Notepad++ has earned a name for itself among coders. It's a free piece of software for editing code with a number of features that make it easier to code and now, an unofficial version has arrived on the Microsoft Store. The unofficial version brings the majority of the same features to coders, though limitations from the Microsoft Store prevent some key features.
The app is available for free on Windows 10 PCs. I'm reviewing the unofficial version of Notepad++ that's available through the Microsoft Store rather than the official version, so unless otherwise specified I'll be referring to the unofficial Microsoft Store version in this review.
Features for coders
Notepad++ has a basic interface that's packed with features to help make coding more simple. It's very versatile with support for dozens of coding languages ranging from the most popular and common to the more obscure. It has a long feature list but some that stick out are syntax highlighting and syntax folding. The app also has a tabbed interface and support for multiview. Being able to hide entire segments of code and highlight parts with different colors make it a lot easier to jump around larger coding sets.
I admit that I'm not a coder, but my brother-in-law James, a physics student and coder, helped me review this app. One of the main things that we noticed is that it has some notable restrictions when compared to the official version of Notepad++.
Because the app is available through the Microsoft Store, it has to follow certain policies. This stops the app from being able to perform certain file associations and run options. Furthermore, Notepad++ has multiple restrictions on Windows 10 S devices, including not being able to download custom plugins or removing or updating default plugins.
These limitations will be big issues for some users. For example, James is coding at university and the code he's currently working on has a large number of moving parts that need to collide with each other and other elements within axes. The Microsoft Store version of Notepad++ doesn't support his required dependencies, and thus couldn't run his code. That's a deal breaker. But for more basic codes, this might not be much of an issue.
Even with these limitations, it's nice to see an app like this in the Microsoft Store. It brings a fork of a popular coding software to a number of devices and improves discoverability.
If you can download the official version of Notepad++, then that's the option you should go for. It's just as free as the Microsoft Store version, but offers better features. But if you're restricted to Microsoft Store apps, either by security policies or because you're running Windows 10 S, then this unofficial version can still provide a lot of utility.
The limitations in the Microsoft Store version of Notepad++ are limitations on all Microsoft Store apps. Whether or not these handicaps will stand in your way depends largely on how you plan to use the app. For some it might not be a big deal, and for them Notepad++ makes a nice addition to the Microsoft Store. Everybody else should just get the official version direct from the web instead.
- Allows you to hide entire segments of code
- Multi-tab interface
- Lets you use color to make coding easier
- Can't execute some key tasks
- Restrictions on plugins
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