Best 9 Alternatives to Notepad++ for Mac Developers [2023]

Guide on how to run Notepad++ on Mac and what are the best alternatives to Notedpad++ for Mac.

MacBook has been counted in the elite section of computing devices, with competition that sets it at the higher end of the market. The use of MacBooks in programming and development has been a recognized utility in the professional market. While the Mac makes programming fun, some developers face difficulty managing their tasks on such devices.

Notepad++ is a free source code editor for managing programming codes in a simple environment. You might be wondering if there is any service of Notepad++ for Mac. This article brings together a comprehensive overview of Notepad++ following some great alternatives that developers on Mac can try.

What is Notepad++?

Notepad++ is a free source code editor designed with specialized features, including essential text editing functions. Starting its journey in 2003, Notepad++ has continued in active development and has been directed for editing source code on Windows desktops. Taking the reference of “++” from the major programming languages of C, C++, Java, and JavaScript, Notepad++ can manage and edit the aforementioned programming languages.

There are many useful utilities offered in this open-source code editor for Windows. With the option of editing text files up to 2GB in size, it can manage a diversity of code that is extensively long. This software resembles the basic Windows Notepad from its name but holds quite a different stance and structure. From editing multiple files that can be organized in tabs, Notepad++ provides a complete experience of programming code editing.

You might find Notepad++ a basic tool in programming development, but it surely tackles several utilities that make it a proactive tool to deal with.

Is Notepad++ Available on Mac?

The next question is whether it is available on Mac or not. Notepad++ for Mac is not available in the market as it is generally a replacement for Notepad on Windows and operates in the MS Windows environment. While it only runs in that environment, it does not offer native support for Mac and Linux to the consumer market.

Notepad++ was written in C++ and utilized WIN32 API and STL, which certifies that this tool is only available on Windows. With its dedicated support, Notepad++ provides services to various Windows OS versions. You can find it running on the following Windows OS versions:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11

This clears out the fact that Notepad++ is not available for Mac users or Mac developers with native support.

Best Alternatives to Notepad++ for Mac

We will now be shifting to discuss some alternatives to Notepad++ for Mac. As our discussion directs into these alternatives, it will help you discover the best option you can find compared to Notepad++.

1. VSCode

The first tool that comes to light involves one of the leading market providers in the programming field. Visual Code Studio, integrating the renowned Visual Studio IDE and code editor, is a lightweight solution to powerful source code editing on a desktop. With built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js, VSCode features multiple extensions, which makes it a lucrative tool to work with.


  • There is an in-built debugger available on VSCode, which makes programming seamless for Mac users.
  • It features extensions to accommodate more languages, themes, debuggers, and commands within a single environment.


  • Many users have reported using more battery power after using VSCode on their devices.

2. Atom

Atom is another free and open-source text editor used for source code editing on Mac, also called the “hackable text editor of the century.” Since it is an open-source text editor, users can customize their tool with third-party packages and themes. Such personalized experience makes it a good alternative to Notepad++ for Mac. Users who are new to programming can find it to be a great platform to start from.


  • Theme designing on Atom is quite basic and straightforward to perform as compared to other open-source code editors in the market.
  • You can define the workflow by enabling the features under the requirement.


  • Atom does not offer such extensive features as other source code editors.

3. Sublime Text

For better user experiences, Sublime Text offers a unique set of features that makes it a widely used source code and text editor in the market. While it provides services for Mac, Windows, and Linux users, Sublime Text contains services that include autocompletion, syntax highlighting, and code folding options which enhance the user experience. As an alternative to Notepad++, it offers a great set of customizability, making it a better choice for some Mac developers.


  • This source code editor holds great support and holds for Python language, giving an exclusive experience for developers who have an interest in this language.
  • Being an easy-to-use source code editor, Sublime Text makes operations simple for its users.


  • The learning curve for a set of features is difficult to understand for beginners in program development.

4. TextEdit

TextEdit is a built-in text editor for Mac users that helps users convert their rich text documents into other formats. While it acts as a primary conversion tool, you can find it an option for creating and editing HTML documents. As we progress to its utility, it proves exceptionally efficient for creating HTML code.


  • A peculiar feature provided by TextEdit includes its ability to annotate images with different interactive elements.
  • It acts as a user-friendly tool for handling notes, pictures, and code files.


  • There are not enough features that make it competitive with Notepad++ and other text editors for Mac.

5. BBEdit

Bare Bones Software developed a professional text, code, and markup editing tool for Mac devices in the form of BBEdit. While it associates great utility for Mac developers, it stands as a great alternative to Notepad++ for Mac, with an interface worth using. BBEdit includes a variety of functionalities for Mac users in the shape of grep pattern matching and other project definition tools.


  • The file tools offered by BBEdit, including the functionality of accessing the file system, hidden content, and direct FTP/SFTP support, are commendable in use.
  • The commands for formatting text and code are detailed and efficiently manage the user requirements.


  • BBEdit does not offer tools that are far-sighted and accurate in devising solutions for web development.

6. JetBrains Fleet

This alternative to Notepad++ provides a unique experience using IDEs for code generation. JetBrains Fleet uses the IntelliJ code-processing engine to provide a proactive IDE architecture to Mac users to offer a fast and seamless exposure or writing and editing code. While the interface supports a variety of workflows, JetBrains Fleet extends the collaboration of the users to the maximum.


  • This source code editor offers support for various languages without requiring third-party extensions.
  • There are a variety of integrated tools within the IDE for enhancing the working experience of the developers.


  • Although JetBrains Fleet is using state-of-the-art technology for developing an IDE, it is under development and has multiple irregularities.

7. Brackets

If you seek to move a modern-style code editor for your Mac, Brackets can serve as a great alternative to Notepad++ for Mac. While it is a low-end, robust solution for editing text, it binds the visual tools and presents creative utilities for web designers and front-end developers on Mac. Induced with inline editors and live previews, Brackets make a perfect tool for writing and managing code on Mac.


  • Brackets work with preprocessors differently, making them a unique tool to operate.
  • This editor provides a great loading speed which gives it leverage when compared.


  • There are no hints provided, which include potential coding lines and syntax errors.
  • Adobe ended their support for Brackets on September 1, 2021.

8. Gedit

Text editors can do much more than their name exclaims. These tools are not about writing plain texts only. This is what gedit takes further as a Mac text editor, where it provides code editing services alongside text editing. With basic highlighting, structuring, and formatting, gedit turns out to be a great option for Mac developers who are looking forward to learning more about code editing. You can also find gedit for other platforms, which makes it a good alternative to work with.

Gedit Text Editor (Image Source:


  • You can consider adding plugins to the text editor to enhance your workflow and functionality.
  • It features an excellent user interface to work with, which comes with quick operations and custom shortcuts.


  • The last line of the text editor does not appear at times.

9. TextMate

For a unique Mac experience, developers are encouraged to utilize the powerful and customizable text editor under TextMate. With support for a wide variety of programming languages, TextMate features support multiple changes in a single instant, making it a developer-friendly alternative to Notepad++ for Mac. TextMate offers a diverse range of features, which makes it a great source code editor.


  • Searching through files and codes is easy with TextMate, as it makes going through data simple.
  • The use of macros in TextMate prevents the repeated use of a function through manual means.


  • It is only available for Mac users, with no support for other developers using different operating systems.

Solutions to Run Notepad++ on Mac

What if it comes to your knowledge that you can have a chance to run Notepad++ on Mac? There are a couple of solutions that can be utilized in such a scenario, which have been mentioned in this section:

Run Notepad++ via Windows Program Emulators

The first thing that can aid in your requirement of running Notepad++ on Mac is using a program emulator for Windows. Windows program emulators provide the opportunity to operate Windows tools on Mac. Emulators, which direct the user to run tools that do not have native support, can turn out to be a helpful solution if you wish to use Notepad++ for Mac.

There are many examples that can be of service for running Notepad++ on Mac. It includes PlayOnMac, Wine, and CrossOver as prominent examples of Windows program emulators. Tools like PlayOnMac provide dedicated support to Windows programs to operate on Mac while providing a simple and effective user interface. This does not make development difficult for Mac developers who like working on Notepad++.

Install Notepad++ via Virtual Machines

Are you still up for using Notepad++ for Mac, regardless of all the concerns that have been raised? If you are, you can try setting up a virtual machine for running Notepad++ on Mac. While these are less efficient, handling virtual machines is quite complicated. Hence, they are not recommended as an effective solution to managing such tasks.

If you still wish to continue, you can try using VirtualBox, VMware, and Parallel Desktop to manage your virtual machine. To know how to install and use Windows on your Mac using a platform like VirtualBox, look into the steps featured below:

Step 1: Download Virtual Box on your MacBook

Download VirtualBox from the official website and select “OS X Hosts” from the option that appears in the list. Continue to install the package on your Mac and continue with the process.

Step 2: Confirm the Name and Operating System for Virtual Box

As you launch VirtualBox on your Mac, select “New” from the top of the window to start creating a virtual machine. Add a name, select “Microsoft Windows” from the option and continue to select the 64-bit version from the options.

Step 3: Specify the Memory Size Using Slider

Once you click “Continue” to direct to the next screen, use the slider to set the memory for the machine. This will count as the RAM of the virtual machine, which can be initialized as required.

Step 4: Confirm the Hard Disk Settings

Initialize the hard disk in its initial settings and set its file type at the default option. Leave the option under the “Physical Hard Disk” section as default and continue setting the virtual hard disk’s name and size. A new virtual machine will be created for your Windows.

Step 5: Start Installing Windows on your MacBook

Continue downloading the latest disk image file for your Windows and lead to the VirtualBox window again. Double-click on the newly-created virtual machine, add the downloaded ISO file for Windows, and tap “Start.” Continue with the on-screen instructions to install Windows on your Mac successfully.


The article has comprehensively introduced Notepad++ and provided an in-depth overview of whether the service can be operated on a Mac. As you’ve learned, if there is an option of using Notepad++ for Mac, look through the details to know more about the alternatives you can consider to be a Mac developer.

Notepad++ Mac FAQs

We have worked on some important frequently asked questions that you might have while considering Notepad++ for Mac. Look into the details to know more about the functions involved in using Notepad++. 

Why is Notepad++ not available for Mac?

Notepad++ is based on the MS Windows environment and uses the WIN32 API and STL for functionality. Since it is only based on the Windows OS elements, it is not available on any other operating system, including Mac.

What is Notepad++ equivalent for Mac free?

The equivalent option of Notepad++ on Mac is its built-in TextEdit text editor. This basic text editing tool allows users to easily edit plain text and manage HTML codes.

Is Notepad++ available for M1 & M2 Macs?

No, Notepad++ is not available for any Mac device. It can only be operated on MacBook through initializing virtual machines or using a Windows program emulator.

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Jason Shur

Jason is a web developer, technology writer, and the founder of TechShur. He loves building weird and quirky stuff on Minecraft when he's not building websites.

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