Plugin to perform proprietary decryption and encryption during open and save

  • I have ini files that are encrypted with a proprietary encryption algorithm. It is nothing fancy, but I would like to be able to open these files in Notepad++, edit them and save then again encrypted.
    Is there a way to achieve this by writing a plugin? And if so, can anybody point me into the the right direction how to do this? I have some rusty experience in C++, but I have never built a Notepad++ plugin before, so I do not know if this is possible or not. I prefer to have the plugin decrypt the file when I open it in Notepad++ and encrypt it when I save the file. I do not want to add an extra menu option for encrypting and decrypting, I like to have it transparent.
    An other option would be to invoke a conversion tool when opening the file. The idea is that when the encrypted file is opened, Notepad++ first calls an external tool to convert the file to plain text (for example in the temp folder), and then Notepad++ opens that unencrypted file. I do not care about the security hole that would imply, I just want to be able to edit the file. Would that be possible with Notepad++?


  • While a dedicated plugin should work, I think the “invoke a conversion tool when opening the file” is the best.

    For non-automated encrypt/decrypt (I use gpg), I have the following NPP_EXEC macros:

    (ugh, the text version flagged as spam; had to do it via picture, instead. :-( )

    So you could do something like that.

    And using possibly NPP_EXEC and more likely PythonScript or LuaScript, I think you could hook into the load/save actions, so that it would decrypt when you load, allow you to view/edit the decrypted version, but always encrypt again when saving. But I’m not the “hook” expert on the forums, so hopefully someone else will chime in. :-)

  • @Ramon-Beiboer

    If you can change the encryption method of the files you could use the NppCrypt plugin (available via PluginManager). If you have to continue using the current encryption method the code of this plugin may be helpful for you to implement your own plugin. See here.

  • @PeterJones: Thanks for pointing me into the NPP_EXEC direction. Although I might be able to decode and encode the file in Notepad++ with this, it is not exactly what I want. I really want the encoding and decoding to be done automatically when I open or save the file. But I will give it a try and see what I can do with it.

    @dinkumoil: Unfortunately I cannot change the encryption method, the encryption format is already used by released applications.

  • @PeterJones: I tried your suggestion and got something working now. I could not get the line “sci_sendmsg SCI_SELECTALL” working, but I found that SCI_SELECTALL maps to 2013, so “sci_sendmsg 2013” dows work. Why is it that not working in my machine? I am using the NppExec version 0.6 RC1 plugin, is that the correct one? The same goes for SCI_DOCUMENTSTART, that maps to 2316 (I found these values here).

  • @PeterJones said:

    …Pythonscript or…But I’m not the “hook” expert on the forums, so hopefully someone else will chime in

    Since the REAL “hook” expert didn’t chime in…she knows who she is… ;)
    I can offer up this:

    Scripting could be a candidate for this, although the true plugin approach is obviously valid as well (just maybe more work)…

    So if you want to see what can be “hooked”–in the file open/close/switch-files realm–and when it gets called as you do things in Notepad++, this Pythonscript code can tell you that (run the code and then watch the Pythonscript console window as you load/save/switch-tabs in Notepad++):

    from Npp import notepad, console, NOTIFICATION
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('FILEBEFORELOAD: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.FILEBEFORELOAD])
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('FILEBEFOREOPEN: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.FILEBEFOREOPEN])
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('FILEOPENED: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.FILEOPENED])
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('BUFFERACTIVATED: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.BUFFERACTIVATED])
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('FILEBEFORECLOSE: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.FILEBEFORECLOSE])
    notepad.callback(lambda x: console.write('FILECLOSED: {}\r\n'.format(x)),[NOTIFICATION.FILECLOSED])

    The general idea here would be to decide where it is best to “step in” and do the decrypt/encrypt and then do that in custom written callback functions.

    There are more notifications in Notepad++, perhaps the best way to see more information is to create a new script with the Pythonscript plugin and put the following text into it:


    Put your caret on one of those lines and invoke the context-sensitive help.

    Also, look for the section “Handling Notifications” in the Pythonscript docs.

  • @Ramon-Beiboer ,

    Sorry that SCI_SELECTALL didn’t work for you. In my copy of NppExec 0.6 RC1 and 32bit NPP 7.5.6, the exact script I posted works (I just re-ran it to make sure), so I don’t know why it didn’t for you.

    And thanks, @Scott-Sumner, for chiming in with the hook examples

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