Among the plethora of options available on Microsoft’s Windows OS, Notepad++ is arguably one of the most popular text and source code editors. However, sadly, it’s not available on Linux, making the life of those who are used to this editor and are switching from Windows to Linux a bit more difficult.
If you’ve just switched to Linux and are looking for a Notepad++ alternative, you’ll be glad to know that one exists called Notepadqq. What’s more, its user interface as well as feature set are also similar (if not exact) to Notepad++. In this article we will discuss how to install and use Notepadqq.
Note: all the instructions and commands mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 14.04.
Notepadqq officially claims to be a Notepad++-like editor for the Linux desktop. It’s an open-source, general purpose editor that is aimed at both end-users as well as developers. Some of the features it provides include syntax highlighting (for more than 100 different languages), code folding, color schemes, file monitoring, multiple selection, regular expression-powered search, and more.
Download and Install
You can easily download and install the editor using the following three commands:
Once installed you can launch the editor application from the Application Menu or by running the following command:
Please note that for Notepadqq it’s recommended that you have Qt 5.3 or later installed on your system, although the tool might work on Qt 5.2 as well. To learn how to upgrade Qt, head to the editor’s GitHub web-page.
In this section we will discuss some of the useful features that the editor provides.
Like Notepad++, Notepadqq also allows you to save and load sessions, which you can do by heading to “File -> Save Session…” and “File -> Load Session…,” respectively.
For the uninitiated, sessions primarily keep track of what files are opened in the editor. So you can save a session and then load it later to continue working from the point you left.
Text editing features
Aside from basic text editing features like undo, redo, cut/copy/paste, select all, and delete, Notepadqq offers some really useful functionality. For example, with just a couple of clicks, you can copy the name, full path, or the directory path of a file being edited.
You can convert text from lowercase to uppercase and vice versa, duplicate or delete a line, and set EOL format as well as indentation according to your requirement. And finally, the editor also offers a feature called ‘Blank Operations” that lets you play with spaces and TABs.
Like any other general purpose editor, Notepadqq allows you to find and replace text in a file. But that’s not all, as you can also use the tool’s search feature to find and replace text in multiple files. You need to provide a directory path to use this feature – the ‘Look in’ field in the image below.
If you’re editing a file in Notepadqq, and any external process/application makes some changes to that file (or for that matter, deletes it), the editor immediately passes on this information to the user along with an option to reload the file or ignore the change. Here’s an example.
Programming language support
Now, this is where the real strength of Notepadqq lies. Just head to the “Language” menu, and you’ll see that the editor supports a plethora of programming languages.
If you want to tweak things like the editor’s color scheme, tab/space settings for languages, and more, just head to “Settings -> Preferences,” where you’ll be able to change appearance-, language-, and search-related preferences, among others.
Notepadqq offers a nice, uncluttered UI that’ll definitely remind you of Notepad++, and just like the latter, it also offers a plethora of features. If you’ve been badly missing Notepad++ on your Linux box, I strongly encourage you to try Notepadqq – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.