How Solarized Notepad2 Became My Primary Text Editor

And why you should use it, too.

As I was looking how to prettify my trusty Metapad, I stumbled upon Notepad2. I downloaded it and realized, I already have a copy of it sitting quietly inside my Portable folder.

So, I thought, why didn't this little freeware gain traction at first use. I don't know.

I changed Notepad2's font to Monaco, thought it looked good and used it for the time being.

I cleaned it up a bit and changed its color scheme. It looked really good. Then, I began to use it for everything text-related, unintentionally leaving out Notepad and Metapad.

notepad2 solarized light mode

5 main reasons how Notepad2 unintentionally became my primary text editor:

1. It looks really good with the right color scheme and font.


notepad2 solarized light mode default text

notepad2 solarized dark mode

Font: Monaco Regular 11
Color Scheme: Solarized (Light and dark modes available)
Toolbar: Hidden

I ended up using Monaco for every syntax scheme even with Default Text.

2. Syntax highlighting and ability to switch syntax schemes.


notepad2 solarized light mode css

Well, you can do this with Notepad++, too.

3. Lightweight and portable.

No need to install.

4. Modified versions available.

I haven't personally used them, but it's nice to know plenty of people keep improving Notepad2.

5. It's a beautiful Metapad-Notepad++ hybrid.

It's a beautiful text editor AND code editor in one. It's both good-looking and functional -- 2 awesome things made more awesome when combined.

But wait, how to solarize Notepad2?

From my point of view, Solarized is a pastel color scheme for selected text-related programs. It's like the f.luxified version of applications.

But first, download Notepad2 here.

To use Solarized color scheme for Notepad2, follow these simple steps:

1. Download ZIP file from achbed's github and extract.

2. Open Notepad2, click View > Customize Schemes... (Ctrl+F12).

3. Import notepad2-solarize.ini.

4. Click OK.

To switch between Solarized light and dark modes, press Shift+F12.

Note: This color scheme port is only applicable for "Default Text", "Web Source Code", "CSS Style Sheets" and "JavaScript". Last update was 3 years ago. Where's achbed or the main man, Ethan, when you need them (to officially solarize Notepad2).

Final Words of Wisdom (Let it be, let it be)

If you're a casual text and code (HTML & CSS) operator like me, who values looks and function at the same time, you'd love a Solarized Notepad2.