Is there a current Manual?



  • Forgive me folks, but I am old school and am starting from virtually zero with Notepad++. So, I would like to read a manual, and I can’t seem to find one that is less than 10 years old, or a “Getting Started” guide with a detailed overview. It seems that there are either pages with light fluffy language without specifics, or you must drill through this forum for each topic you are interested in.

    Is there a comprehensive manual somewhere? If not, any suggestions for how to get started assuming that the audience is someone who has used a text editor without more (does not know the acronyms, buzzwords, or latest IDE)?

    Thanks!



  • @jjsowers

    no, sorry, there is no uptodate help file available - makes a lot of work and is not really used nowadays.
    Seems that watching videos is much more preferred today.
    As you already mentioned that you found some 10 years old documents I assume you’ve discovered this link already.
    But notepad++ envolved rather than changed since this time so it should be still useable I guess.
    I would say most of the menu stuff is selfexplanatory and in case something is strange, yes, just ask here - we try to help as good as we
    can :-)

    Cheers
    Claudia



  • Hi, @Claudia-Frank & @jjsowers !

    I, too, would like to be able to refer to a complete and up-to-date manual for details of:

    1. how the latest version of NP++ behaves, and
    2. how to change that behaviour, by changing settings.

    Now I’ve been using Notepad++ almost daily for several years, so I know my way around. Yet some aspects of its configuration remain mysterious.

    For example, under Settings\Auto-completion, there’s a group of fields headed Auto-insert, that includes matching pairs of bracketing delimiters: parentheses, brackets, braces, straight double-quotes, straight single-quotes – and something called “html/xml close tag”, which I guess is either:

    1. Just the pair of size relations “less than” and “greater than” masquerading (as in HTML &lt; … &gt;: < … >) as a pair of angle brackets ‹…›; or
    2. Any HTML or XML <tag> paired with its closing </tag>, whatever legal values tag may take.

    Then there’s a set of three Open - Close Matched pairs, which I finally worked out means three user-definable bracketing delimiters. So I’ve created some screen-shots to remind myself that I can fill them with, e.g. Alt+NumPad+
    0171 … 0187: « … » aiguillets
    0147 … 0148: “ … ” curly quotes
    0139 … 0155: ‹ … › angle brackets
    But rather than keep such useful discoveries to myself, I’d like to share them - in a reference document that others will also find useful.

    The value of having a manual is this: A user wouldn’t need to have a conversation with somebody – anybody who may care enough and know enough to be helpful – and could just look it up and get on with the job, without wasting anybody’s time. Writing a good reference manual is an art, but it’s not Quantum Loop Gravity!; there are well-known principles which, applied consistently, enable (almost) any technical writer to produce efficiently useful documentation on (almost) any technical subject, certainly including on production software such as a text editor.

    Claudia posted a link to prior documentation, including a PDF written in 2005 – almost 13 years old! – most of which is still, unsurprisingly, relevant, though different in detail. More interesting though, is the “mini-site version” of the “User manual - v6.6.4 (CHM)”, which is easy to download and extract, internally linked – and mercifully not at all dependent on the old CHM help file format. :-) To my mind, that is probably the easiest version to maintain and update; and if anybody really wants a PDF file to download or hard-copy print, they can create it by using a PDF printer in their browser.

    Claudia, you also say that “Seems that watching videos is much more preferred today”, but that has several drawbacks over using an online manual:

    1. you need to know they exist;
    2. you need to know where to find them;
    3. you need to have the time to watch them; and
    4. you can only hope the video answers your question – and does so clearly.

    Just turning up on this “Community” website and hoping you’ll find the right reference material is simply too hit-and-miss. It wastes time, and can be quite frustrating.

    So I hope that others, who agree with my outlook, would consider this – creating an online user reference manual – a project worth their time:

    • placing an updated version of the “mini-site” online;
    • keeping it up-to-date with each new release;
    • contributing screen-shots, animations or (links to) videos that help explain various features;
    • maintaining an accurate index for it.

    And I’d be happy to help with writing that manual. I’ve done similar work over the last few decades.

    Regards,
    Yahya



  • And I’d be happy to help with writing that manual.
    And what’s stopping you from doing this?
    When a person wants to help, 3% of the total work is implied.


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