13 Best Notepad++ Plugins For Fast Development

Notepad ++ is a code/text editor that is popular among web developers, although free, this software is very powerful, because it’s feature that possible to make a lot of customization so that it can suit to our needs and habits.

One of the most interesting things is it’s plugins, as we can extend Notepad++ functionality, so today we’ll discuss about Notepad ++ Plugins that you might not know.

Don’t miss this one: Notepad++ Tips & Features You Might Not Know

How to Install Notepad++ Plugin

Before we go any further we need to talk about how to install notepad++ plugin

Notepad ++ provides tool named “Plugin Manager” that can help us to manage plugins especially for install and uninstall purpose, this tools can be accessed through the menu: Plugins > Plugin Manager> Show Plugin Manager.

By default, the plugins shown in the Plugin Manager are the stable version, means that it compatible and can run well without any problems.

Nevertheless, plugin manager can also display the unstable version, to do so, click the Settings tab and then check the “Show unstable plugins” option, click OK to apply the changes.

How To Install Notepad++ Plugin

There are several plugins that though unstable, still can be used normally, for example: the window manager plugin, which we will discuss later.

The Best Notepad++ Plugins

There are many available plugins, but, of course, we’ll not use all of these, so here’s some selected plugins that I think enough for daily use.

1. Code Alignment

While defining a variable, certainly we’ll use the equal sign, if the length of a variable name is varied and the number of variables is much -across multiple lines-, then for sure the equal sign will be mess.

To overcome these, use the Code Alignment plugin, as shown in the following figure.

Notepad++ Plugin - Code Alignment

Not only the equal sign, we are free to choose a sign that we will use for alignment, i.e. the arrow sign on the array.

Interestingly, it also provides a menu that allows us to define our own shortcut to run certain commands, including the commands executed by the plugin.

This menu can be accessed through Run > Modify Shortcut/Delete Command …

Notepad++ Setting Align By

The figure above shows that we can do “Align by..” by pressing Ctrl+Shift+=, we can adjust the shortcut to our need, for example: I’ll assign “Align by equals” with Ctrl+Shift+A, as it can be done with only one hand (left hand).

2. Explorer

This plugin will display a small window on the left side which lists the files and folders on your computer.

This will make it easier for us when finding and opening files, interestingly, this plugin can display the folder location of the file that is currently being opened, simply click on “Current Folder File” as shown below.

Notepad++ Plugins - Explorer

3. NppFTP

This Plugin will display the FTP Management window, through this window, we can manage the files and folders that are stored in the FTP server (file hosting) easily, either create, edit, or delete files.

Interestingly when we edit the file downloaded from the FTP Server then save it, it will automatically upload the file back to the server.

Notepad++ Plugin - FTP

In addition, we can also download and upload various files (not just text files) just like any other FTP software like FileZilla FTP Client.

If you want to know how to connect the notepad ++ with FTP Server, you  can follow this tutorialConnecting Notepad++ To Server Via FTP

4. Autosave

This plugin is useful for us who often forget to save the file that is being edited, as it will automatically save the file at a certain period, you can adjust many options through Plugins > Autosave > Options.

Notepad++ Plugin - AutoSave

Maybe from now on we DO NOT need this plugin anymore because Notepad ++ will keep (make a backup) all files that are open.

So when there are unsaved files and the Notepad++ are accidentally closed,  then it will reopen our files according to the last condition.

5. Compare

When we develop/modify existing code, sometimes we like to compare it to the old one, using this plugin, it can be done easily because it will automatically group both, then give some sign (color) in the rows that have different content (changed content).

Notepad++ Plugin - Compare

6. Npp Export

This Notepad ++ plugin come in handy to export or copy our code into HTML or RTF format, the styles (color) are exactly same as the color of the code that we use in Notepad++.

This is usually useful when we wanted to copypaste the code to Word Processing like Microsoft Word or create a demo script without including a syntax highlighter plugin.

Notepad++ Plugin - Export

7. Multi Clipboard

This plugin will display a window on the left side containing history of the text that we have copied, it will make easy for us to choose the text which we want to paste. 

This is useful when we compile a bunch of code or text from many sources and do a copy-paste for several times.

Notepad++ Plugin - Multi Clipboard

8. Window Manager

By default, when we open a file, Notepad++ will arrange it into tab positioned underneath the toolbar, if the opened tab exceeds the area, then Notepad++ will hide the rest and display a left-right arrow.

Surely it will make more difficult searching the tab, as an alternative, there is a plugin that will display the opened file in a separate window, so it will be easier finding the opened files.

Notepad++ Plugin - Window Manager

If you don’t find this plugin in the Plugin Manager, try to check the “Show Unstable Plugins” option in the settings menu as we have discussed earlier.

9. Emmet

Formerly known as the Zen Coding, this plugin is useful to speed up the process of HTML and CSS coding, for example, simply write div>(header>ul>li*2>a)+footer>p then it will convert to:

<div>
    <header>
        <ul>
            <li><a href=""></a></li>
            <li><a href=""></a></li>
        </ul>
    </header>
    <footer>
        <p></p>
    </footer>
</div>

Learn further at: http://docs.emmet.io/abbreviations/syntax/

Notepad++ Plugin - Emmet

10. HTML Preview

This plugin allows us to display a preview of the HTML code that being edited. On the options menu, we can choose the engine that will be used: IE7, IE8 or IE9.

Note that this plugin is only able to display the HTML code as is (what displayed in the editor), can not load external files such as CSS, js, images, etc.

Notepad++ Plugin HTML Preview

12. JSTools

This plugin is useful when we work with javascript, this plugin has main features:

  • JSMin: Shrink the size of the javascript file, but it only removes whitespaces, comments, and enters, so the size is still large compared to javascript compressor,
  • JSON Viewer that will open a new window on the left side and displays the selected JSON text into a tree form
  • JS Format used to tidy up a javascript code such as removing unnecessary white space and rearrange JSON code.

Notepad++ Plugin JsTools

12. Finger Text

If you often write a same block of code many times, then consider using this plugin, because it will save your time a lot.

To use this plugin, first we define a “Trigger Text” and a triggered code that will be generated when the “Trigger Text” is executed, e.g.: we make the word “html as the trigger text and the following HTML code as the triggered text:

<html>
	<head>
		<title></title>
		<style></style>
	</head>
	<body>
	</body>
</html>

So when we type html and press the Tab key, then the “htmltext will be changed to the HTML code above.

This plugin is same as the Quick Text Plugin, but unfortunately Quick Text Plugin not compatible with the latest Notepad++

Notepad++ Plugin - Finger Text

13. Customize Toolbar

The icon menus located underneath the toolbar are useful for speeding up access to particular important menus, however by default Notepad++ doesn’t provide a menu to manage it.

This plugin comes in handy to break this limitation, it allows us to customize the menus, such as shift, eliminate, or add the existing icon menu.

Notepad++ Plugin - Customize Menu

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