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Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++

by pryrt (Abbot)
on Feb 22, 2020 at 19:35 UTC ( #11113336=CUFP: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Here is my Perl module for automating Notepad++ (the Windows-based text editor). edit: as new versions are released, I will update the VERSION HISTORY, and post a reply so something ends up in Newest Nodes / Recently Active Threads


Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus - Automate the Windows application Notepad++


use Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus ':main'; my $npp = notepad(); # main application


Automate the Windows application Notepad++. This is inspired by the Notepad++ plugin PythonScript, but I decided to automate the application from the outside, rather than from inside a Notepad++ plugin. But this module uses similar naming conventions and interface to the PythonScript plugin.


This is the first public release of the module. In general, it works. As with all first releases, there is room for improvement; I welcome feedback.

The first known limitation is that none of the hooks for Scintilla or Notepad++ callbacks have been enabled. That may come sometime in the future.

All the testing and development was done with a US-English installation of Notepad++, and all the file encodings have been ANSI or UTF-8. I know that I need to include better tests for encoding, and any help you can provide with that is appreciated.

Notepad++ is a Windows application, so that's the intended platform for this module. However, I know Notepad++ can be made to run in Wine and similar environments in Linux, so it may be possible to make this module drive Notepad++ in such an environment. Feedback on this process is welcome.


To install this module, use your favorite CPAN client.

For a manual install, type the following:

perl Makefile.PL make make test make install

(You may need to use "dmake" or "gmake" instead of "make", depending on your setup.)


Peter C. Jones

Please report any bugs or feature requests thru the repository's interface at, or by emailing <bug-Win32-Mechanize-NotepadPlusPlus AT> or thru the web interface at


Copyright (C) 2019,2020 Peter C. Jones


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License. See for more information.


2020 Mar 21: v0.002 released to CPAN

  • Reorganize the hash variables for easier and clearer use going forward (#13)
  • editor->getLine() on an empty line will now correctly return an empty string, not "\0" (fixed #14)
  • update API for getNumberOpenFiles to correctly use the constants (#17)
  • add notepad->getNppVar() for accessing the "user variables", like FULL_CURRENT_PATH and CURRENT_WORD (#19)
  • improve documentation internal links (#20)
  • make the editor->hwnd() a public method (instead of using editor()->{_hwnd})
  • make the notepad->hwnd() a public method (instead of using notepad()->{_hwnd})
  • add helper editor->getEOLString(): convert EOL Mode integer to a string
  • editor->getFileEndPosition(): gives the end position of the whole document
  • improve test coverage: add encoding names and getLanguageName coverage to npp-buffer.t
  • examples/ folder: adding more example usages
  • improve Editor documentation on ->findText and some other methods, and clean up set/get pairs, so they share the same information
  • improve Notepad documentation, especially fixing the link for menuCmdID source file

2020 Apr 6: v0.003 released to CPAN

The user-centric changes that were made:

  • some of the Scintilla v4.2.0 messages that were implemented in Notepad++ v7.8 were missing, so add them (#29: thanks VinsWorldcom for pointing this out!)
  • runPluginsCommand() = fixed command cache feature and improved test (#30)
  • added version notes, to say which messages and "enums" (hashes/keys) require NPP v7.8 (because these are the Scintilla v4.2.0 updates)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++ (v0.003)
by pryrt (Abbot) on Apr 09, 2020 at 14:58 UTC
    v0.003 released. Updated original post with v0.002 and v0.003 notes.
Re: Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 25, 2020 at 03:37 UTC


    So what is the use case?

      So what is the use case?

      Replacing the PythonScript plugin with a real programming language. ;-)

      Notepad++ has some excellent features -- it's got a Boost regex engine, and a simple macro language. However, there are cases when those tools aren't quite sufficient for the task at hand: often, those include things when you need loops (perform the same set of actions many times), or when the search term and/or replacement sequence should be algorithmically generated: in the Notepad++ Community forum, we often see requests for "how to I replace all of these matching numbers with 1 plus the number" or "how do I replace these with a random number or random string" or similar tasks. You cannot do those in the standard Boost-based search-and-replace dialog, but could easily be done in Perl.

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