Notepad has consistently been that small app that comes packed with Windows through every version released in the operating system’s history. While Notepad can be a useful tool, you’d think that Microsoft would have updated it or added at least a few optional features over the years similar to how they updated Calculator. Unfortunately, they haven’t… and as a result several third party developers have popped up offering “Notepad alternatives.” Notepad++ is one of my favorites that’s packed full of powerful tools and features.
Notepad++ brings in a whole new set of features that allows you to do a myriad of new things with just a simple notepad. It’s light on system resources and loads instantaneously so you won’t notice a performance difference between it and the normal Windows notepad. My personal favorite use for it is editing code or perhaps the hex-editor add-on, but there are far more things to be done with it. Let’s take a deeper look.
How To Set Up Notepad++ As A Replacement For Notepad While Keeping Notepad As A Backup
1. Visit the notepadd++ sourceforge page and download the binary executable files.
2. Once it’s finished downloading Run the install file. The setup process is really simple and you can leave all of the settings at the default if you like, just Click Next a few times until it’s done.
Now Notepad++ is installed and ready to use! It was pretty simple! You might notice that Notepad++ automatically added an option to the context menu when you Right-Click files that can be opened using it. This is pretty groovy but if you want to make it so it they’ll automatically open using Notepad++ keep reading!
Setting Up The Notepad++ File Type Associations
3. Click the Windows Start Menu Orb and Type in default programs. Press Enter.
4. Click the option Associate a file type or protocol with a program
5. Click Current Default to change the way the list is organized, and then scroll down until you see the Notepad under that category. At this point it is up to you, you can manually change all of the file types that are associated with the notepad or just change the .txt association. There are quite a few of them here and the process is the same for all of them so I’ll just cover changing how .txt is handled. Select the file type .txt and Click Change program…
6. In the next window Click Browse at the bottom right.
7. Browse to where you just installed notepad++. The default location should be C:Program Files (x86)Notepad++, if you are on 32-bit then lose the (x86). Select notepad++.exe and Click Open.
There we go! Now all .txt files will automatically open in Notepad++! If you repeat the above process you can completely replace all the file associations so Notepad will never open again unless you specifically tell it to. Have a groovy time using Notepad++!