TextFX 64-bit binary / source code unavailability?

  • I like regular expressions and I use them quite frequently. It is amazing what one can do with them. BUT: they are not suitable for every problem and not for every user. Before one can use them to solve a problem he has to learn regular expressions - so he has got two problems. ;)

    The above (partially monstrous) regular expressions are not a real alternative for a plugin which provides simply menu entries (which can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut) for some common and often needed tasks.

    But OK, you had fun to code these regular expressions and it showed what is possible with this technique.

    I use TextFX too and I think it is still a useful plugin. And because of its plenty of functions IMHO it is OK that it installs an own entry in the menu bar.

  • @dinkumoil

    not suitable for every problem and not for every user

    I think it plays to how much effort one wants to go to in order to accomplish one’s goals. Not everyone will invest what it takes to learn regular expressions (regex), and not everyone will invest in Pythonscript (or LuaScript)–two key things (regex search-and-replace / scripting) that are likely to power workarounds to some “missing” Notepad++ functionalities.

    I have been known to lead off a post where I propose a Pythonscript solution to a problem with “If you’re willing to go to the effort to get the Pythonscript plugin going…”, because I realize that not everyone will.

    BUT…it seems reasonable that if someone posts a question about how to do something, they probably really want to do it, and they may actually be willing to go above-and-beyond. And when someone HANDS you a solution (e.g. provides a regex search-and-replace setup, or says “here’s a script…”), is it really that much effort? :-)

    I also think it has to do with “information exchange”, which is the lifeblood of this “Community”. One of the reasons I read and contribute to this Community is to (a) get insights on how others use Notepad++ because maybe knowing that improves my own usage, and (b) by sharing some of my own knowledge maybe I do the same for others (perhaps a dubious assumption!). Often I read a posting and my first thought is “not applicable to me”…but then I think more about it…and usually I end up learning something I didn’t know, or didn’t realize that I could put into use.

    So an example of that is I didn’t know about rot13 until I saw this thread. I read up on it, and then forgot about it. It was only when @guy038 replied with regex solutions for the other functionalities that I thought “Hey, regex can do rot13, too”, and I provided that in the hope that it benefits someone else. Thus, idea exchange!

    (partially monstrous) regular expressions are not a real alternative for a plugin which provides simply menu entries (which can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut) for some common and often needed tasks

    Okay, so sure, it would be tough to remember the regexes for the rot13 thing. Nobody would do that. However, for someone that really needed it (and for some reason couldn’t use 32-bit Notepad++ where TextFX is available), maybe they would copy the text of those regexes to a file for future use via copy and paste to the Find dialog. That could work for them, but again, clunky…

    …Or maybe they would think, how could I use this easier? If they couldn’t figure out a way, perhaps they’d post here and ask. And then a response might be: “Well, one could ‘script it’ and then it WOULD BE available via a menu item and COULD BE assigned a shortcut key combination…”…hmmm:


                  # capture a letter into a group with the same name as the letter:
    f = '(?-i)' + '(?<A>A)|(?<B>B)|(?<C>C)|(?<D>D)|(?<E>E)|(?<F>F)|' + \
                  '(?<G>G)|(?<H>H)|(?<I>I)|(?<J>J)|(?<K>K)|(?<L>L)|' + \
                  '(?<M>M)|(?<N>N)|(?<O>O)|(?<P>P)|(?<Q>Q)|(?<R>R)|' + \
                  '(?<S>S)|(?<T>T)|(?<U>U)|(?<V>V)|(?<W>W)|(?<X>X)|' + \
                  '(?<Y>Y)|(?<Z>Z)|(?<a>a)|(?<b>b)|(?<c>c)|(?<d>d)|' + \
                  '(?<e>e)|(?<f>f)|(?<g>g)|(?<h>h)|(?<i>i)|(?<j>j)|' + \
                  '(?<k>k)|(?<l>l)|(?<m>m)|(?<n>n)|(?<o>o)|(?<p>p)|' + \
                  '(?<q>q)|(?<r>r)|(?<s>s)|(?<t>t)|(?<u>u)|(?<v>v)|' + \
                  # self-documenting substitution!: A->N, B->O, C->P, etc
    r =           '(?{A}N)(?{B}O)(?{C}P)(?{D}Q)(?{E}R)(?{F}S)(?{G}T)' + \
                  '(?{H}U)(?{I}V)(?{J}W)(?{K}X)(?{L}Y)(?{M}Z)(?{N}A)' + \
                  '(?{O}B)(?{P}C)(?{Q}D)(?{R}E)(?{S}F)(?{T}G)(?{U}H)' + \
                  '(?{V}I)(?{W}J)(?{X}K)(?{Y}L)(?{Z}M)(?{a}n)(?{b}o)' + \
                  '(?{c}p)(?{d}q)(?{e}r)(?{f}s)(?{g}t)(?{h}u)(?{i}v)' + \
                  '(?{j}w)(?{k}x)(?{l}y)(?{m}z)(?{n}a)(?{o}b)(?{p}c)' + \
                  '(?{q}d)(?{r}e)(?{s}f)(?{t}g)(?{u}h)(?{v}i)(?{w}j)' + \
    editor.rereplace(f, r)

    Note that I changed the regexes from the original to use “named group conditional replacement” because I think it makes the transformation more self-documenting…see, I learned something as I thought about this some more! :-D

    so he has got two problems

    I get the reference!! Excellent usage of it!

  • @Scott-Sumner
    Of course I appreciate when somebody shares its knowledge and shows how to solve a problem even in an uncommon or “the hard” way.

    My intention was only to point out that it would be not a good idea to abandon the TextFX plugin only because it is possible to solve some of its tasks with regular expressions.

    No one would throw away its screw drivers only because mostly it is possible to unscrew screws with a knife or a coin.

  • To hopefully put the rot13 thing to sleep as everyone is tired of it, a really smart person told me yesterday that the following might be the most succinct way to use Pythonscript to perform the rot13 conversion on a file:


    Again worth pointing out: easy to run from a menu or assigned to a keyboard shortcut.

    Forget the nasty regular expressions! :-D

  • hi Jari ,
    you seem quite aware of this FX plugin - I m looking for such a plugin which would be able to :
    find all the same strings, and choose to keep only one of each different string.

    example : birds are here … birds are here … kkskoreeoo dogs are barking
    birds are here dogs are barking

    and i would like to have after the plugin action :
    birds are here … kkskoreeoo dogs are barking

    Is that possible ?

    thanks for your help–


  • Just replying since I wanted to put in my $0.02 on making a 64 bit version of TextFX - I don’t know how to do regex and can’t seem to wrap my head around any of the random regex statements I find. When searching google for “notepad++ find duplicates” the suggestion google comes up with involves TextFX as well as the first and second most valid link. Similar situation with “notepad++ sort text”. There are 5300 results for “notepad++ find duplicates textfx” and 38,400 results for “notepad++ textfx”. Like it or not, TextFX was very well documented and I feel it should be maintained. I’m stuck with running both versions as the 64 bit handles large files better, but I can’t find a way to remove only duplicates - I can find replace duplicates, but it removes both the original value as well as the duplicate - I want to keep all distinct instances which I have not found any way to do in the 64 bit version (but TextFX does extremely well).

    The native sort feature works extremely well too, but unless a native “find duplicates” option gets put into the main code, I really think TextFX is still a valid/needed plugin.

  • The tips posted so far have been helpful how to not use TextFX. I have not found how to “line up text in columns separated by clipboard character” yet - does anyone know how to do that one without TextFX?

  • At first I thought the replies along the lines of “Just use regexes” were some sort of joke. It’s a little sad that guy038 actually typed all that out thinking he was being helpful. If you cannot perceive a difference in ease of use between pressing a button and using one’s acquired technical knowledge to write code that replicates that same button’s inner design, I don’t even know what to tell you - except that you might want to look up the phrase “opportunity cost”.

    The concept of just scrapping a plugin because all users “ought to” learn search parsing language to do it themselves is a duck-brained monkey-man idea, evincing an unfamiliarity with very simple challenges during collaboration between humans. Imagine I want to have a temp or a teenager reformat things, and I want it to take one minute instead of sixty.

    Imagine I’m a new user wanting to test drive Notepad++ with a specific use case, only to find that as a matter of fact that was removed and will never be re-implemented. Now years and years of documentation and reasons for people to start using Notepad++ are transformed into actively harmful and obfuscating misinformation claiming that the program has features it doesn’t and never will.

    Imagine I want to “line up text in columns separated by clipboard character”, but I don’t know the regular expression for it. Whoops - Looks like instead of the one second it would have taken, the guy looking for the answer to that question has been waiting for 18 hours, as of this post. In that time he might’ve done it by hand. It’s piteous that people on the official notepad++ community would be seriously suggesting he do it by hand, then.

  • @Bodacious-Crumb I’m unclear on what you mean by “scrapping a plugin.” Do you mean by the user or its developer? The TextFX plugin is 3rd party and was abandoned by its developer many, many years ago. Unless that fact changes or it’s forked by someone else later on, one may have to accept that it may never work on notepad++ 64-bit and it could potentially stop working in future versions of notepad++ 32-bit. So if you mean “by the developer” then understand that these are open source projects and no one’s obligated to either provide these plugins or to maintain them. And if you mean by the “end-user”, well, if this abandoned plugin stops working entirely, then the solutions provided here today may be the only stop-gap ones available until something better comes along.

    Furthermore, guy038’s regexs are useful for people who A). must use notepad++ 64bit for some reason, or B). want to easily implement these features and want a potentially simple copy paste solution. In either case, his posts are helpful to some people, but not necessarily everyone.

  • @Bodacious-Crumb, I agree with you. People who don’t understand this, may use vim+grep+regex. Why do you need Notepad?
    And Notepad++ without TextFX is useless for me. MS Word is a good deal.

  • After reading through this thread - I wonder if there could one day be a configurable plugin/menu where we can add/save these kind of regex functions for use like in the TextFX plugin which was convenient not having to store/remember all these regexes…

  • @Ethan-Piliavin

    as a workaround you could make macros out of it and store it with a meaningful name.


  • @Ethan-Piliavin

    add/save these kind of regex functions for use like in the TextFX plugin…?

    So I’m confused. In version 0.26 of TextFX, loading/saving seems to be there…but when you click the buttons you find out it is not really:


    Is this what you are talking about? Does it work for you? If not, what do you mean by what you said in your post?

  • Sorry guy038, i also use regex quite often in my work but i’m not a true expert them and i prefer NOT to be…
    To put it simply, a solution for a feature suddenly went missing from a tool cannot be learning a language by all of its users…

    But i recognize that these days this is the standard solution…the user must solve the problem on its own (so it is not considered and treated as a user anymore, but just as another developer…but a software like this is not made for developers only and one should not be able to understand it in order to use it).

    I feel that we are more and more going backwards with softwares in general…

  • @Manuel-Musetti

    So let me see if I understand… Someone authors some software (Notepad++) and give it to you for free. Someone else authors a plugin (TextFX) for such software and gives it to you for free. Then, one of the authors (the plugin) decides to no longer maintain their product (for whatever reason). Someone else, (Guy) in discussing this, provides some helpful hints/solutions, also very much free.

    And you want to, what, complain about these things? I suggest you choose a commercial text editor (which you will pay for) so that you can get really good support/maintenance, or hire some (paid) experts to solve your problems because you are “not a true expert and … prefer NOT to be”.

  • The world is grey. If you think it is black and white then you are colour blind.

    Most users will probably not be able to use regex. Some like me can but don’t have the time because we have something else we consider more useful to do, like drinking coffee.

    The reason why we visit forums like this is we hope someone else has taken the trouble to put the whole clockwork machinery, gears and levers behind a button. We are looking for a click-whirrrrrr-pop solution. Like inserting a coin in a machine and getting a drink instead of having to go through the pain of smiling at a shop-keeper.

    So guys if I may ask, who the #@!$ has a click-whirrrrrr-pop replacement for TextFX? If you want to talk about spanners you better have ones that can fix my head.

  • @Jupiter-Punungwe said:

    If you want to talk about spanners you better have ones that can fix my head.

    I’m not sure these spanners even exist…

  • @Jupiter-Punungwe ,

    Sometimes there is a pre-made solution. Sometimes there’s not. You’ve only had one post here, and your account is only recent, so it’s impossible for us to know how often you’ve looked at this forum, to see who the regulars are. But, so that you know, most of the people who have given workaround answers in this Topic have been contributors for a year or more, and have very good familiarity with Notepad++, and have a good idea of what it can and cannot do, whether natively or through plugins. If you see a thread like this, where someone has asked whether such-and-such a feature exists, and multiple people give answers that show more-technical workarounds, rather than just pointing someone to a whiz-bang plugin that does it out of the box, it generally means that no one on the forum has run across a whiz-bang plugin that meets the needs.

    (Also, an unsolicited secret of interpersonal communication that I have learned over the years: In my experience, when people volunteer their time and knowledge to help others in a user-community-forum like this, cursing at them – whether literally or through Q*bert-ese – is generally not helpful: it doesn’t suddenly “jog their memory”, it’s not a magic password that suddenly unlocks secret information that they would have otherwise hidden from you, and it doesn’t usually encourage people to continue to be willing to help. In fact, it pretty much does the exact opposite. Do what you will with this tidbit of information.)

  • I did a search for “date” in this topic and didn’t see anyone mention Date: Insert Long/Short Format. TextFX is the only thing I’ve known that contained that function. Is there another plugin (or built-in feature) that allows you to easily insert a full date/time stamp into the current editing window? Am I missing something obvious? Is there a reason why TextFX was never released for the 64-bit version of Notepad++? Thanks!

  • @amarand

    I did a search for “date” in this topic

    Did you search the whole Community for “date”? Of course, Community search is known to be poor…

    Regarding “another plugin”: You can script yourself a date solution that can put the date in any format you can imagine; these might get you started with that:


    Is there a reason why TextFX was never released for the 64-bit version of Notepad++?

    There is an experimental version out there somewhere, and by that I mean something not by the original author, or with permission of same. As to a reason, well, people’s interests change over time. I’d guess the author lost interest or moved on to a different text editor. It happens.

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