When comparing Notepad++ vs Intellij IDEA, the Slant community recommends Intellij IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best IDEs for TypeScript development?” Intellij IDEA is ranked 8th while Notepad++ is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Intellij IDEA is:
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here. The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 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 Extendable via plugins
A list of hundreds of plugins is maintained.
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 Easy to use and admin
Very easy to use and personalize.
Pro User defined language syntax support
You can define your own custom syntax highlighting rules (or add support for others) .
Pro Supports Markdown
If you have the Plugin Manager installed you can search for MarkdownViewer++ and install it via that plugin.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
While it can run in Wine, it is native only to Windows. Linux users will have to use Notepadqq instead.
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 Settings confusingly scattered
Examples: try to change the tab size or used font.
Con Session backups not enabled by default
Unsaved tabs will be lost when Npp crashes, unless you first enable the session backup option.
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 Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Somewhat expensive
IntelliJ IDEA is fairly expensive, with a pricetag of $149/year.
However there is a free community edition available.
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Althrough thesse are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).