Notepad2e Save

Word highlighting, simultaneous editing, split views, math evaluation, un/grep, comment reformatting, UAC elevation, complete regexps (PCRE), Lua lexers, DPI awareness and more (XP+)

Project README

Notepad 2e

License: 3-clause BSD Status: x86 build Status: tests

Notepad 2e is a fork of Notepad2 by Florian Balmer (, version 4.2.25.

For information about the original project please see Readme.txt and Notepad2.txt. This document describes 2e-specific features (e for Extended).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Notepad2:

Notepad2 is a light-weight Scintilla-based text editor for Windows.
It offers no tabs, code folding, autocompletion, or other features
available in IDEs or more complex editors like Notepad++.
It's just 1 portable EXE file and (optionally) 1 INI file.

Some folks use it to replace the standard Notepad.exe of Windows.

It's also part of TortoiseGit.

License: Notepad2 uses 3-clause BSD license. Notepad 2e follows the same license.

Thanks to Steven Penny for his generous donations! #286 #251


Stable versions are available via GitHub releases.

Archived non-stable daily builds are available from this page.

Latest non-stable x86/non-ICU build is permanently available by this URL.


  1. Prepare Boost environment.
    • you will get libboost_regex-vc141-mt-s-x32-1_68.lib, libboost_regex-vc141-mt-s-x64-1_68.lib in %BOOST_ROOT%\stage\lib
  2. If you are going to build ICU configurations, prepare ICU too. #162
    • you will get the 2 Boost libraries above in %BOOST_ROOT_ICU%\stage\lib and also icuregex64.lib, icuregex86.lib
  3. The project comes with a "hacked" Scintilla; if you wish to use the original Scintilla, read this changelog.
  4. To compile the sources, use Visual Studio 2015 or 2017. #178
  5. To run tests (Notepad2eTests), point FileSamplesPath environment variable to the ...\test\data\Extension directory. #178

Note: x64 configuration is not considered "mainstream" and was poorly tested. #157

Replacing Windows (XP/7/10) Notepad

One obvious way is to overwrite all Notepad.exes inside Windows directory. However, this irritates SFC and may not persist across OS updates.

A better way is using Image File Execution Options, originally explained here. In short: #157

  1. Place Notepad2e.exe somewhere. Program Files (x86)\Notepad2e\ directory is a good place.
  2. Import this registry key:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe]
"Debugger"="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Notepad2e\\Notepad2e.exe\" /z"
  • If the EXE was put elsewhere, edit the part inside the second quotes, and don't forget to double all backslashes - example: ...="\"D:\\Foo\\Bar\\MyN2e.exe\" /z"
  • Attention: the EXE should not be named notepad.exe (in any char case).

Now whenever Windows needs to launch Notepad.exe it will launch the EXE you have specified instead.

To undo, replace last line above with "Debugger"=- and import the key.

INI File Location

This describes the algorithm used in Notepad2 and this fork. The process is fully Unicode-safe.

All settings are stored in a single INI file. If the program cannot find it, then default settings are used and changes to them are lost when the process exits. To make settings persistent, either put bin\Notepad2e.ini near the EXE or create one from scratch by pressing F7 (Settings > Save Settings Now).

The following locations are checked for an existing INI file, in order:

  1. /f SOME.INI command-line switch (relative to program's dir, with possible %env% vars). /f0 forces no INI file even when explicitly asked for one (e.g. by F7).
  2. PROGRAM.ini, where PROGRAM is the EXE's name without .exe extension, is searched in:
    • Program's directory
    • %APPDATA%
    • %PATH%
  3. Same as above but with Notepad2.ini (Notepad 2e is a drop-in replacement so its INI file works with Notepad2 and vice-versa).
  4. If an INI was found, it may be further redirected: its Notepad2.ini key from [Notepad2] section is read and checked:
    • If this key is non-existing or blank, the previously found INI is used
    • Else, if the value is an absolute path (%env% vars expanded) to an existing file - it's used as the INI
    • Else, if the path is relative (%env% vars expanded) - it's searched in the same folders as PROGRAM.ini (above) and used, if found
    • Else, if the key was not blank and no INI was found - the value is used as the (new, non-existing) INI file path (prepended with program's directory if relative)

If the located INI path (PATH below) is a directory rather than a file or it ends with \ then:

  1. If PATH\PROGRAM.ini exists, it's used as the INI file
  2. Else, if PATH\Notepad2.ini exists, it's used as the INI file
  3. Else, PATH\PROGRAM.ini is used anyway

Finally, if the INI's parent directory doesn't exist - it's created.

Extended Edition Changes

The [NEW] mark indicates a new major feature introduced by Notepad 2e. Items without this mark are changes (or minor features added) compared to the original Notepad2.

Marks of this form: #123 refer to specific issues - read them for more details behind a feature.

Notepad2 has no documentation per se but only this FAQ that explains many interesting features.

[NEW] Current Word Highlighting

Word under cursor is highlighted in one of 3 modes: #27 #1

  1. One occurrence in the document. Indispensable to spot typos.
  2. Two or more occurrences but all are visible on the screen.
  3. Multiple occurrences with some hidden under the scrollbar.

Warning: when word wrapping is enabled, highlighting assumes that entire bottom line is visible even if it has invisible sublines (wrapped continuations).

Related settings:

  • HighlightSelection
  • MaxSearchDistance
  • More - see Current Word Highlighting configuration section.

Word highlighting types

[NEW] Edit Selection

Allows simultaneous editing of all occurrences of the same string as the selection. Enter the mode with Ctrl+Tab (all visible substrings) or Ctrl+Backtick (limit substrings to those on the same line). Escape cancels all changes, while Enter or any command that causes cursor to leave the selected block - commits them. #18

Note: when selection is empty, this mode affects word near the cursor, and finds other substrings case-insensitively. When selection is non-empty - case-sensitive search is performed, and word boundaries are not checked.

This mode allows easy renaming of variables, typo corrections and so on.

Below, with cursor within foo pressing Ctrl+Tab will enter this mode and any change you do (such as typing bar) will edit all of the three foos at the same time:

$foo = "foo";

Warning: when word wrapping is enabled, highlighting assumes that entire bottom line is visible even if it has invisible sublines (wrapped continuations), thus you might be editing occurrences on those sublines without seeing them.

Related settings:

  • See Current Word Highlighting section (above).

Ctrl+Tab - Renaming words on screen Ctrl+Backtick - Renaming words on line

[NEW] Math Evaluation

In certain cases (such as in current selection), the file size group in the status bar is replaced with a recognized math expression's result. Left-click on the group copies result to the clipboard (as it appears), right-click toggles the base (bin, oct, dec, hex). #261

  • Selection must be shorter than 4096 symbols.
  • Evaluation can be restricted to a rectangular selection (Alt+drag). #242
  • Expression is locale-insensitive and follows English conventions so that comma is a thousands separator (and ignored) and period is a decimal part separator.
  • If expression has commas but no periods and is still valid after replacing commas with periods - then the converted version is evaluated: 12,30 + ,1 = 12.40. This allows more resistance to locale-specific delimiters.
  • If result has no fractional part - period and zeros are hidden from the status bar group. Fractional part is discarded if active base is any but decimal.
  • The following symbols are ignored: , $. Whitespace is ignored unless it separates operands/operators.
  • If expression contains = then the = and everything after it is ignored. Useful for checking calculations: 1+2=4 evaluates to 3.
  • Special case: expression with only digits (including hex), radix prefix/suffixes, periods and any ignored symbols (above) is treated as a series of whitespace-separated numbers, which are summed up. For example: 12,3 45.6 $78 10h = 123+45.6+78+16 = 262.6. #72
    • Attention: don't use e symbol by itself in this special case (as in scientific notation or as a const), e.g. 1e2 or 1 e 2 - due to implementation nuances, it may not be processed as expect. But it can be part of a hex number: eh 0xe = 28. #130

The following expression tokens are recognized:

  • operators: ( ) + - * / ^ (caret works as power)
  • operators: div mod shl shr and or xor not
  • hexadecimal base prefix: 0x
  • base suffixes: b o d h

Related settings:

  • MathEval

Math evaluation

[NEW] Find Next/Previous Word

Vim-like Edit > Find Next/Previous Word (Ctrl+[Shift]+8) commands for quick case-insensitive navigation between highlighted words. It's independent of highlight mode settings and of normal Find/Replace and doesn't affect the latter's state. #38

If there's no selection then these search for word at cursor (or for nearby next/previous word). If there's selection then these search for previously used word (not for selection!) starting after last selected symbol.

Related settings:

  • FindWordMatchCase
  • FindWordWrapAround

[NEW] New Line Above/Below

Vim-like Edit > Lines > New Line Above/Below (Ctrl+Alt+Enter, Ctrl+Shift+Enter) commands that insert a line regardless of which column the cursor is positioned at.

If Auto Indent is enabled and the caret is already at line start/end (whitespace excluded) - indentation of the previous line is used, otherwise - of the current line. #67

Unindent By Shift+Tab

Shift+Tab always unindents selected lines (or current line if empty), even if the caret isn't at line start (exactly as Edit > Block > Unindent). #128

Tab's behaviour is not changed, it still indents to the column. #61

Find Dialog

  • [NEW] Find (Ctrl+F) now has Grep/Ungrep buttons (can be quickly called with Alt+G/R). Find's settings including regexp mode are respected. In case of active selection these commands operate on selected lines only. Big buffers will see a progress bar in the status bar. #46 #29
  • [NEW] Submitting Find/Replace by Ctrl+Enter starts the search from the beginning rather than current position. #273
  • Submission buttons are disabled in regexp mode if Search String has errors. #219
  • Checkboxes are disabled when certain combinations of flags render other flags invalid (e.g. regexp doesn't support whole word). #108
  • Search and Replace String inputs handle Ctrl+Backspace hotkey (delete word before cursor). #121 #50
  • [NEW] Find and other navigation commands leave certain scroll margin to preserve a customizable amount of lines (such as 33%) above and below the match. Setting: ScrollYCaretPolicy. #41 #279
  • [NEW] The Find icon on the toolbar changes to the Stop icon whenever the search (Find, Replace or Find Word) hits last result in that direction, regardless of the Wrap around flag.
  • Find respects the Match case flag even with Cyrillic characters in the search string. #9
  • Fixed Notepad2 bug: Shift+F3 called from within Find/Replace must not select text like Shift+F2. #275
  • Added hints with hotkeys to Find Next, Find Previous and Replace buttons. #274

Grep Ungrep

[NEW] Open Previous

File > Open Previous (Alt+G) command lets you toggle between two most recent History files with one keystroke. #8

Alt+G - Open Previous

File > History (Alt+H) now pre-selects the target for Alt+G: #209

  • first item - if current document is not saved ("Untitled")
  • second item - in other cases

This allows faster list navigation skipping first and second items (which are directly accessible via F5 and Alt+G).

[NEW] Open By Prefix

Open Dialog allows opening by prefix - so instead of typing the full file name or selecting a file with your mouse you can only type the name's beginning and hit Enter (or click Open) to open the first matching file. #19

Note: prefix cannot match one of reserved file system names such as NUL and CON (case-insensitive).

Users of Windows 7 and above are advised to enable Explorer autocompletion instead, which offers a similar experience in other system dialogs: #165

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Append Completion"="yes"

Related settings:

  • OpenDialogByPrefix

Open by prefix

[NEW] Save On Lose Focus

File > Save On Lose Focus submenu allows automatic saving of the document when program's window loses focus, similarly to Vim's au FocusLost * :wa. Saving doesn't occur if any of these is true: #164

  • current document is unsaved (Untitled), not modified or read-only
  • window is not visible (is being closed) or has any dialogs opened (e.g. Tab Settings)
  • a child window is opened (e.g. an Open File dialog or Tab Settings)

Related settings:

  • SaveOnLoseFocus

[NEW] Open Next/Previous

File > Open Next/Previous commands allow opening files going before/after the currently opened file in its directory #43 based on last used Open/Save File Dialog filter (Any, *.* by default, see #258) #277.

These commands have no hotkeys but they can be added as buttons to the toolbar.


  • File position is determined by sorting the file list by name. It doesn't depend on how Explorer or Open Dialog sort files.
  • FindFirstFile() doesn't support multiple ;-separated filters like File Dialogs do. If such a filter was used, these buttons will not work.

Default Save Extension

When saving, new file's extension is determined first by DefaultExtension setting (as in Notepad2) but if current file was previously opened from or saved to disk then its old extension is used as the default (even if that extension is empty). #17

When saving, if the given new file name ends on period then the file is saved without extension. Example: enter Makefile. to get Makefile on disk.

File Dialogs

  • [NEW] Rename To (Alt+F6) command acts as Save As but deletes original file on success. Due to Windows Save File Dialog limitation, it can't be used if new name only differs in character case (an error appears if this is detected). #140
  • Open/Save File Dialogs now start with the path of last opened file. #22
  • File filter can be changed using Notepad2's FileDlgFilters under [Settings2], e.g. DOC Files (.doc)|.doc|RTF Files (.rtf)|.rtf. [NEW] Last used filter is now saved for Open/Save File Dialogs. #258
  • Improved directory locking - in some cases a directory could not be removed even after opening a file in another directory due to Windows' Open File Dialog operation. #100

Insert Tag (Alt+X)

  • Skips leading/trailing whitespace within the selection. This way you don't care about selection precision and can, for example, click on line number to select a full line and wrap it in <p> without </p> appearing after the line break. #30
  • Remembers Opening and Closing tags until the program is closed.
  • Supports { ( [ in addition to < when auto filling Closing tag. Example: {{#if var}} produces {{/if}}, [quote] produces [/quote]. #36
  • Skips leading non-word symbols when determining tag name: {{ #if }} is the same as {{#if}} and produces {{/if}}, not {{/}} as in Notepad2.
  • Supports HTML5 tags (in addition to XHTML/HTML 4.x tags from Notepad2). #120
  • Sets Closing tag to Opening tag if the latter doesn't contain < and >. Useful when editing certain markup. #24
  • In Notepad2, Auto Close HTML corrupts non-Latin tags in UTF-8 buffers - this is fixed. #112

Alt+X - Insert Tag

Go To (Ctrl+G)

  • Extracts first number from Line and Column instead of requiring a strictly numeric value. For example, abc567.89 navigates to 567. #14
  • [NEW] Navigation by absolute Offset in the buffer. Respects different character sets to the best effort possible. Value is normalized: #2
    1. Leading symbols that are not 0-9 A-Z a-z are removed.
    2. If remainder consists of 0-9 then use it as a decimal offset and return.
    3. Remove possible leading 0x and/or h.
    4. If remainder consists of 0-9 A-F a-f then use it as a hexadecimal offset and return.
    5. In other cases do nothing and don't close the dialog.
  • Input priority: use Offset if non-empty, else use Column+Line if Column non-empty, else use only Line.
  • Made Go To disabled for an empty buffer. Also made it non-modal and non-combining with Find or Replace. #260
  • Added links to/from Find/Replace (preserving Line <=> Search String) and in-dialog hotkeys (Ctrl+F/H/G). #259

File > Launch

  • [NEW] File > Launch > Shell Menu (Ctrl+Shift+R) command invokes Explorer's context menu for currently opened file. Current directory is set to the file's path. Setting: ShellMenuType. #12
  • [NEW] File > Launch > Open Folder (Ctrl+Alt+L) command that opens Explorer's window with the current file selected. #136
  • File > Launch > Command (Ctrl+R) retains the command string until another file is opened and sets current directory to that of the file. #26
  • [NEW] File > Elevate allows obtaining admin permissions without restarting the program (checked if already elevated, otherwise call it to elevate). #166

Ctrl+Shift+R - Shell Menu Ctrl+Alt+L - Open Folder

Line Selection Hotkeys

  • Triple-click and triple-Ctrl+Space in Scintilla select entire line. Due to their accidental nature they are disabled in Notepad 2e. Full line can still be selected with standard Ctrl+Shift+Space hotkey or by clicking on the line number (gutter).
  • Single Ctrl+Space now selects closest word on the right, ignoring non-word symbols before it. If there is none, entire line sans leading whtiespace is selected. #205

Line Gutter

  • Default gutter style was changed from size:-2;fore:#ff0000 to size:-1.
  • Gutter is now automatically resized if it can't fit max line number on the following operations:
    • Reload Settings From Disk
    • Syntax Scheme...
    • 2nd Default Schemes...
    • Customize Schemes...
    • Preview button in Customize Schemes... dialog
    • Default Font...
    • Default lexer setting (F11)
    • HTML lexer setting (Ctrl+F11)
    • XML lexer setting (Shift+F11)
    • Zoom level change (Ctrl++/-)
    • File saving
    • Replace/All/In Selection (Ctrl+H) #206
    • Drag & drop #222
    • Duplicate Line #237

PCRE Support

  • Replaced incomplete Notepad2 regexp implementation with a fully-featured Scintilla's Boost Regex - with (a|b), backreferences \1 (both in Search and Replace Strings) and other features. #90 #114
  • One particularly useful feature is ability to change character case with new escape codes: \l (one next symbol becomes lower-case), \L (all following become lower-case), \u and \U (similar but for upper-case), \E (cancels effect of the preceding \L and \U). Example: replace from (.)(.) to \l\1\u\2.
  • An ICU version is available, which adds Unicode support to Boost regexps, allowing \U and others to work on non-ASCII symbols. #162
    • ICU version's Find/Replace in regexp mode only support Unicode (UTF-8, etc.) buffers. #232 #231
    • Most other national regexp features (\w, \pL, etc.) work even in non-ICU versions.
  • Original Notepad2's regexp didn't support UTF-8 buffers (only ASCII) - Boost's does. #78
  • Boost was hacked to allow Replace string to contain NUL (\0) - normally it truncates the buffer.
  • Another hack was made to allow backward search (Find Previous) in regexp mode. #174
  • Attention: there are two kinds of backreferences (\n and $n) and unlike in PHP they are used differently: #145
Backreference Allowed in Search Allowed in Replace
\0 No No - use $0 or $&
\n with n > 0 Yes Yes
$0 No - $ = EOL Yes - alias $&
$n with n > 0 No Yes

Bottomline: use \n (n > 0) everywhere except for full-match in Replace - there use $0.

Enclose Selection (Alt+Q)

  • Skips leading/trailing whitespace within the selection. For example, enclosing space + foo + space produces space + (foo) + space instead of ( foo ).
  • [NEW] Links to insert Unicode quotes into the focused input. #280
    • US1/2, RU1/2 set quotes according to United States' and Russia's typography standards (see Wikipedia).
    • To see Japanese quotes (, etc.) on XP install the Asian support pack (Control Panel > Regional And Language Options > Languages, tick the first checkbox). Later Windows versions come with this preinstalled.
  • When "before" string consists of one of these characters: { ( [ < then "after" is set to the same number of } ) ] >.
  • When "before" consists of one of the characters below then "after" is set to the same string as "before":
` ~ ! @ # % ^ * - _ +  = | \ / : ; " ' , . ?

These changes make editing Markdown and wiki sources much more pleasant: [[foo|bar]], **foo bar**. #37

Alt+Q - Enclose Selection

Wrap/Unwrap Commands

  • [NEW] Edit > Block > Unwrap Brackes At Cursor (Ctrl+Shift+3) command compliments Notepad2's Ctrl+3-5. This command removes brackets of type ( { [ < around the caret (whichever bracket type appears first). Respects nesting. #39
  • [NEW] Edit > Block > Unwrap Quotes At Cursor (Ctrl+Shift+4) command compliments Notepad2's Ctrl+1-2/6. This command removes matching " ' (and backtick) around the caret (text is scanned to the left to determine the quote type). Does not account for nesting or escaping. Multiline.
  • Original wrap commands (Ctrl+1-6) skip leading/trailing whitespace within the selection.

Wrap commands Unwrap commands

Special Commands

Split Edit > Special submenu into 2 submenus: Special and Encode. #201

HTML data:

  • [NEW] Edit > Special > Strip HTML Tags (Shift+Alt+X) command removes <tags> inside selection, or if there's none - removes first tag before cursor. #40
  • [NEW] Edit > Special > Escape HTML (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+X) command turns < > & into < > & respectively (inside selection or everywhere in the document if selection is empty). #51 #31

Shift+Alt+X - String Tags

Binary data:

  • [NEW] Edit > Encode > String To Hex and Hex To String ([Ctrl+]Alt+Shift+A) operate on the document as a bytestream similarly to PHP's bin2hex() and hex2bin(). Hex To String ignores whitespace (#123). Output: 616263 for abc. #87
  • [NEW] Edit > Encode > QP Encode and QP Decode ([Ctrl+]Alt+Shift+Q) operate on the document as a bytestream similarly to PHP's quoted_printable_encode() and quoted_printable_decode(). Output: ab=3Dc for ab=c. See RFC2045, Section 6.7 (this format is typically used in vCards and MIME). #124
  • [NEW] Edit > Encode > Base64 Encode and Base64 Decode ([Ctrl+]Alt+Shift+W) operate on the document as a bytestream similarly to PHP's base64_encode() and base64_decode(). Base64 Decode ignores whitespace. Output: YWJj for abc. #122
  • Big buffers will see a progress bar in the status bar for the above commands.
  • Warning: when saving binary data (e.g. a base64-encoded binary file) disable both checkboxes in File > Line Endings > Default, or saved content may be altered. Binary-Safe Save toolbar button does this for you. #170

Encode/Decode Quoted-Printable/Base64

Other data:

  • Edit > Encode > URL Encode and URL Decode ([Alt+]Ctrl+Shift+E) use new UrlEncodeMode setting for predictable processing according to RFC 3986. #189

[NEW] Ctrl+Wheel Scroll

Rolling mouse wheel while holding Ctrl scrolls the document by entire pages (like Page Up/Down) - makes it easier to navigate long scripts. #11 #217

Related settings:

  • WheelScroll
  • WheelScrollInterval


  • Open Favorites (Alt+I) now selects the first item so that Enter opens it immediately. #240
  • [NEW] /gs start:end switch sets initial selection by file offsets (see #233). end can be -1 for EOF. #249
    • Notepad2 has a similar /g switch to set initial line by its number.
  • [NEW] Add To Favorites (Alt+K) allows choosing initial line or selection. This affects newly created shortcut (all choices but First Line target Notepad 2e's executable, not the document's file). #249 #282
  • Alt+K's initial file name is made unique by appending a counter (like File > Create Desktop Link). #290
  • Alt+K's confirmation message is now of type Info on success (not always Warning as in Notepad2). #249

Highlight Line

Ability to keep current line highlighted even if the window is not focused (especially useful when using Windows' X-Mouse feature).

Related settings:

  • HighlightLineIfWindowInactive

Drop Text And Files

When dropping an object from another application on an empty line - line break is added automatically. #63 #110

  • Useful when creating snippets or lists from other sources - such as from URLs; no more need to manually insert line breaks after each drop.

When dropping a single file, Notepad2 opens it. [NEW] When dropping multiple files, they are concatenated into a fresh (File > New) buffer. #250

  • Source files are opened as if using File > Open so unlike with cat/copy they can use different encoding/line breaks if Notepad2 can detect them.
  • If any file is Unicode then new buffer is made UTF-8 regardless of File > Encoding > Default.

Copy Add (Ctrl+E)

  • Uses single line break instead of double. #28
  • When called with empty selection - appends the entire line.
  • In Notepad2, it didn't work with empty clipboard - now it works.

File Encoding

  • When file is re-coded (File > Encoding menu items) caret position and selection are retained, to the best effort possible. #7
  • File > Encoding > Recode (F8) renamed to Reload As to better reflect its purpose. #218

[NEW] Go To Last Change

Go To Last Change (Ctrl+Shift+Z) command moves caret to the position of last Undo action. Useful when making a change, scrolling to confirm something and then navigating back to continue. #6

Join Lines

  • Join Lines and Join Paragraphs (Ctrl+[Shift+]J) adjust selection's end before the operation so that it doesn't include trailing line break(s). #135
  • [NEW] On empty selection, Join Lines replaces nearest right-side line break and whitespace around it with a single space and moves the caret after it. This is similar to doing Join Lines + Compress Whitespace on the selection, and to Vim's J. #160

Setting Commands

  • [NEW] Replace Settings in All Instances command makes all other instances reload the INI from disk. Useful if you have dozens of Notepad2 windows open and need to change settings in one of them and have them saved (normally when an instance quits it overwrites the INI with its own settings). With this command you can do Save Settings Now, then Replace to ensure your new settings are not overwritten. #5
  • [NEW] Reload Settings from Disk (Alt+F7) command replaces all settings in current window with fresh version read from the INI file. #16
  • Save Settings On Exit was extended to allow a third value: Recent Files/Search Strings. This allows you to customize Notepad 2e once, Save Settings and then not worry that temporary changes (from a particular instance) will be saved, at the same time allowing the program to save file History and Find/Replace strings. #101
  • Save Settings On Exit can be also changed with a toolbar button (toggles between All... and Recent... values). #95

[NEW] Language Indicator

Window's title reflects current keyboard language, if configured with TitleLanguage. For example: Untitled - Notepad 2e [RU]. #86

Related settings:

  • TitleLanguage

Language indicator

[NEW] Date/Time Indicator

Menu bar can display the clock in the configured format. For example: 07/05/19 - 13:53. The text is updated every 10 seconds. #210

Related settings:

  • ClockFormat

Menu clock

Other Changes

  • [NEW] File Change Notification is more responsive (suitable for watching log files, like tail -f) #129 and reliable (works over network shares; no longer relies on FindFirstChangeNotification, only on file time polling) #241.
  • Sort Lines (Alt+O) and Modify Lines (Alt+M) operate on the entire document if selection is empty (Notepad2 does nothing in this case). #133
  • Links of Modify Lines (Alt+M) dialog ($(L) and others) are inserted into a focused input instead of replacing its value. #119
  • All Modify Lines (Alt+M) substitutions are replaced, not just first. #271
  • Line breaks (\r and \n) are removed from Search/Replace (of Find/Replace, Ctrl+F/H) and Prefix/Append (of Modify Lines, Alt+M) inputs (could appear after pasting). #70 #173
  • [NEW] Now respecting Windows' "Hide pointer while typing" setting in Control Panel > Mouse Properties > Pointer Options. #230
  • [NEW] Ability to retain caret position and selection on right click. Setting: MoveCaretOnRightClick.
  • [NEW] Displaying selected line count (L) in the status bar (in regular and rectangular modes). B is for selection length in bytes. #204 #262
  • [NEW] Displaying current file offset (Pos) in the status bar. #233
  • [NEW] Edit > Insert > Random (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R) inserts a padded number in range 1..99999 (inclusive) using the poor C's rand(). #221
  • Visual Brace Matching, Find/Select To Matching Brace operate on < > too. #283
  • "Accelerated" navigation mode for Ctrl+Arrow (like in Windows Notepad) that skips punctuation and other characters. Setting: WordNavigationMode.
  • Empty Window (Alt+0) no more triggers save prompt when Save Before Running Tools is enabled. #176
  • File > Encoding > UTF-8 has Shift+F8 hotkey assigned. #21
  • File > Line Endings > Unix has Alt+F8 hotkey assigned. #44
  • If large file loading stops due to memory limit, an error message is produced (Notepad2 silently stops loading it). #126
  • [NEW] DPI awareness - proper font scaling with crisp texts without Windows fallback mechanism. #154
  • Fixed bug of Notepad2 in processing [Toolbar Labels] INI section. #150
  • Upgraded Scintilla library to a more recent version (3.6.6 3.11.2).
  • Added <supportedOS> manifest entries for Windows 10/8.1/8 (Server 2016/2012/R2), in addition to Windows 7/Vista (Server 2008/R2). #159
  • Reduced default Notepad2 timeout from 1000 ms to 250 ms which sometimes allowed duplicate windows even if Single File Instance/Reuse Window were enabled. #177
  • Changed hardcoded printed page's header/footer font size from 8 pt/7 pt to 10 pt. #199
  • Grouped commands into submenus in Edit and Settings. #265
  • Reorganized & accelerators in File, Edit and Settings. #197 #276
  • Disabled commands when no file is opened: File > Open Next/Previous and Launch > Shell Menu #229; Launch > Open With #238; Edit > Strip/Escape HTML Tags, Find Next/Previous Word, Edit Selection/On Line #268.
  • [NEW] ? > 3rd-Party Code attribution dialog. #181
  • Changed Notepad2 defaults: #167
Setting Old Value New Value
Long Line 72 80

Undocumented Notepad2 Features

  • Rectangular selection mode is actually supported - hold Alt while dragging your mouse to make a selection. This is particularly useful for Column sort in Sort Lines (Alt+O).
  • Web search: if you set WebTemplate1 (or WebTemplate2) setting in the INI to and then press Ctrl+Shift+1-2 with non-empty selection - you will be navigated to that URL (%s replaced with a selection string, not URL-encoded).
  • If Replace's dialog Replace With is ^c - clipboard contents is used instead of this string.
  • If the program is started with /B flag, it enters "Pasteboard mode" where new content on the clipboard is automatically added to the buffer.
  • [Custom Colors] INI section is used to fill the "Custom colors" control of Fore/Back color pickers in Customize Schemes. #149

Rectangular selection and column sorting Pasteboard mode

Syntax Schemes

[NEW] These syntax schemes were added:

  • AutoHotKey (AHK) #214
  • awk #216
  • ASN1
  • bash
  • CoffeeScript
  • D
  • Lisp
  • Lua
  • Markdown
  • NSIS Script
  • OCaml
  • Ruby
  • Rust
  • TeX
  • YAML

CSS syntax scheme was improved:

  • Added CSS 3 properties. #4
  • Enabled //-inline comments (Ctrl+Q) that are used in LESS, SASS and other preprocessors. #4
  • Fixed brackets of nested rules not matching in some cases (visually and when using Ctrl+B). #4
  • Related setting: CSSSettings.

HTML syntax scheme was improved:

  • Added HTML5 tags. #236

Lua syntax scheme was improved:

  • Added single-line: --... and multi-line comments: --[[...]]. #111

[NEW] Lua Lexers #251

Scintilla's LPegLexer was enabled to allow defining new syntax schemes in Lua.

Warning: Lua is a fully functional language so allowing untrusted files inside LPegPath IS A VERY BAD IDEA as it allows execution of arbitrary code via Notepad 2e.

  • LPeg is not available in default Notepad 2e versions - download the one with LPeg support (or with LPeg + ICU if you want both although ICU doesn't affect LPeg).
  • LPeg support adds ~400 KiB to the EXE file size.
  • With LPeg, Notepad 2e is no longer single-file distribution and requires certain Lua files to exist in the location configured by the LPegPath INI setting (that is empty by default, disabling support for LPeg).

Configuration guide:

  • Define LPegPath under [Notepad2e] in your Notepad2e.ini file. Its value is relative to the EXE location and can contain %variables%.
  • Once done, open a new Notepad 2e window. It should have created files and folders under LPegPath (so it needs write access unless they already exist).
    • If you see an error message about disabled LPeg support on start-up then you failed to configure LPegPath.
  • For every new syntax scheme you want to support, copy the lexer file to LPegPath under the name file_extension + .lua. For example: pas.lua for *.pas files. Then, open View > Customize Schemes (Ctrl+F12) and select LPeg Lexer in the end of the list and enter all extensions you want to be handled by LPeg (e.g. pas;dpr).
    • If you don't see LPeg Lexer in the list then your Notepad 2e version wasn't built with LPeg support.
  • If you want LPeg to be picked automatically when you open a file then check Auto-select for LPeg Lexer under View > Syntax Scheme (F12; it's checked by default) and make sure other schemes don't have extensions listed for LPeg Lexer. Else you can uncheck it and be picking LPeg manually (but you still need extensions configured - LPeg will render others as Default Text).
  • If Notepad 2e tries to highlight a file and there's no lexer then you'll see an error saying which file you need to supply.

In the end, your LPegPath should contain these files:

themes\default.lua    - required, created by Notepad 2e if missing
lexer.lua             - required, created by Notepad 2e if missing
pas.lua               - lexer for *.pas files, created by you
...                   - other lexers
  • themes\ defines display colors. Notepad 2e doesn't support switching themes so it only uses default.lua.
  • We don't provide support for LPeg itself so to see how these lexers are written go to the project's homepage.
  • Pre-made lexers are available from Scintilla 3's source code archive (the lexlua folder, but you need to rename files in accordance to file extensions they highlight).
  • Also see the original project's page.

Extended Edition INI Changes

Settings in this section extend Notepad2's values and thus appear under its own INI groups, normally under [Settings].


Type Default Set By UI
int 1 (if INI exists) Settings > Save Settings On Exit

Causes the program to save its settings on exit. Any changes to the INI file from the time this process was started are overwritten.

Saving is only possible when an INI file exists. The easiest way to create it is using Save Settings Now (F7) command.

Value Meaning
0 Don't save settings
1 Save all settings
2 [NEW] Save only Recent Files and Search Strings but no settings

[NEW] Extended Edition INI Configuration

Notepad2 stores all of its settings in Notepad2.ini (or rather in exe_base_name.ini). Notepad 2e uses the same file but puts its settings under the [Notepad2e] group.


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 0

Enables creation of debug log file n2e_log.log in the program's folder.


Type Default Set By UI
int, bitfield 2

Extend standard CSS highlighting to support:

Bit Type
1 Sassy

It's a bitfield so bits can be combined: 3 = Sassy + LESS.

FindWordMatchCase & FindWordWrapAround

Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 0

These control Ctrl[+Shift]+8 search like normal Find dialog flags.

The Match whole word only flag is always enabled for those commands so it can't be customized.


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 0

If 0, current line is stops being highlighted when window is inactive (default Notepad2 behaviour).

If 1, highlighting is independent of window focus (always visible if enabled).


Type Default Set By UI
int 1

Indicates if Open File dialog can be submitted even if just a prefix of an existing file's name was entered.

Windows 7+ have a registry preference that enables autocompletion in various places (Win+R, Open/Save dialogs, Explorer windows, etc.). Its effect on Open File dialogs is similar to this Notepad 2e feature. Enabling both doesn't cause any trouble but it makes more sense to have only one of them active. #165

Value Meaning
0 Don't enable, use native Windows behaviour
1 Enable unless Explorer autocompletion is enabled
2 Always enable


Type Default Set By UI
int 0

Sets vertical margin for commands that can scroll the buffer, including:

  • F3, F2, Ctrl+8 and their Shift versions
  • Ctrl+], Ctrl+[ and their Shift versions
  • Page Up, Page Down and their Shift, Alt+Shift versions
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Z #279
Value Meaning
0 Margin of 4 extra lines (as in Notepad2)
1 33% margin
2 50% margin (central line)


Type Default Set By UI
int 1 Settings > Evaluate Math Expressions

Controls math expression evaluation. #88

Value Meaning
0 No evaluation (as in Notepad2)
1 Evaluate selection or, if empty - entire current line (if it's a valid expression)
2 Evaluate selection only (if it's a valid expression)


Type Default Set By UI
int 2 Settings > Window Title Display

Controls keyboard language display in window's title.

Value Meaning
0 No indication (as in Notepad2)
1 Always add language name as in ... [RU]
2 As 1 but don't add if the language is English (EN)


Type Default Set By UI
str, strftime()

Controls format of the date/time indicator in the menu bar. If empty, it's hidden.

Value is a standard strftime() format string composed of %smth sequences to be replaced by the corresponding values. Useful variables:

Variable Meaning Example
%% The percent symbol itself %
%Y Year 2019
%y Short year 19
%B Month name July
%b Short month name Jul
%m Month 07
%V Week of the year 27
%j Day of the year 186
%e Day 5
%A Weekday name Friday
%a Short weekday name Fri
%H Hour in 24-hour format 14
%I Hour in 12-hour format 02
%p Locale-dependent A.M. or P.M. P.M.
%M Minute 03
%S Second 25
%c Locale-dependent standard date/time Fri Jul 5 14:03:25 2019
%x Locale-dependent standard date 07/05/19
%X Locale-dependent standard time 14:03:25
%Z Locale-dependent time zone Russia TZ 2 Standard Time

Full reference:


Type Default Set By UI
int, bitfield 0

Controls behaviour of Shell Menu (Ctrl+Shift+R). For values see uFlags at this page:

These flags affect how the menu looks like and which commands are available; it's highly dependent on the OS and particular environment. Useful values you may try in case of problems (mainly on Windows XP):

  • ShellMenuType=16
  • ShellMenuType=4
Bit Type
0x00000000 NORMAL
0x00000001 DEFAULTONLY
0x00000002 VERBSONLY
0x00000004 EXPLORE
0x00000008 NOVERBS
0x00000010 CANRENAME
0x00000020 NODEFAULT
0x00000080 ITEMMENU


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 1 Settings > Ctrl+Wheel Scroll

If 0 then Ctrl+Wheel changes zoom level (Notepad2 behaviour).

If 1 then Ctrl+Wheel scrolls the document by entire pages.


Type Default Set By UI
int, ms 50 ms

When using Ctrl+Wheel, buffer will be scrolled at most once per this interval. Edit it if the program skips wheel rotations or is too sensitive.

Necessary because Windows fires a handful of wheel scroll events per one real scroll.


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 1 Settings > Move Caret On Right Click

If 0 - caret is not moved and selection is not changed on right mouse button click. #54

Not moving caret on right-click


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 0 Settings > Ctrl+Arrow Navigation

Controls Ctrl+Arrow navigation. If 1, enables "accelerated" mode where only whitespace is considered a word boundary, not punctuation, brackets, etc. (useful when working with natural language texts, not program code). #89 #156

Accelerated navigation Standard navigation


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 1

If 0, use Notepad2's behaviour calling UrlEscape with URL_ESCAPE_SEGMENT_ONLY.

If 1, perform full URL encoding/decoding per RFC 3986.


Type Default Set By UI
int 0 File > Save On Lose Focus

Controls if current document is saved when window loses focus, except under certain conditions.

Value Meaning
0 Don't save
1 Save
2 Save, and when a new file is opened or created, reset this setting to 0


Type Default Set By UI
str, path (empty)

Enables LPeg Lexer support. Ignored in non-LPeg versions. If empty, Lua is disabled.

Current Word Highlighting

Settings in this section that begin with _ have variations depending on highlighting conditions; all variations have the same format and meaning but may have different default values and apply in different situations.

Prefix Conditions
(none) Multiple occurrences, some are not visible on screen
Page Multiple occurrences, all are visible on screen
Single Single occurrence
Edit Edit Mode active

For example, _SelectionType expands to the following settings:



Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 1 View > Highlight Current Word

If 1, enables both current word highlighting and Edit Mode. Edit Mode doesn't work if highlighting is disabled.


Type Default Set By UI
int, KiB 96 KiB

Maximum lookahead/behind distance for word highlighting. If too large, navigation in big files will lag since it will search the buffer for twice this length (back & forward) on every position change. #53 #42


Type Default Set By UI
int 7 (INDIC_ROUNDBOX - Page, Edit), 6 (INDIC_BOX - others)

Decoration type. Value 5 disables this condition indication (other settings are ignored) - can be used, for example, to disable special rendering of Single occurrence.

  • For Edit (and other modes), 5 disables indication only - Edit Mode still continues to work. Note that value 0 doesn't disable indication as one might think (see the table below and #146 for the why).
  • If you want to disable highlighting and Edit Mode then use HighlightSelection setting as it removes all highlighting overhead.
  • Adjust search distance (performance on large buffers) with MaxSearchDistance.

For details and examples see:

Symbol Value


Type Default Set By UI
int 50 (Page, Edit), 0 (others)

Opacity value (0-255) for foreground highlight color.


Type Default Set By UI
int 255 (Page, Edit), 0 (others)

Opacity value (0-255) for highlight outline color.


Type Default Set By UI
str, BGR Varies (below)
Condition Default (RGB)
Multiple invisible #00AA00
Page #999900
Single #900000
Edit #0000FF

Foreground highlight color like 0xFF0000 (blue - not RGB!).


Type Default Set By UI
int, bool 1 (under - Page, Edit), 0 (over - others)

Corresponds to Scintilla's SCI_INDICSETUNDER:

[...] whether an indicator is drawn under text or over (default).

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Notepad2e" Project. README Source: ProgerXP/Notepad2e
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