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Tool Spotlight: Notepad++

Notepad++Its time to spotlight another favorite tool. This time its a Windows notepad replacement called Notepad++. It is an open source project, in fact the motto on their website is “free as in ‘free speech’ and ‘free beer'”.  Why would a Network Engineer care about a notepad replacement? Here are just a few reasons:

Network gear config files need to be done with an ASCII editor. Programs such as MS Word can throw in extra characters if you’re not careful. Actually I do all config files with Notepad++, whether it’s for a Cisco Router or a Windows application. (**In UNIX/Linux i use VIM, thats a completely different post).

Notepad++ supports multiple tabs. If you are working on a lot of files this  feature is essential! You can even perform searches on multiple tabs. This is helpful when reviewing logs. You can also use plugins to compare different files (helpful to see what changed on a router config).

This is by far the best scripting tool I’ve used. There is built-in support for almost any scripting language you can think of. I use it mostly for PERL, HTML, and PHP. But recently I decided to learn how to script with PowerShell and it has built-in support for that. Here is an example of a PowerShell script I’m working on right now:

Notepad++ PowerShell example

Notice how nice this is to work with compared to notepad below:

Notepad PowerShell sample

There are a lot of other good Notepad replacements out there, but I happen to like this one the best.

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  1. December 31, 2010 at 15:04

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