Notepad++ Secrets: Vertical Lines

© 2012, Martin Rinehart

One-by-one the old constraints are turning into free (or nearly free) goods: CPU cycles, disk space, even network transmission. But we still don't have enough vertical lines.

Programmer's editor Notepad++ can help, but it produces no miracles.

Font Size

Like browsers, Ctrl-"+" and Ctrl-"-" increase / decrease your font size. Ctrl-"mouse wheel" is supposed to do this too, but we don't find that very convenient. Use Settings / Style Configurator to choose your smallest comfortable font size.

F11, F12

As it does in most browsers, F11 toggles full-screen, maximized mode. It eliminates all but the tabs at the top, giving you as many vertical lines as possible. It also eats the whole screen.

F12 toggles a special "Post-It" mode that doesn't add width but it gives you every vertical pixel for the file you are editing. Every pixel. (A little "+" up at the top-right reminds you that another F12 will return to normal.)

Killing the Menu

The easiest way to gain vertical space is to turn the menu off. Unlike many applications, where you can only lose the menu once you know the app, you can do this right from day one. Here's how and why.

How? Settings/Preferences/General tab, "Hide" box. Check it fearlessly.

Why? Because tapping the Alt key returns the menu for a single use. Like most apps, Alt+F shows the File menu, for example, even if the main menu is not showing. Notepad++ shows the whole main menu, for a single use, with a tap of the Alt key.

Killing the Toolbar

If you create shortcuts for the toolbar icons (also on the menu above), you can turn the toolbar off (Settings / Preferences / General tab / Toolbar box / Hide). There is no easy way to toggle the icons on and off, so you might want to wait until you have all the shortcuts you need.

We've experimented with the small icons but find they really have little advantage over the standard icons. The standard ones are much more legible.

Code Folding

The View menu has a rich set of options to collapse and uncollapse your code. Please write us a "how to" when you get these working.

Feedback: MartinRinehart at gmail dot com.

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