Editing any document directly from the Windows Explorer using Notepad plus plus

This is a very short post on the excellent integration of Notepad++ with Windows Explorer Shell. I don’t know about you, but quite often, I want to look at contents of various kinds of files e.g. a XAML file or HTML file or a visual studio project (csporj, vcproj) file. If you try to double click one of these files, they will get opened in their respective programs e.g. in Internet Explorer or Visual Studio. Sometimes, I just need to look at the contents. The usual flow goes like, in Windows Explorer, right click on the file, select “Open With” and then hit “show more options” and then finally select notepad. Now Notepad is a fine enough software. It has shipped with Windows since, well, since forever. However, it is an extremely bare bones software. Often times I desire an editor with more advanced functionality.

And then along came Notepad++. I have been using Notepad++ for a long while. It is, as the name suggests, Notepad on steroids. You can download it from the above link. It has syntax coloring for many languages. Can open pretty large files, has tabs for editing multiple files, opens up in a jiffy and best of all, it directly inserts a menu in the Windows Explorer right click menu named “edit with Notepad++”.

And there, that is a little tidbit that saves me time and frustration when editing files with non-text extensions.