I’ve been using Notepad++ since high-school. I’ve been using it so much that I don’t even install Adobe Dreamweaver with my Creative Suite installs anymore. I know there are free IDEs like Aptana Studio and Eclipse, but if you want a barebones text editor that you can customize how you want, Notepad++ is the ideal solution (at least for Windows). I recently discovered some custom plugins that just blew my mind how much time I was wasting. Plugins that make me way more productive. These can all be found on the Notepad++ Plugins page.
After watching some PHP tutorials, I noticed that the presenter had a lot of custom functions/macros for tedious work. Things like creating a barebones HTML page with the <html><head></head> etc. written for you so you don’t have to do it all from scratch everytime. After looking around for a similar function for Notepad++, I found WebEdit (I couldn’t get QuickText to work at all). It allows you to make your own commands in a INI file so that you can use shortcuts in your code. For example. I have “a” (after pressing alt-enter) to write out <a href=”#”>|</a>. You can even use the pipe character to tell it where the caret will be after writing. This is something that everyone should use if you’re a web developer using Notepad++.
Here is my current tags that I use with WebEdit:
This one is really simple, it adds a folder/file view to Notepad++ so you can create/rename/delete/etc all your files and folders directly from within Notepad++. Can’t live without it.
3. HTML Tag
- Need to find a matching tag? Just press Ctrl-T
- Select all content within a tag? Ctrl-Shift-T
- Encode characters to entities? Highlight and Ctrl-E
- Encode your JS to one line? Highlight and Ctrl-J
Honorable Mention: Zen Coding
I don’t use this myself, but you can write HTML incredibly quickly by abbreviating code to a simple format. For example, if you write div#page>div.logo+ul#navigation>li*5>a
It will write out:
<div id="page"> <div class="logo"></div> <ul id="navigation"> <li><a href=""></a></li> <li><a href=""></a></li> <li><a href=""></a></li> <li><a href=""></a></li> <li><a href=""></a></li> </ul> </div>
Once you get a hang of the syntax, you can really speed HTML writing up significantly.
Honorable Mention: Solarized
Solarized isn’t a plugin, it’s a visual theme. It’s designed to increase legibility, and reduce eye strain. Perfect from programmers who code all day or work at night. You can find the Notepad++ version GitHub.
Again all these plugins can be found on the Notepad++ Plugins page on SourceForge.
If you have any other plugins that are worth using, leave me a comment and I’ll check them out.