Once I moved away from the Enterprise Software world into the Design Services industry, I had a bit of an editor problem. I used to use VS.NET 2005, and now I just don’t need that raw brute force power.

So instead I moved to Notepad++, which I had known about from Scott Hanselman’s 2007 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows

Ever since I’ve started using it, I’ve picked up some pretty awesome tricks that nobody ever happened to enlighten me about. So here they are along with a few I already knew about, but are awesome enough to mention again.

  1. Use as your default Text Viewer for everything

    Here’s some links for doing it in Notepad2 which you can just do the same thing with Notepad++.
    http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/rohancragg/archive/2004/05/21/14127.aspx
    http://weblogs.asp.net/pleloup/archive/2004/05/12/130566.aspx

  2. Setting up your HTML with HTML Tidy

    I’m sure cleaning up your HTML is what its supposed to be used for, but I just like that it will take an almost blank document, and generate the few necessary tags I need for me to start an HTML document.

  3. Unwrap Text

    This is very useful for condensing CSS into 1 line. So now I’ve been developing my css multi-line, then when I’m done with it, I’ll run this command and then I can move on with a small css file.

  4. Align by clipboard character.

    Copy the colon character(“:”) to the clipboard (Ctrl+C), then…

    This also works with the bracket characters (“{“) which will line all start of the rules properties.

  5. Superfast Macro Support

    Its amazing how much faster this feature is that in Visual Studio. Its essentially unusuable in Visual Studio now that I realize what the performance of Macro’s really should be.

  6. Horizontal Block Select

    If you hold down the Alt key while doing a selection, you can select a block horizontally. This feature exists in Visual Studio as well and I was used to using it, so its great that its also in Notepad++.

The only small thing I dislike about Notepad++ is that it injects a weird character when I hold down the Shift Key and hit the backspace character. I used to hold down the shift key all the time as I type lots of special characters, and I don’t want to have to let go of that sucker just to backspace.

Other then that, its wonderful, I swear.

I would greatly appreciate other tips, just leave a small comment and I’ll go check it out.

7 comments

7 Responses to “6 Web Developer Notepad++ Tips”

  1. backspace Says:

    found this article trying to find a fix for the BS character(ASCII for backspace). It confuses me because it shows up regardless of you having the ‘show all characters’ option selected. It also isn’t listed in any of the shortcuts….
    thanks for the article though, I had no idea about the alt + select, that is going to be a life saver!

  2. Arnold D'Souza Says:

    “Shift + Backspace” works for me just as desired. Different version, maybe?

  3. Kris Gray Says:

    Yea Arnold, I just tried it in my local Notepad++ and it seems to be working, so chock that one up to the Notepad++ team! WTG guys.

  4. Vijay Says:

    Very useful tips. Thanks for the share.

  5. Kris Gray Says:

    You bet!

    It looks like its time for another list, Notepad++ is changing and my list looks a little out of date.

  6. Spencer Says:

    So the thigns I’ve discovered recently are:
    1. ^D to duplicate the current line
    2. ^L to cut the current line into the clipboard
    3. Zen Coding plugin!
    4. HTML tag completion (TextFX > TextFX Settings)

    Now I just need a meta combination to transpose two letters because I’m always buggering words up.

  7. Kris Gray Says:

    Thanks Spencer!

    Now that I’m in a compiled environment and using Eclipse I just don’t have the opportunities to find these things anymore.

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