Programming Reviews

Notepadqq An Alternative To Notepad++ For Linux

notepadqq an alternative to notepad

Notepadqq is a programmer’s text editor program for Linux. It is an alternative to Notepad++, a very popular Windows text editor among the programmer’s community. Notepadqq is available as a snap app on Ubuntu platform currently, and so is Notepad++. So what makes them different? The answer is one of them is actually a Windows binary that runs on top of WINE (Notepad++) and the other is a native Linux program implemented using Qt technology (Notepadqq).

That might leave you wondering which of the two is best. Well, the choice is up to you and both of them have their own pros and cons. Read on below to discover more about the two text editors and of course we’ll further discuss the capabilities of Notepadqq program.

Also, read – Best Code Editors For Linux

Why is Notepad++ popular?

​Notepad++ is popular among Windows community because of:

  1. It’s a powerful text editor (for developers) as compared to Windows default text editor program called Notepad.
  2. The program is based on Scintilla, uses fewer resources, is extendable with plugins and has tools for almost all programming languages.

Thus, inspired by Notepad++ text editor, Notepadqq has been developed that almost looks and works the same as the former one.

Pros and cons

notepadqq notepad++ alternative

Both Notepad++ and Notepadqq are available as snap apps on the Ubuntu platform. So what sets them apart from each other? Here are the pros and cons of them:

Notepad++

Since Notepad++ snap app runs on top of WINE, you get the exact same program used on Windows platform. But the issue with this running-under-WINE thing is the program’s window scaling is too small ie., the User Interface (UI) fonts and people with poor eyesight find it painful to work on such programs. Plus you don’t get the native look and feel, instead, the program has a Windows 2000 like interface.

Notepadqq

Whereas Notepadqq is a native Linux program developed using Qt technology. It goes well with the Ubuntu environment ie., its UI has proper fonts; neither too small nor too large. The only downside with this program is that certain features might be missing and also like Notepad++ its UI is themed to Windows classic look and feel.

So with the pros and cons done, we’ll get back to the topic in discussion. We’ll learn how to install Notepadqq and discuss the program’s overview, capabilities, and cool features.

Install Notepadqq

Launch Ubuntu Software and type in “notepadqq”. Click the program name to load its installer page and then select Install button.

install notepadqq in linux software manager

Notepadqq Overview

The program has the following components:

  • A menu bar
  • A toolbar
  • A tab bar
  • Editor body and
  • A status bar

It is exactly identical to how Notepad++ looks; its menu options and toolbar icons. Some missing menu options from Notepadqq include Tools, Macro, and Plugins.

notepadqq user interface

Syntax highlighting & auto indentation

Almost all programming languages are supported by syntax highlighting feature on Notepadqq. To enable this feature go to the Language menu on the menu bar and hover around the initials of your preferred programming language, then choose one from the sub-list.

However, the best method is to save your source file first and let the program automatically highlight your source code by determining its file extension. In addition to syntax highlighting Notepadqq also supports automatic code indentation. So if you open a brace and press Enter key, the next line will be automatically indented by one tab space. Subsequently, closing the brace and pressing the Enter key will auto-indent back one tab space. This gives you the flexibility to focus on your code while the job of beautifying-your-code is taken care of by the program.

Resume session

Notepadqq resumes all the unclosed tabs/buffers so programmers don’t have to manually re-launch all the source files again on every program’s launch. This allows the user to get right at work, thus, saving more productivity time.

Code Duplicating

This is not something to do with violating DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) programming rule 🙂 Rather, it’s a useful feature that most programmers like. Code duplicating is performed by pressing the key combination Ctrl + D.

Code duplicating allows the coder to copy an exact line of statement without the tedious process of using Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V.​Suppose you are writing a Python program and somewhere along the lines of code, there arises a need to use multiple print() statements (maybe you’re designing an option based program). So, instead of typing all the lines of code by hand, you come up with a clean and clever plan to efficiently type those lines. You first create a boiler statement ie., print(“”), and duplicate that code by pressing Ctrl + D repeatedly as much as you want. Now you have lines of print(“”) statements and all you have to do is fill the empty string with ease to finish up your program.

code duplicating notepadqq

That’s fast and efficient, right? Well, I’ve got another idea for you. Why not use the same above method on a somewhat complicated statement like an if-else-if ladder on one of your favorite programming languages.

Line transposing

Notepadqq allows transposing one or more lines of statement up or down. This is something akin to cut and paste operation but using the keyboard combination Ctrl + Shift + Up/Down arrow key.

Assume you have a variable declared as local inside a for loop statement in a C program. Once the loop exits the variable expires but you made a mistake and realizes that you still need that variable outside the loop. To perform line transpose operation, place the cursor on the variable declaration line and using the Ctrl + Shift + Up arrow key, move the line up to place it outside the loop. The next time you compile the program there’ll be no errors about the variable not being declared. Moreover, you can do this operation on multiple lines of statements by highlighting them with the help of the mouse.

Multiple editing

Another cool feature of Notepadqq and also rarely used is the multi-editing capability. This allows you to have multiple cursors (done using Ctrl key and mouse click) across your source code so you can edit them simultaneously. However, such a situation where programmers perform the multi-editing operation is rare but below is a sample Python source code demonstrating that:

notepadqq multiple cursors

The programmer forgets to add “(str)” on the four print() statements. He adds them by holding down Ctrl key and clicking the mouse cursor at the appropriate places and then typing “(str)” simultaneously on the four print statements. Multi-editing saves time if you have to type the same statement across multiple lines of code or delete them depending on your situation.

Theming

Notepadqq allows you to change the editor’s body with themes and it comes in various color variants: light and dark. To change the appearance go to the Settings menu and select the Preferences option. Click the Appearance category and choose the appropriate color scheme to set it as your editor’s theme.

notepadqq themes

Conclusion

Notepadqq is a great alternative text editor for Notepad++. It is rich with tools for programmers who like to code on a powerful text editor. To install Notepadqq, be sure to set up snapd on your Linux computer if you haven’t installed Ubuntu but for some other popular Linux distro. And also don’t forget to share your opinions/experience in the comment section below.

2 comments

Eddie G. February 3, 2020 at 6:44 am

Just curious, what’s the file “extension” that NotepadQQ saves with?…(.txt? / .cpp? .py?)

Reply
Allen January 5, 2021 at 7:24 am

Eddie G. — by default notepadqq saves files as .txt. I think notepadqq is great EXCEPT for the fact the print font is extremely small and I see no way to change it. I would give it five stars if that could be fixed!

Reply

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