Accessibility of Notepad++

  • I’m considering using N++ at work, but my employer would require me to certify that the program is accessible to people with disabilities, especially that it’s compatible with screen readers such as JAWS and NVDA and screen magnification programs like ZoomText.

    Does anyone how well N++ works with such software? Has there been user testing with such applications?

  • @curtisbryant

    Just use it…don’t tell anyone…shhhhh!!! …unless YOU are the one with the disabilities…

  • @Scott-Sumner: Unfortunately, as more employers install Avecto Defendpoint and similar applications to monitor and sometimes prevent software installation and/or execution – Avecto can see every executable that tries to run on my work machine, and can even log or prevent running instances of portable applications – “just using Notepad++” anyway, hoping They don’t notice, is not necessarily a workable solution.

    @curtisbryant: What is required for this “certification”? It seems to me that either they would have a standard external clearinghouse (“check accessibility-certification.blah and see if they say it’s compatible”) or an internal process (“submit it a ticket to the Accessibility Verification Group”) if they require “certification”. Do you know of other software that has had to go through your employer’s approval process – if you know who pushed it through, you might be able to ask what qualified for “certification”, and how they went about getting it?

    A quick google found me this,, in a discussion about a website whose code-editing panes weren’t compatible with NVDA. The comment I linked to mentions that as a workaround, one could copy from that web-based editor, paste in Notepad++ for screen-reader purposes, then copy/paste it back into the website. That strongly implies that NVDA works with Notepad++.

    Hope this helps.

  • @PeterJones

    Of course I was kidding…but I would employ my method if I could get away with it. :-)

    I like Notepad++ (pretty obvious I suppose) but if I were in I.T. making decisions about what software to allow on user machines, I don’t think N++ would make the cut. I can imagine being contacted by a user complaining that the company’s data is now NUL NUL NUL…

  • Certifying that the program is accessible would mean ticking “Yes” to say that the software is accessible. Alas, software accessibility is rarely as simple as “Yes, it’s accessible, or no, it isn’t.” I’ll talk to IT about that.

    Does anyone know if Notepad++ offers keyboard shortcuts for everything? If I couldn’t see the screen, do you think I could access all of N++'s menus and tools with just the keyboard? If so, that would go a long way toward accessibility–and usability for everybody.

  • @curtisbryant

    not “everything”, but you can create a keyboard shortcut for every menu item in notepad++ including most of the external third party plugin functions if you have to use any.

  • @Scott-Sumner Why wouldn’t you allow N++ on user machines? Are you afraid that N++ use would somehow lead to data loss? If so, how?

  • I’m not Scott, but the context was

    As the IT guy, if you thought you were going to be inundated with questions of “my PC crashed, and now my text file is all NULs”, you might not want to approve the software, either.

    However, I haven’t noticed another post about the NULs in the last few months… I’m wondering if 7.5.6 intentionally or accidentally fixed whatever was going on, or whether Windows applied some bug fix that prevented the circumstances of those crashes, or if we’ve just been lucky (knock on wood).

    edit: alas. Per, it happened around Jun 3 with 7.5.7, so it’s not forever-gone. :-(

  • @PeterJones

    The NUL problem reportedly happened July 10 with 7.5.7.
    A June 3 occurrence would not have been 7.5.7…

    Problems like the NUL problem typically don’t just “go away”…in my experience.

  • Then the Jun 3 occurrence had a typo in his report, because the comment I linked was dated Jun 3, but said 7.5.7. But a typo in a comment of a bug report is not unheard of. :-)

    Sometimes fixing something else fixes a problem that you didn’t realize was related – though, admittedly, much more often, a change makes an unexpected bug rather than an unexpected fix. :-)

  • Thanks for clarifying that. I wasn’t aware of the NUL problem.

  • @PeterJones

    Before the NUL problem happened to me (once!), I blew off all the posts about it. Perhaps I thought really quickly, in passing, "What are these people doing with their Notepad++ to make this happen? Then my attitude TOTALLY CHANGED when it happened to me! Nothing like a perspective change! :-)

    I think there is only one way that the NUL problem will be dealt with. It’s going to have to happen to @donho himself. And of course, if the right setup and environment for it occurring isn’t one he uses, well, …

  • The nightshaddow13 from the Jul 10 instance seems to have a situation that he can get it to repeat (I couldn’t replicate his results, but I haven’t switched to his exact setup)… but if he really can, and was willing to help, I wonder if someone could get him a debug build with dumping debug info to a log file: dump of all the settings (in case it’s snapshot on/off, remember session on/off, etc), as well as recording various internal function calls – if developers had a trace of the last few functions (or the last function that had enough time to flush the logfile to disk) that ran before the crash event, it might go a long way toward finding (and solving) the problem.

    I don’t have a build environment that would work for NPP, otherwise I’d try to find one of those rare Round Tuits™ to do the debug build myself.

    I’ll post here and (now that I think about it) in that thread, to see if there’s anyone who does have the right environment…

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