When comparing SciTE vs Notepad++, the Slant community recommends SciTE for most people. In the question“What are the best programming text editors?” SciTE is ranked 12th while Notepad++ is ranked 14th. The most important reason people chose SciTE is:
Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to. Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
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Based on the Scintilla source code editor, SciTE has some advanced features like rectangular editing, simple regular expression search and replace, code folding, etc. It allows the user to launch a compiler or interpreter, and it can also interpret the error messages, jumping at the location they point to.
Lua scripting is key to SciTE's power and flexibility. The Lua scripting language can be used to perform complex text transformations. It's relatively simple syntax and its large user-base makes it a great choice for a scripting feature.
It's property files allow for fine tweaks of its behavior, at a global or per language / project level. These textual settings might be confusing for those used to preference dialogs, but prove to be powerful, flexible, and fine grained.
With less than 2 MB of binary on Windows, SciTE starts instantly. Plus, if you don't need all the config, syntax files, blah, there's a 678k standalone .exe version. Nothing is going to beat that for lightweight and start-up times. Stick it in a folder that is already on your PATH.
Pro Built-in shell
The console window can show the result of ran commands (like build current file, reporting warnings, and errors), but also accept interactive shell commands.
SciTE works on Windows and Linux, and it also has a commercial port on MacOS.
Pro Powerful syntax highlighting for numerous languages
Lexers providing folding and syntax highlighting are based on code, not on regular expressions. They support context, nesting, special rules, etc.
Pro Free (except on Mac) and open source
SciTE is written in C++, with lot of contributors, both to the core and to the numerous lexers.
Has a simple graphical user interface
Pro Syntax highlighting for a wide variety of languages
Notepad++ has built-in support for syntax highlighting for a wide selection of programming languages.
Pro Extendable via plugins
A list of hundreds of plugins is maintained.
Pro Light and fast
Notepad++ is a very light program that starts almost instantly. This makes it a great text editor for users that want something that will start the second they open it.
You can get a portable version of N++ and put it on a flash drive or your dropbox account and have your editor, configured the way you like, at any computer that you are on.
Pro Free under GPL
Notepad++ is licensed under GPL, which means it is free/open source software that you can use freely.
Pro Regex replace in selection, active tab, or all tabs
In Notepad++, the user can utilise regular expressions to quickly modify text across multiple files.
Pro Persistent documents, even after exiting the application
If you close notepad++ (npp), your documents remain even if you haven't saved.
Pro Split screen
The user can open and edit files in multiple screens within the editor window.
Pro Multi-line editing
While it is disabled by default, when enabled, it is possible to edit more than one line at a time. This is helpful in many situations.
Pro User defined language syntax support
You can define your own custom syntax highlighting rules (or add support for others) .
Con Hard to config
The configuration is mainly a file-based config, which can be unintuitive and difficult to use for new users.
Con Missing file browser
SciTE's greatest weakness is perhaps the file browser. It does not really have one, just a poor substitute which works a little bit like a terminal window with
dir commands to show the files in a directory.
No extensions, Themes.
While it can run in Wine, it is native only to Windows.
Con Outdated UI
Only the text area can be themed, and it doesn't have as many features as browser-based text areas.
Con Limited new syntax support for new languages
It may be hard to find good plugins for relatively new languages.
Con User defined language doesn't support triple quote strings
It also doesn't support triple hashed comments. Both styles are overridden by their single character single line version.
Con Annoying update notifications upon start-up
Annoying update notifications tend to pop up upon start-up after not having used the app or machine for a few days. At the same time, they can be easily turned off.
Con Session backups not enabled by default
Unsaved tabs will be lost when Npp crashes, unless you first enable the session backup option.