Notepad Plus Plus

Normally I would save something like this for a Tumblr post since it doesn’t offer much beyond a simple link and a quick comment but I’m a little strapped for topics. To be fair, that isn’t entirely true, but I’m still mulling over how to address a specific topic that has been bothering me for a while but I have to be particularly careful with my tone and word choice so right now I’m going with the “best to say nothing” approach. In the grand scheme of things, it may not be that big of a deal, but there’s no sense in wasting the opportunity to stand on this lovely soapbox from time to time after I’ve spent nearly 500 posts (494 to be exact) building it up. We’ll see if anything comes of it. Anyway, back to what I was talking about.

In my line of work, I use the handy program Notepad often. It’s quick, it doesn’t carry formatting from one source to another and it’s simple. When you’re looking at lines of HTML and Google API queries all day, simple is a blessing. But sometimes I need a step above simple. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Notepad++.

To put it simply, it’s one better than notepad (all those programmers out there already know about ++, –, += and the like). I suppose the name of the program already declares the target audience, and it shows in the execution.

There are lots of features of this program that I will gloss over or simply ignore, in part because I haven’t found a reason to use them and also because I probably don’t even know what they do. So I will just describe my primary use for it and let you get on with your day.

As mentioned, I deal with HTML a lot. Copying and pasting code in production environments can be scary, and quite frankly is kinda dangerous. Typically I will copy existing, about to be edited code over to notepad, make my edits, re-paste the updated code and hope I didn’t break the Internet. Editing HTML in regular notepad is a bit monochromastic (because that is a word). I’m speaking mostly to the lack of distinction between HTML tags and special characters. It’s a minor complaint, but when you are searching for or debugging something specific, colorful text in your HTML editors helps a lot.

Notepad (Above). Notepad++ (Below). The difference is magical.

You can check out Notepad++ (it’s free!) here. This thing does way more than deal with CSS or HTML, but even if that’s all you dabble in, it might be worth a download. Chances are none of you will ever want (or need to) use something like this. But, if you do, say thank you.

One final note: to those that explode fistbumps – I salute you.

Thoughts?

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