Soup Up The Notepad++ Text Editor With Plugins From The Notepad Plus Repository [windows]

notepad plus pluginsNotepad++ is a worthy replacement for Windows’ in-built and much loved text editor, and comes highly recommended if you’re a programmer, web designer or simply someone who finds themselves in need of a powerful plain text editor.

Not only is Notepad++ free under the GPL licence but it is also possible to extend its functionality with plugins. Today I’ll be taking a look at the Notepad++ plugins repository which contains a few extra bells and whistles to take your text editor to the next level.

Notepad++ & Plugins

Notepad++ has already seen a few mentions here at MakeUseOf and has earned its place on our Best Of Windows Software list. We’ve also previously included it in our Windows text editor roundup, used it to find and replace words in multiple files and shown you how to switch out your default HTML source editor in favour of Notepad++. If you’ve not yet got it, head on over to the project homepage and download for free.

notepad plus plugins

Luckily there is a healthy collection of third-party plugins, some of which have made their way into the latest Notepad++ release after proving their worth. The program has its very own plugin manager (which is ironically a plugin itself) from which to janitor your add-ons and updates.

Choosing the right plugins depends entirely on what you use Notepad++ for, and there are a good number to trawl through. Installing plugins used to involve downloading archives and extracting to the ‘plugins’ directory, and while you can still do this it’s much easier to choose Plugins from the main taskbar then Plugin Manager to bring up the repository.

notepad plus plus plugins

Once the list has refreshed you will be presented with an array of available downloads. For a better idea of what each plugin does simply click and read the description. Installing the add-ons is easy – check the box next to the plugin and click Install. Multiple plugins can be installed this way which is great because Notepad++ requires a restart before they show up.

If you do want to use the traditional download-and-extract method you’ll need to find the plugins first. Luckily there are a good number located at the npp-plugins SourceForge project page.

Recommended Plugins

Once again there’s no one-size-fits-all here, and each of you will find your own preferred plugins based on primary usage. Saying that, the following plugins do have somewhat of a broad appeal:

Explorer – A simple file explorer that sits on the left-hand side of your screen. Double click and files will open, just like that.

notepad plus plus plugins

Compare – A surprisingly useful plugin for comparing two files, side-by-side.

AutoSave – Always forgetting to save on time? Let AutoSave save for you! Can be configured to use a timer or when Notepad++ loses focus/is minimized.

notepad plus plus plugins

Location Navigate – Quickly jump backwards and forwards to parts of the document that you have modified, rather than trawling through all the stuff in between.

Lorem Ipsum – One for the web designers, a simple Lorem Ipsum script for instant Latin copy text.

plugins for notepad++

MultiClipboard – Provides access to the last 10 copied items. Ctrl+V pastes the last copied text whereas Ctrl+Shift+V lets you choose from a list of 10 memorised copies.

XBrackets Lite – Forgetting just one bracket can ruin your whole afternoon – never again with XBrackets Lite!

Falling Bricks – Who said plugins have to be useful? Here’s a very simple Tetris clone to distract you when the time is right.

plugins for notepad++

Using The Plugins

Once you’ve selected the plugins you’ll want, hit Install and let them download. You will be notified that a restart is required, agree and Notepad++ will appear once again with your bounty of add-ons enabled.

notepad plus plugins

To use the plugins, visit the Plugins menu in the main taskbar and select from there. Some will have multiple functions and options and others will be very basic “enable or disable” affairs. To remove plugins (or check for updates) launch the Plugin Manager again, choose the Installed tab, select a plugin and click Remove.


Hopefully you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in this excellent plugins respository. It’s a fantastic way of turbo-charging Notepad++ to be even more useful, and the right add-ons can really help tailor the application to your needs.

If you have any personal favourites, plugins you can’t live without or if you prefer a different text editor entirely then let us know in the comments below this article.

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