Does your job require a high-performing text editor?
Text editors are the main tools for web developers and programmers. With almost 2 million active websites on the internet, the need for developers only grows. To fulfill the demand of small businesses and brands, a developer needs the right tools.
You may have heard of Notepad ++ if you’re a web developer or programmer. Despite its limited features, Notepad++ is still one of the most popular text editors. However, not everyone can enjoy the use of Notepad++.
Are you looking to download Notepad++ on your new Mac device? Don’t worry; we got you covered! In this article, we cover how to download Notepad++ and install it on macOS.
What Is Notepad++?
Notepad++ was first released in 2003 by Don Ho and had an open-source license. It has since become an icon of the open-source movement. You can download Notepad++ for Windows for free.
Windows has a default text editor called Notepad. Notepad++ is an upgraded Notepad. It’s written in C++ and based on Scintilla, a powerful editing component.
It supports various features like syntax highlighting, syntax folding, and auto-completion. Users may also enjoy multi-document editing and PCRE or Perl Compatible Regular Expression.
Notepad++ is free and available in 90 languages. With its extensive features, online respondents voted it as the most used text editor. Of 26,086 respondents on Stack Overflow, 34.7% claimed to use it every day.
Notepad++ claimed many awards like the “Best Programming Text Editor for Windows.” It’s still listed as one of the best text editors in 2020 by TechRadar.
Why Notepad++ Is Not on the Mac
The default text editor in macOS is TextEdit. It’s as bare-bones as Windows’ Notepad and leaves power users wanting more.
Unfortunately, you can’t download Notepad++ for Mac. There’s no version of Notepad++ for macOS either. This is because it is a non-commercial and open-source project built only for Windows.
Because of this, Notepad++ relies on the Win32 API. This is the 32-bit core application programming interface for Windows’ modern versions. It comprises various components like file systems, processes, threads, error handling, and devices.
Without the Win32 API, Notepad++ can’t function. This is unless you make a major rewrite of the application.
Porting Notepad++ to macOS would also prove difficult. As mentioned, it’s a non-commercial application. This means that there’s limited motivation to make a version for macOS.
Porting it would also break most of Notepad++’s plugins and fracture its community. You can find a Notepad++ Mac alternative here.
However, if you still want to use Notepad++, there’s still hope. Here are some workarounds to allow you to use Notepad++ on macOS.
Running Notepad++ on Mac
One great way to run Notepad++ on Mac without porting it is through virtual machines or emulators. If you’re not familiar with these methods, don’t worry! We’ll walk you through how to use emulators to download Notepad++ on Mac.
Method 1: Run Notepad++ on Mac Using an Emulator
An emulator program creates a compatibility layer between macOS and Windows. It gives Windows-based software an interface on your Mac. This allows you to run almost any Windows application.
Wine is a great Windows emulator for Mac. Here’s how to use Wine to run Windows on your Mac device.
- Download Wine’s installer package from the official website. Unzip the archive.
- Open up the Terminal, then type winecfg. This creates a C drive for Notepad to live on your Mac.
- Download Notepad++ from the official website or GitHub’s repository. Place it in the C drive you created.
- Returning to the Terminal, navigate to the C drive directory. Once there, start the installation by typing wine [file name]. This should activate the .exe file.
- Once it’s complete, you can launch Notepad++ using the Terminal by typing wine [file name] again.
You can now run Notepad++ on your Mac and use all the features that you’re used to. A necessary consequence of using an emulator is the bugs. This happens because you’re running an app within an app.
Method 2: Run Notepad++ on Mac Through a Virtual Machine
Running Notepad++ or other programs using emulators like Wine has its disadvantages. Because it runs parallel with the native macOS applications, bugs are inevitable.
Minor bugs can be tolerable for average users. However, if you’re a software developer, stability and minimal bugs would be a priority. If you’re a heavy power user, a virtual machine is your best option.
A virtual machine runs a full-scale Windows environment on your Mac. This allows you to install and use any Windows program without limitations.
A good and reputable virtual machine software is VMware Fusion. Here’s are the steps to install Windows on macOS;
- Have an official ISO copy (with the license keys) of your preferred Windows version.
- Download VMware Fusion from its official website. Install it on your Mac.
- Once prompted, drag the Windows ISO file and drop it onto the installation method window.
- Tick the box for the Use Easy Install option.
- Enter the license credentials for your copy of Windows.
- Save your created virtual machine.
The window for your Windows environment should be active now. Notepad++ download for Windows will install and run as it does on a regular Windows PC.
You should note that both the Windows copy and VMware Fusion will need a license.
It’s also a less efficient integration of Windows in Mac. Note that it may not have the native speed and reliability you’re used to.
Download Notepad ++ on Your Mac Now!
If Notepad ++ is your text editor of choice, you’re limited by their incompatibility, even with a Mac. However, using an emulator or virtual machine is a great workaround. With the steps above, you can now download Notepad++ on your Mac as if you’re using Windows.
Want to know more about other software workarounds or tips for Windows or Mac? Check out our other guides to learn how to use Windows apps on your Mac device!