Notepad++ (Notepad Plus Plus) is one of the best text editors available in the market today. It is free, open-source, feature-rich, and supports 3rd party plugins to extend the functionality. Plugins are actually add-ons to main software which extend and enhance the working of the base software.
So let’s see how to install Plugins in Notepad++.
Install Plugins in Notepad++
There are two methods available to install a plugin. One using plugin manager/Admin and another manual method. Both methods are very easy.
Let’s discuss those is details.
1. Install Notepad++ plugin using Plugin Manager
Notepad++ has a separate menu Plugins to manage the plugins repository. It lists all the active and installed plugins. You can install, update, uninstall plugins using the Plugin Manager. The plugin manager is a plugin itself. We are going to use Combine and Compare plugin to demonstrate installation.
Launch Notepad++ and Navigate to Plugins->Plugin Manager->Show Plugin Manager. You can also use Keyword short cur Alt+P to open the menu.
This opens a plugin manager that shows all Available, Updates, and Installed plugins for your Notepadd++ installation.
- Available – List of all available plugins.
- Updates – Plugins for which updates are available.
- Installed – List of all Installed plugins.
In the available list tab, search for the combine plugin and select it and click the Install button.
Plugin Manager shows information like Plugin Name, Category, Available Version, Stability. When you select the plugin you can see additional information like Author, Source, Homepage, etc
The plugin manager downloads the plugin from the respective online repository and installs it. Post-installation you get the message “Notepad++ needs to be restarted for changes to take effect. Would you like to do this now?” Click on Yes to restart the Notepad++ to see installed plugin under the Plugins menu.
This is the most preferred and used method until the time Plugin Manager is Removed from the repository by the developer. If that is the case with you, you can use below manual method. As the Plugin Manager is also a plugin, you can use the same method to install it as well.
Some useful links for reference.
- Installer doesn’t install plugins manager #3634
- No plugin manager
- 64 bit version is without “Plugin Manager” (and NppExport) #2459
2. Manual Plugin Installation in Notepad++
There may not be the Plugin Manager available or sometimes, installation does not work using it. The plugin may not be available in this list. In that case, use the Manual Installation method.
Just to explain, I tried installing a compare plugin, but it failed with the Installation of Compare Failed message.
Manual is also an easy method. Just copy respective plugin .dll file to the plugins directory.
There is a central plugin directory that maintains the list of all Plugins. These links are not up to date as those are pointing on SourceForge Compare Plugin Repository while some of the latest code is present in GITHUB. So I would suggest it better to use the description given in the plugin manager or just Google it to get the latest code.
You can download a compare plugin from this link.
Under the releases tab, the latest dll and source code is available. Depending on the windows platform download ComparePlugin_v2.0.0_X64.zip or ComparePlugin_v2.0.0_x86.zip bit file.
Extract the downloaded folder in C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\plugins folder. This is the folder where notepadd++ is installed. Copy extracted ComparePlugin folder and ComparePlugin.dll as shown below.
Open Notepad ++ and check installed the plugin. You can see it is available under the list.
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Plugins are great as they enhance the functionality of the main software. A novice user can use the Plugin Manager/Admin to install it. But sometimes, these repositories contain the older version. In that case, it is best to manually install the plugin.
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