Notepad++ is one of the most popular and free text/code editors. It supports many different programming and scripting languages. You can also edit HTML, XML, CSS, JSON and other types of files. Currently, its text editing capabilities significantly exceeds those of the Calcpad own editor. Some features that worth mentioning are:
- multiple file tabs;
- predefined and custom styles;
- advanced search/replace capabilities;
- column editor;
- auto completion;
- bracket matching;
- line operations/sorting;
- tab/white space management;
- content folding, etc.
And and last but not least – syntax highlighting. Unfortunately, the Calcpad language is not natively supported by Notepad++. However, there is an option to add a custom language with user defined syntax (UDL). Then, you can export it as an xml file and import it everywhere else.
The good news is that we have already created the required language definition files, so you can use them to write Calcpad programs with Notepad++.
To use Notepad++ as Calcpad code editor you need to the following:
- Download and install Notepad++ from the following link:
- Download the Calcpad language definition files:
- Unzip the archive in the preferred folder. You will find two files inside:
– Notepad++.xml – for light mode and
– Notepad++dark.xml – for dark mode.
- Start Notepad++. Click the “Language” menu, then “User defined language” and “Define your language…”
- Click the “Import…” button in the dialog that will appear.
- Browse for the one of the xml files above and click “Open“.
From now on, each time you open a .cpd file, it will be automatically displayed with the Calcpad syntax highlighting. For best results with the dark theme, select the appropriate style from the “Style Configurator” dialog.
You can find it in the “Settings” menu. For example, a good option is the Twillight theme. You can also set a nice monotype font, such as “Noto Mono“, “Liberation Mono“, “Source Code Pro“, “Consolas“. etc. You can also make the whole interface t dark, by checking “Enable dark mode” in the “Preferences” dialog from the same menu.
You can also make possible to run the Calcpad programs directly from inside the Notepad++ editor. For that purpose, you will have to install the Franco Stellari’s RunMe plugin for Notepad++. You can find detailed instructions in this file: install.txt. It will add a small button at the end of the Notepad++ toolbar . Click the button or press Shift+F5 to run the current program.