Revenge of Notepad

I use notepad.exe dozens of times a day. Given the severely limited functionality of Notepad, it's incredible that it has taken me this long to find a suitable replacement for what is, evidently, a core part of my developer toolkit. Check out Notepad2:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Notepad++ is way better.

Just sayin’.

(Not that it’s relevant to me anymore - I’m using Linux full-time now.)


also vim … way better … in just about every way :slight_smile:


Trying to get into Vim usage as a .NET developer. Since Jeff’s blog is also has a bit of tilt towards MS development side, might as well ask about if any non-Unix people here get along with Vim in a daily developer life, which editor you use for daily editing (Vim, Sublime2 with Vim, etc?) and if you’ve managed to marry Visual Studio&Vim (ViEmu / VSVim)?

I have to admit, I’ve never quite gotten the hang of using vi-derived editors on constant “live-in” basis, and I’ve been a Unix guy for 25 years now. I use vim for quick edits all the time (because it’s hard to beat that start-up time!), but it’s not what I live in for coding.

I found that until I really started throwing together a few plugins my use of vim was pretty limited. But I’ve been using it pretty exclusively for the last few years now. The only thing that I occasionally do is pop in to netbeans while I’m getting acquainted with a project. I find vim is great for coding, but for learning how a project works there’s a lot of clicking/note-taking on my end.

Although… I’m wondering if I can keep in vim only considering that my only grievance against vim was it’s terrible autocomplete and that’s pretty much solved with the YouCompleteMe plugin.

I’ve been working with VsVim for a few months now, and I like it pretty well so far. Merging some of the vim commands with the VS commands can be a little sticky, but I have it about where I want it.

Nice parts are that moving around in text is so, so much easier. It’s actually practical to work for pretty long stretches without taking your hands off of the keyboard or laboriously arrow-keying around the document. Vim’s ability to repeat actions is really helpful sometimes.

Not so nice is that, while autocomplete works great, it doesn’t integrate very well with macros and the dot command. Neither search command is quite right on it’s own either. Vim search is fast without having to move your hands much, but VS search does live highlighting, which is great for tricker regexes. I’d like to find some good way to merge the two together.

I also really enjoy the flexibility of navigating and editing text documents without hands leaving the home how, been trying to work with ViEmu after looking at this video.

What i’m thinking about is that while Vim is powerful as a stand alone editor, VS and Resharper already solve a lot of problems that it attacks like smart searching and code navigation. And the editing modes do not feel natural when overlayed with Resharper refactorings/ code completion. So maybe it would be more effective just borrow the HJKL + page up/down with AutoHotkey+caps?

What I mostly use so far is the HJKL, plus the BEW to move around by words, FT to jump to chars in the line, Ctrl-FBDU to move around the window, HML plus a custom binding to move up and down 10 lines at a time to move vertically. Marks and multiple clipboards/buffers come in pretty handy too. To me, it mostly feels natural with Resharper, except for how autocomplete interacts, or doesn’t interact, with the dot command, and probably macros too. If you want to use either of those, you’ve got to type it out entirely.

I used Notepad++ for a long time, but currently Sublime Text.

The killer feature for me was the multi cursor editing.

I was all set to comment “man, I swear I started using Notepad2 almost 10 years ago at your recomendation,” then I noticed the post you reference is almost exactly 10 years old. Has it been that long… Anyway, instead of replacing notepad.exe, I just throw a copy on my path called simply n.exe. I almost reflexively type n web.config anymore (Hanselman isn’t the only keyboard junkie out there). I configure it to syntax highlight.config files as XML, too. Damn handy and so much faster to load than notepad++ despite the common ancestry…99% of the times I need to pop open a file, I’ll take the faster load over the bigger feature set. Thanks again for recommending this one!