Open Source Notepad++ Alternatives

Notepad, which is built to every computer running Windows, is a useful tool for jotting down quick, well, notes or ideas that can be easily saved, accessed, and shared. That said, it is a very basic program with little in the way of formatting options. In fact, until Windows 10, it didn't even support one of the most basic formatting options in the form of Word Wrap. Luckily, Notepad++ addresses the need for a more robust yet accessible text tool.

Notepad++ can be considered a sort of jack of all trades. With this comes a sort of added complexity. Simpler programs can be found in Notepad and its alternatives, though you would be giving up features that Notepad++ offers: features like autocompletion, support for multiple languages, and a variety of formatting options.

As Notepad++ is a Windows exclusive app, it may be necessary to use alternatives available on macOS and Linux.

If you're looking for a text editor more focused on having a featureset comparable to an integrated development environment, software like Small Geany iconGeany and its alternatives might be more your speed.

The list of alternatives was last updated: 7/16/2020 2:56:00 PM

Alternatives to Notepad++ for all platforms with Open Source License

  • Visual Studio Code

    Code combines the streamlined UI of a modern editor with rich code assistance and navigation, and an integrated debugging experience – without the need for a full IDE.

    • Open source and a very versatile editor Guest • Oct 2017 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Open source, handles many different languages, extensible. What's not to love? Guest • May 2017 • 4 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Yet another simple tool reimplemented in the extremely bloated Electron framework. No thanks. Guest • Feb 2018 • 90 agrees and 66 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Visual Studio Code is great but it is heavy and complex. Not a good replacement for simple GUI text editor with macro support which is Notepad++. Guest • Jun 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Very nice and fresh software for source code editing with a lot of features swood544Mar 2018 • 15 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Supports lots of features and different types of development. It has emulators when developing android apps. 22Ezra22May 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Great features and lots of good extensions SFZFeb 2020 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Loads of features and extensions. Microsoft really knows how to make good development tools. Guest • Oct 2018 • 5 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Cross-platform, superior highlighting and plugins. CeesTJan 2019 • 4 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • The huge amount of plugins make Visual Studio Code incredibly powerful and flexible ScenicMarathonSep 2019 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Has all same features of Notepad++! also smarter!!!!! Guest • Apr 2018 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Powerful, fast, free, fully customize-able, and looks nice. Guest • Jul 2018 • 2 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Incredibly performant and versatile editor. With the feeling of an editor and the power of an IDE avitalbennatanMar 2017 • 17 agrees and 10 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It has everything that a developer needs! Good extensions for any language, good themes made by users, built in Git, and much more! Guest • Jul 2017 • 4 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Chrome OS Electron / Atom Shell

    Visual Studio Code icon
  • Atom

    Atom is an open-source, Electron based text editor with a massive ecosystem of plugins and themes that are easily accessible through a built-in package manager. Being built with Electron, it uses web technology (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Node.js) and offers the same editing experience across Mac, Windows and Linux desktops. Different from most editors, it uses that same technology for themes so the UI is highly configurable through HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

    • What should be a simple application is implemented in the extremely bloated Electron framework. No thanks, I'll take something native. Guest • Feb 2018 • 108 agrees and 39 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Great UI. Great Packages (extensions). Support for several programming languages. Great developers and community. Free and Open Source. Guest • Dec 2016 • 2 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Amazing UI, large variety of useful plugins, nice features like multiple cursors, open source and free to use Ruebz999Dec 2016 • 5 agrees and 6 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Open-source. Community-driven. A lot of high quality extensions available. Very simple and quick. A lot of customisation if you want. Guest • Apr 2017 • 1 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Atom isn't lightweight as Notepad++ Guest • Aug 2017 • 26 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Bloated and slow compared to Notepad++ NuncioBitisApr 2019 • 9 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Notepad++ has a dated feel about it. Atom is lightweight, and feels modern and slick. icelandophileMay 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • You can use it on chromebooks and it really makes a difference, plus i really really love hacking things!!! keep it up:) Guest • Nov 2019 Disagree   Agree
    • More beautiful and has much more tools donoaiApr 2018 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Despite sometimes high demanding (for an text editor), good as an Editor/IDE. Guest • May 2016 • 10 agrees and 8 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Atom is a text editor that provides an all in one solution to all the absolute basic needs today's modern world expects in a notepad replacement. Sleek UI, extensible, cross-platform, and, actively developed, Atom is the defacto choice for the vast majority when wanting to replace notepad/NotePad++ with an editor that packs a real punch in default capabilities and usefulness. Guest • Jun 2017 • 1 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's easy to use, predictable, and very extensible. Smarter than VS Code, easier than Notepad++. VenHayzJul 2017 • 0 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Cross-platform, modern, fast, great UI, great UX, extensible, fast community-driven development, stable... cblockApr 2017 • 2 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Atom can split windows and allow users to work on multiple files simultaneously, while also integrating plugins. I would say it's better than Notepad++ for many programming tasks. Guest • Sep 2015 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Chrome OS BSD ... Electron / Atom Shell

    Atom icon
  • Vim

    Vim ("Vi IMproved") is an advanced text editor that allows syntax highlighting, word completion and has a huge amount of contributed content. Vim offers several “modes” for editing with efficiency. This makes vim a non-user-friendly application but it is also a strength. The normal mode binds alphanumeric keys to task-oriented commands. The visual mode highlights text. The command-line mode offers more tools (for search&replace, defining functions, etc.

    • Serves same purpose, similar features, different approach, multiplatform, ubiquitous. marcinkowalskiMar 2018 • 8 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Although it runs as a GUI, you still need to know the vi commands. Unless you don't mind using the menu bar to do everything. NuncioBitisApr 2019 • 0 agrees and 5 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • vim is a console app and relies on a special keyboard command syntax which users need to learn and know. It is already a joke that people do not manage to remember how to quit vi(m) not to mention all the other things people might not remember about the commands. superluminarJul 2018 • 0 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Lightweight, configurable, and fast. Has a lot of options, but all of them are very intuitive. Guest • Oct 2017 • 2 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Vim is a console app and require to know its commands to use it, while Notepad++ is UI driven, anyone can use it. Guest • Mar 2015 • 49 agrees and 30 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • I like to use the vim command line version on windows it feels pretty minimalistic and its appearance gives the impression it goes right to the job of editing text Guest • Mar 2018 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Fastest in use. You can improve your productivity and performance when writing. Guest • Jan 2017 • 4 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD Haiku ... OpenSolaris

    Vim icon
  • Brackets

    Brackets is an open-source editor for web design and development built on top of web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The project was created and is maintained by Adobe, and is released under an MIT License. With focused visual tools and preprocessor support, Brackets is a modern text editor that makes it easy to design in the browser. It's crafted from the ground up for web designers and front-end developers. Brackets is a lightweight, yet powerful, modern text editor.

    • it's easy to use and is open source so a definite runner-up to notpad++ Guest • Dec 2017 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Brackets uses more RAM and disk space. Lacks proper macro support. Macro management plugin exists but works nowhere near as good as Notepad++ built in macro recorder. It fails to record "find" commands for example. Guest • Jun 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • because i like the UI more than notepad++ Guest • Dec 2017 • 2 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • No FTP that works like the NpFTP Guest • Nov 2017 Disagree   Agree
    • Free, easy to use, full of features Guest • Oct 2017 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It has an auto complete feature which makes it better than Notepad++ techcrankMay 2017 • 3 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • lacking many features of notepad++ Guest • Jan 2017 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Electron / Atom Shell

    Brackets icon
  • Geany

    Geany is a small and lightweight Integrated Development Environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. Another goal was to be as independent as possible from a special Desktop Environment like KDE or GNOME - Geany only requires the GTK2 runtime libraries.

    • Virtually the same features and on top of it it's cross platform and open source. Guest • Jan 2020 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Free, lightweight, multi platform, open source, customizable. What more do you want? ResdekAug 2017 • 12 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Geany in functionality and interface is very similar to Notepad++ Guest • Feb 2016 • 16 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Has the same features + some more features than Notepad++. And It's Free Software, on GPL license - huge PLUS for this! ++++ niezniszczalnyMar 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Simple, lightweight. But there're syntax highlighting and code completion. jovinFeb 2017 • 10 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD ... Xfce

    Geany icon
  • gedit

    Official text editor of the GNOME desktop environment. Has syntax highlighting and is suitable for programming, with support for several languages. It is extensible with plugins.

    • Gedit can't fold code, can't make ident lines, and the ident is strange! Guest • Jul 2016 • 13 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Some essential plugins missing especially around code formatting tools Guest • Mar 2017 • 5 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • no sorting and don't reconize regular expression when 'replace' or search rmpbklynSep 2015 • 9 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux Chrome OS BSD ... GNOME OpenSolaris

    gedit icon
  • Kate

    The Kate project develops two main products: KatePart, the advanced editor component which is used in numerous KDE applications requiring a text editing component, and Kate, a MDI text editor application. In addition, we provide KWrite, a simple SDI editor shell which allows the user to select his/her favourite editor component. Kate Kate is a multi-document editor part of KDE since release 2.2.

    • Kate is also open-source like Notepad++ and likewise runs at the speed of a native app. Features align pretty nicely between the two, but Kate runs natively on all desktops, not just Windows. Same workflow on Windows, Mac and Linux. UgotstaFeb 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • lightweight, code syntax highlighting, regex find and replace Guest • May 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Great syntax highlighting, and good plugin support. Fast and easy to use. ricjacMay 2017 • 7 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD KDE

    Kate icon
  • GNU Emacs

    GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing. The features of GNU Emacs include: * Content-sensitive editing modes, including syntax coloring, for a variety of file types including plain text, source code, and HTML. * Complete built-in documentation, including a tutorial for new users.

    • I don't want a fake psychologist nor to play tetris, I really just want a powerful IDE. Guest • May 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Emacs is the be-all-end-all text editor. It takes a while to learn, but its code and text editing commands are extremely powerful. There's also a package manager for things like auto completion, automatic running, and more language support. Guest • Jan 2017 • 5 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD

    GNU Emacs icon
  • Know any more alternatives to Notepad++?

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  • Notepadqq

    Notepadqq is designed from developers, for developers. With its more than 100 supported languages, it is the ideal text editor for your daily tasks. How to install? Search a package for your Linux distribution or, if you're on Ubuntu, add the ppa. The project is completely Free and Open Source: check it out on GitHub. How do you like it? Whether you are a dark theme guy or a light one, you'll find your favourite color scheme.

    • A lots of common functions with Notepad++, but slower... Guest • May 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • For those looking to replace Notepad++'s UI and functionality with a similar editor but on Linux, this is by far the most similar to Notepad++. The other alternatives are similar in the sense that they are code/text editors but not that they look abnd work the same. Guest • Mar 2018 • 5 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • slow than notepad++ but a really good alternative LordMaxFeb 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Excellent editor. Pretty much the same UI as Notepad++ Guest • Sep 2016 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Linux

    Notepadqq icon

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