Notepad++ logo on light background

The open-source text editor Notepad++ is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new release filled with some neat new features.

In Notepad++ 8.6 (the 238th release since 2003, for those keeping count) the Windows-based code tool adds to its extensive feature set with an improved multi-edit feature.

Now, I’m not a developer. I dip into a bit of basic PHP for the omg! sites on occasion, but it doesn’t require a bespoke coding environment. I don’t know how this feature adds to or adjust what was (apparently) available in earlier versions of the app.

A few 3rd-party plugins for Notepad++ have offered this feature for a while, including BetterMultiSelection. A bug report asking for functionality to “transform the column mode to multi-caret on HOME/END/Arrow keys” led to this native inclusion.

Here’s an animated GIF of Notepad++ multi-edit in action:

Multi-edit in Notepad++ 8.6 in action
Multi-edit in Notepad++ 8.6 in action

Notepad++ 8.6 is also able to ‘remember inaccessible files across the sessions, by using empty & read-only documents as placeholders’. To enable, head to Preferences > Backup and enabled the ‘Remember inaccessible files from past session’ option.

These and other changes in Notepad++ 8.6:

  • Multi-edit
  • Session inaccessible files now remembered
  • Customise multi-select background & caret colours
  • Scintilla & Lexilla updated to v5.3.8
  • 3 line operation (delete, copy & cut) shortcuts
  • Find/Replace shows extra info in status bar to avoid PEBKAC
  • Misc bug & crash fixes

Notepad++ is free, open-source software designed for Windows, and available to download as a normal installer or a portable edition from the application’s official website or GitHub.

Despite be fooled though as you can use Notepad++ on Linux too!

You can install Notepad++ on Ubuntu straight from the Ubuntu Software/App Center app (it’s a Snap Store). Alternatively, install the Windows build via WINE/CrossOver or, if you got the l33t skillz, build it by hand, from source.

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