Text Editors – Notepad2

As developers we frequently need to delve into a text file. Be it an XML file, looking at some HTML, or a quick look into a CS or VB file to grab a routine to paste into our current app. It always makes me wonder when I run across a programmer who settles for the less than mediocre notepad that comes with Windows.

A handy tool I found via Scott Hanselman’s site (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/) is Notepad2 (http://www.flos-freeware.ch/notepad2.html) is a freeware text editor. It has most of your standard text editing capabilities, with a few great features for developers. First and foremost is syntax highlighting. Here’s an example of an XML file loaded in Notepad2:

[Picture of Notepad2.]

Here’s another example with a C# app loaded:

[Notepad2 with CSharp loaded.]

Using the zoom buttons (the + and – in the toolbar) you can zoom the font easily, great for doing presentations.

[Notepad2 with big text.]

It also supports an alternate color scheme, for those who like the high contrast look:

[Notepad2 alernate color scheme.]

Notepad2 is highly customizable:

[Notepad2 Configuration screen.]

If you decide you really like Notepad2, you may wish to add it to your Right Click menu. Steve Clarke has a registry change you can make to add it, see his blog at http://steve.wedevelop.net/archives/000252.html.

Like the SysInternals tools, Noteapd2 requires no installation. I keep this tool along with the SysInternals tools on my USB thumb drive, to make it easy for me to edit files on computers. If you are still stuck with notepad, I high recommend you try out this FREE alternative!

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