dozens of them in the 1980s, including Vi, and you know what? They are all irredeemably awful. No exceptions.

      Wordstar: awful.

      WordPerfect: awful.

      Vi: awful. Worse than awful.

      Emacs: worse than Vi.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        Emacs has a CUA mode.

        You aren't going to sway me with CUA, I'm an old Smalltalk user from back in the day when the mice buttons were red, yellow and blue,and we were already using Ctrl-Z,X,C and V. These made their way into the Apple HIG (IIRC) and the IBM CUA didn't adopt them till later (Ctrl-C was <BREAK> for IBMers).

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: EMACS or death

          > IBM CUA didn't adopt them till later

          Rather, IBM gave up on CUA and didn't tell anyone.

          CUA: Cut is SHIFT-DEL, Copy is CTRL-INS, Paste is SHIFT-INS

          Windows does [1] honour CUA keystrokes (just tried those three in this here browser edit box) , but if you are using CTRL-X, CTRL-C and/or CTRL-V then you aint usng CUA.

          Liam may well be using CUA, but I'd venture that is a dying art (says the person who admitted to using CodeWright and its decidely non-CUA, non-Windows-common-usage keystrokes: Copy is GREY-+ (on the numeric keypad) and always will be!

          [1] although not necessarily all programs under Windows!

          1. dharmOS

            Re: EMACS or death

            > CUA: Cut is SHIFT-DEL, Copy is CTRL-INS, Paste is SHIFT-INS

            This is what I used in OS/2 v2 and 3. I wondered where it came from (now I know, IBM's CUA). It also worked inside the embedded Win/OS/2 3.0/3.1 in addition to the Ctrl-C,-X,-V.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        "*No* possible editing power or functionality is possibly worth making me learn a new UI in the 3rd decade of the 21st century."

        Well said.

        Hence vi. That was what was the available editor when I started using Unix.* IME one of the best things about it are ex mode commands for making bulk changes. The notation has passed into common use here with expressions such as s/emacs/vi/g

        I've just taken a quick look at your preferred tilde and rebounded promptly: grey on medium blue. These old eyes prefer the contrast of black on white with white on black as an acceptable alternative. I do take your point about CUA. It's been built into many GUI interfaces, at least to some degree, for a long time except those which seem insistent into drifting off into realms unknown.

        * Not strictly true, the first Unix box was supplied without a few things including vi & C shell but had the Rand editor which I've never seen since. First day in a new job where it was vi rather than Rand was a slight panic,managed by vague memories of ex commands and an after-work dash to Dillons. The hastily bought book on vi is still in my bookshelves.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: EMACS or death

          +1

          Also, vi is the dog's nuts for editing existing files fast & fafflessly. Need to change the next 3 list items? c3t, , <type>, ESC, "Next!", /...

          1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: EMACS or death

            Augh.

            I got the "insert mode" bug with "aedit" on Intel systems. That was at least an improvement on CREDIT, the CRT editor, which did "insert mode" by clearing the screen from the cursor onwards, you type stuff, then after pressing ESC the remaining text gets repainted. I suppose it made sense with a 300baud terminal, running on an 8080.

            Used aedit on the PC, then Brief. Then found PFE and UltraEdit, and realised I didn't need any more keyboard shortcuts in my memory buffer,

            Talking about VT editors, anybody seen WordStar on a serial terminal? Amazingly functional!. Keyboard input is absolutely prioritised, so that it keeps up with a touch-typist at 1200baud, but it uses any pauses in typing to move the cursor around and update the surrounding text - on the current line as the first priority, then the page below the current line when possible. Amazing piece of real-time design.!

            1. PRR Silver badge

              Re: EMACS or death

              > anybody seen WordStar on a serial terminal? Amazingly functional!

              Yes. On an Intel-built 8086 machine. Might carry a whole office of typists. Don't remember 1200 or 9600.

              And while the WS commands are arcane, a muscle-memory WordStar user can be VERY fast.

              There is also vi on a 300, even 110, baud acoustic link. vi knows about this and drops from 24 lines to like 6 lines. Stunts like this is why termcap used to be very important: optimize all the cursor movements. Which also gave a place to define your cherished keystrokes in a section say "VT100-PRR". Keystroking is such a personal thing, I don't know how we let the GUI absorb and hide it.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        I'll vote for "CUA can go to hell", thanks.

        While (as I mentioned in another thread) I wouldn't recommend the vi family to anyone, I certainly don't believe CUA or the like is a good in itself. And I've done software usability research, so I'll need some argument more persuasive than someone's hurt feelings to be convinced otherwise.

      4. The Central Scrutinizer

        Re: EMACS or death

        It's funny, you know. I picked up Emacs 5 or 6 years ago as an exercise in Linux geekiness. I found it incredibly frustrating. I binned it after 3 weeks of getting precisely nowhere. Then I tried Atom. What a mess. Slow to read/write and apart from the "pretty" interface, I hated it.

        I went back to Emacs and made a concerted effort. And I got to the point where I could actually use it and started to appreciate how powerful it is. Now I use it pretty much every day and am extremely productive with it. I never use the mouse with it, so I'm not futzing around in menu bars, etc. and I can get a lot done very quickly.

        At this point, I can't really see myself ever changing to another editor.

    5. l8gravely

      Re: EMACS or death

      I love emacs key bindings for basic editing tasks, and even reading emails using vm (viewmail). But hacking it... in elisp? No way... not going to happen, ever. Unfortunately.

      I keep wishing I could use other tools with the emacs editing keystrokes. It's what my fingers are programmed for. Do I use vi/vim for quick edits? Sure! But then I find myself doing :wq! in emacs, or C-xs in vim and it all goes to hell in a handbasket for a second or two of confusion. LOL!

      Of course you have to swap capslock and ctrl to make this all work well. I usually do it at the keyboard or BIOS level if I can, just do I don't have to do it inside the OS for each and every one I use.

      Now get off my lawn, punk!

    6. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: EMACS or death

      It's a tough choice... I'm still undecided about which one of those two options is more user friendly...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why can't it be both?

      My response has always been use the editor you want, but at least be familliar with vi (or vim these days) because, being the standard editor, it will always be available on a *nix system.

      Of course, that's too reasonable for this discussion.

      1. Denarius

        Re: Why can't it be both?

        Not only but also. On severely space restricted systems I used ed (I know, I know, showing my age) to edit large critical log files down to usable sizes. Couldnt log rotate due to manglement rulez from a long ago age and pre-outsourcery times when routine maintenance was the norm, as well as insufficient space at time of "fix"

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Why can't it be both?

          I think I'd be inclined to make the assumption that a rule forbidding log rotation was an obvious typing error in one mandating it and carry on from there.

    8. DrBobK
      Headmaster

      Re: EMACS or death

      KED or EDT from PDP-11 days. I can't remember if EDT was available for the RT-11 OS, which was what I mainly used a long time ago. Then I got a Sun and it was EMACS from then on.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        SOS on Dec-10!

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: EMACS or death

        Ah, editor nostalgia. How about TPU on VMS? Or the IBM mini and mainframe editor family that includes ISPF, XEDIT, and OS/400's SEU...

        Surprised I haven't seen anyone mention TECO yet. (Never used it myself, but it came up frequently on alt.folklore.computers back in the day.)

    9. LionelB Silver badge

      Re: EMACS or death

      As the old saying goes: Emacs would be an okay OS if only it had a decent text editor.

  4. BenDwire Silver badge
    Linux

    Notepad++ Linux alternative

    I always used Notepad++ back in the day when I ran Windows 7, but since moving to Linux I never really got on with it running under Wine (well, Crossover actually). It's probably a look and feel thing, as it otherwise functions perfectly well.

    I ended up switching to the native "Notepadqq" as it integrates better into my desktop environment, and does most of what Notepad++ does and everything that I need it to do. YMMV of course.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

      I found notepadqq far too subfunctional. It's a Potemkin notepad++: same pictures/graphics, but missing core (basic) functionality.

      Notepad++ in Wine is ~identical to native Win, though.

      Diffs: irritating extra corona of fuzz-shading surrounding the Find box, closing Find doesn't auto-restore focus to main window, sometimes re-open only restores Unsaved tabs, sometimes Recent Files list doesn't record newly opened files. These are minor irritations for me, though, relative to core functionality; YMMV.

      Platform: Linux Mint 21.2 (which is NOT "ready for the desktop!"!), Wine...6 IIRC. Wine is yet another tool going backwards as coders disappear up their own fundament -- I have seen many people say 5 is the most useful version. Perhaps try upgrading wine by reducing version #?

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

        >Platform

        Oh, and I'm using the 32bit version, just copied over from my XP box. Which might make a difference.

        So on First-Run, prefix "wine blah" with, IIRC, "WineArch=32bit WineReference=~/.wine-32bit wine blah" ; then all subsequent runs, drop the WineArch. This creates a 32bit copy of the core Win libraries in a directory "next to" the default 64bit ones in ~/.wine, and WineReference tells wine which to use. ~500mb extra diskspace.

        If you add this as an entry in MintMenu rather than sticking a symlink on your desktop, you'll discover to your delight that making ANY changes to MintMenu's default config leads to it locking your machine every 5-10mins as it crashes, then seizes focus for a dialog asking if you want to restart it, which you can inadvertently cancel every time it does so mid-typing and just feeds the buffered text stream into the dialog. See "not ready for desktop", above.

      2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

        "Wine is yet another tool going backwards"

        Are they to blame? Where Windows leads, Wine must follow. I have in mind a font bug that cropped up in Vista(*), the workaround suggested by customer support was running the software under Wine, where it worked perfectly. Several years later the same bug showed up under Wine. Argh. It seems the Wine people did their emulation job too well. In my opinion Windows peaked with version 7, accordingly a couple of years after that Wine was really good. Several programs that worked well for me on Wine back then don't even run today.

        (*) A blank space where a character should be, only one character in the font, but it was a show-stopper. I recently saw a very similar font bug on github marked fixed, but being an idiot I didn't bookmark it....

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

          > I have seen many people say 5 is the most useful version. (eg, runs games & apps which later versions can't)

          > Perhaps try upgrading wine by reducing version #?

    2. Denarius

      Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

      Odd. Since Dos 5 days I used the Berkley unix tools for DOS and its successors. Ran unix commands on DOS, Windows 3.1 and up, when forced to use second rate OS. At Ork, used the UWIN kit to get a useful environment on HPUX, AIX, Solaris,Windows, same tools, especially editor. Still drafting documents in vi, but use GUI word processors to bring text down to manglement level.

    3. LionelB Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

      As an ex Notepad++ user you'd probably get along fine with Geany; comparable functionality and, as the article mentions, uses the same edit widget (Scintilla) so it'll feel familiar. Also very lightweight, responsive, and loads quickly (I frequently use it over ssh).

  5. FIA Silver badge

    I know paying for software isn't fashionable these days, but EditPlus was well worth the shareware fee I paid for it many many years ago.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      What you said, but it was UltraEdit in my case

  6. TaabuTheCat

    I love Notepad++

    Notepad++ is one of the most *useful* tools I've worked with over the years. Powerful, fast editing (column mode FTW!), great search and replace, plug-in support, continuous save, remembering everything you had open the last time you closed it, and on and on. One of the first apps I install on a new machine, and I would gladly pay for it if it wasn't free. Congrats on turning 20!

    1. PB90210 Bronze badge

      Re: I love Notepad++

      Same here.

      Add in support for DOS, Linux and Mac line endings and ANSI, UTF and other codings that helps when project managers sent 'plain text' files that MS Notepad doesn't load correctly

      Got majorly annoyed when IT support started supplying updates without the 'compare' plug-in as it meant either comparing files side-by-side by eye or having to load another program to check differences (at least they actually allowed NP++, but it was generally a couple of versions behind as they seem to only update 'optional' programs after a major bug/security issue)

  7. chololennon
    Linux

    I like Notepad++

    I am a linux guy, but from time to time I work, as a developer, on Windows. I used to love Notepad++ (I also used Ultraedit) when years ago I worked on Windows. It was very useful to analyze tons of telecommunication logs. Having returned to work on Windows in recent months, I installed my beloved KDE Kate. Result? I don't miss Notepad++, but it is already installed, just in case ;-)

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: I like Notepad++

      On the slight chance you're not already aware:

      CygWin is brilliant too for bringing all your shell tools across. ("WHICH boxes are being hit?" fgrep "MalwareControlIP" *.log | cut -f1 | sort | uniq -- bingo)

      (Newer versions are going backwards like most software: you now have to _manually_ select for inclusion many of the core tools, like diff, cmp, etc)

  8. rheya

    Notepad++ Linux alternative

    There are very few text editors that can beat the simplicity of Mousepad or Featherpad, however given the very basic functions of these it is perhaps surprising that both use in the region of 38MiB RAM. I find Geany useful for simple programming and larger text files (eg the hosts file) where it consumes creditably few resources. However the meanest and leanest text editors that remain relativly easy to use have to be Less and particularly E3 (the creation of Albrecht Kleine, I believe written entirely in web assembly) which despite bundling five (albeit simplified) editors in one package is still only less than 20kB in size, in use its footprint is truely minimal.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

      Thirty years ago I wrote a 200 pages thesis using LaTeX on an Ataris MegaST 4 with (as the name suggests) 4MB of RAM. LaTeX required a small proportion of the 40MB HD. A full Texlive installation for Windows is now 6.5GB ...

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Notepad++ Linux alternative

      "in the region of 38MiB RAM"

      Thanks for the heads up. I was using Featherpad precisely for simplicity, but just checked on my low-memory netbook and it uses an obscene amount of memory (both real and virtual), 50% more than Geany (both real and virtual).

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "good, modern, graphical text editors"

    Good - essential

    Graphical - depends on environment

    Modern - mey

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Indeed. For the past few years I've been using gvim rather than vim when I work on Windows, but really only because vim's default syntax coloring is much easier for me to read in gvim windows than in my bash windows, and I can't be bothered to change the colors. I don't use any of the other GUI aspects of gvim; I have the menus hidden, I don't use the mouse, etc.

      And "modern" is not good in itself. Does "modern" even mean anything in this context, other than "what Liam likes"? Not that there's anything wrong about writing an article about what you like — so long as you don't assume it's an objective attribute.

  10. aerogems Silver badge

    With the death of WordPad

    It'd be great if Notepad++ or one of the others added some basic RTF capabilities similar to Apple's TextEdit. Nothing too elaborate, mostly the basics like bold, italic, underline, lists, and font sizes. You know, the full extent to which 90% of people use apps like MS Word.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: With the death of WordPad

      RTF isn't a plaintext file format. Just use ReST or Markdown and pipe the result through a syntax highlighter, Sphinx or Pandoc.

      1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

        Re: With the death of WordPad

        I may be missing the meaning of "plain text" in your post, but I recall RTF being very similar to LaTeX and very much a plain text format. I've not touched either RTF or LaTeX for years, but started my career writing tools that processed SGML into both formats.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: With the death of WordPad

          Well, it's a markup format that only uses ASCII printable characters. "Plain text" is ambiguous. But yes, it's similar to LaTeX in that it's a sequence of human-readable glyphs with special characters (backslash in the case of both RTF and LaTeX) introducing special commands.

          Markdown is easier to read in source form, but there's nothing stopping someone from using a text editor to write in any of these formats. Or, say, HTML.

          Of course many people would rather the editor handle at least some of the markup and display it in a "friendlier" fashion. I generally use a text editor for writing Markdown and HTML, and sometimes LaTeX, but for larger LaTeX documents I typically use LyX.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: With the death of WordPad

      How about this plug-in for Notepad++?

    3. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: With the death of WordPad

      Sad to see WordPad go, I've used it a lot, starting with Windows 95 continuing right up to this year, even when I had Word available. For a long time WordPad emitted _much_ cleaner RTF than Word, but since Windows 10 I find them equally crufty. Anyway LibreOffice handles RTF fine, so I won't be needing Word even when WordPad is finally gone.

      @plaintext debaters - RTF is a markup language rather than plaintext, of course. You can edit it in a text editor, but that's better for *removing* unneeded RTF cruft than for adding needed RTF markup. What I have done is write scripts that emit RTF. The big advantage of RTF over HTML is -- RTF has page breaks. But I think EPUB format can work around this if I make one HTML file per page, though I haven't tried it yet. The advantage of RTF over better tools like nroff, TeX, et cetera is -- RTF works on Windows out of the box even when Word is not installed. Or did work. As I said, sad.

      1. PB90210 Bronze badge

        Re: With the death of WordPad

        WordPad was handy for taking a text file, adding things like colour to highlight the important bits then saving in RTF format to create a quick'n'dirty guide or similar

  11. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Options for MacOS

    I generally use TextMate on MacOS as it supports an awful lot of text file formats and comes with some pretty useful commands, including copying highlighted code as RTF for KeyNote. It does struggle with very large files and won't reclaim memory. Other people prefer BBEdit, though this doesn't know ReST which I use for documentation, but it's nice to have a choice.

    Notepad++ is self-contained and can be run from a stick which is always useful.

    I generally use Nano on unix as I can usually remember the keybindings I need or find them quickly. Neither vi nor Emacs are suitable for the casual user.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: Options for MacOS

      Having no need for ReST, I continue, happily, to use BBEdit pretty much daily.

  12. rheya

    See above

    For web assembly read NASN assembler, god forbid anything tainted by web assembly!

  13. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
    Windows

    Hey bro, take it slow

    I'm not going to accuse Notepad++ of being particularly fast. Paste 250 lines of text and multi-edit / multi-cursor / multi-line-edit / whatever-you-call-it and see it struggle. Slow as mud.

    On the upside there's macros. Those are a life saver after Visual Studio dropped macro support because apparently nobody was using it. How does the rest of the world edit code? Don't tell me they do it the tedious way of editing line-by-line. Eeeek!

    1. Cornishman

      Re: Hey bro, take it slow

      I used to use macros for repeating lots of the same edits, but then started using sublime which had multi-cursor support. So suddenly rather than writing a macro you jjust select all of the places where you want to make changes and type it once. No longer need macros. If Notepad++ can now do this then it'll definately save some time.

      I stopped using Notepad++ as it can't run build tools to syntax check your code (or didn't when I last looked).

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Hey bro, take it slow

      Have you seen modern programs? I don't think anyone is editing, just slapping libraries together.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Hey bro, take it slow

        Perhaps you meant "asking an LLM to slap libraries together"?

        (Of course all my work is artisanal hand-wrought code, lovingly crafted in an editor and polished to a high sheen. Because I'm better than other people.)

  14. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    This article intrigued me enough to look at installing Notepad++ on my Linux Mint desktop machine. First Google result for "Notepad++ Linux Mint" is "Notepad++ is the powerful, versatile text editor encoded with rich features. It can be installed on Linux Mint 21 by snap packet manager."

    Fuck that for a game of soldiers. I'll stick to xed.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      As I mentioned earlier, have a play with Notepadqq. It's very similar, and may be good enough, depending on your needs. No snap reqired.

    2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Copypaste a (tiny) Win version and run it via Wine.

      See my tech.notes above, incl.a twiddle for using the XP version: https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2023/12/06/veteran_editors_notepad_and_geany/#c_4771973

  15. PRR Silver badge
    Headmaster

    > "...VSCode ... scoffs RAM like it's going out of fashion. "

    Yo-- in Philly we say "scarfs RAM", and scoff at guys who talk different.

    Is your RAM ridiculously inadequate?

    "If you scoff at something, you speak about it in a way that shows you think it is ridiculous or inadequate.

    "At first I scoffed at the notion.

    "Synonyms: scorn, mock, laugh at, ridicule More Synonyms of scoff

    "Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers "

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Also has an English (British?) colloquial meaning:

      https://www.wordnik.com/words/scoff :

      >from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

      intransitive verb To eat (food) quickly and greedily.

      intransitive verb To eat greedily.

      intransitive verb To show or express derision or scorn.

      intransitive verb To say in a derisive manner.

      from The Century Dictionary.

      noun Food; “grub.”

      Cf. Billy Bunter.

      (Icon courtesy of Greyfriars School)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
      Coat

      "Yo-- in Philly we say "scarfs RAM", and scoff at guys who talk different."

      Regular English supports multiple meanings for words and doesn't resort to such tactics. That leaves me wondering how many words you have to disambiguate "set".

      Mine's the one with both volumes of the SHorte Oxfrod Dictionary in the pockets.

  16. Mostly Irrelevant

    It's not fair to claim Notepad++ is 1/20thr the size of Viscose because it's very usable without plugins and VsCode is basically unusable without hundreds of megabytes of plugins making the disparity much worse.

  17. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Anything but edlin...

    Even CP/M's ed.com was preferable.

    MKS vi was a saviour. I think Mortice Kern Systems could still be around.

  18. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Multi-select? We had that in StrongEd 30 years ago.

  19. dharmOS

    Win ARM64 port

    Thank you for mentioning the Notepad++ ARM64 port for Windows, for the few of us using Win11 ARM64. No complaints here about the speed in app, in spite of using the slowest CPU made by Qualcomm for Windows.

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