How To Compare Files Using Notepad++

Notepad++ has been proved a good replacement for Windows Notepad. As we all know that it is ok to write simple text with Windows Notepad, but surely one can nor refer Notepad for serious and important writing issues like documentations, reports and all like that. As of now there are many advanced tools like Net beans, Visual Studio, eclipse etc available for all applications regarding source code, Notepad++ has proved itself for its significant features. But since last few years, many of us are more interested in using Notepad++ for all writing purposes like text editing, source code editing and all like that.

Notepad++ Compare Two Text Files


Though it not an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), Notepad is more likely used because of its significant features as follows:

Multiple Tabs for Document Opening:

You can open multiple files in multiple files which you can not in Windows Notepad.

Available for free:

All the versions of Notepad++ is available for free to download.

Highlight the syntax:

The syntax of the source code is highlighted in Notepad++ as the different IDE like Visual Basic can do.

Simple to operate:

Simple interface is one of the important feature with lets you use Notepad++ without enough technical knowledge about it.

Available With Plugin:

Notepad++ comes up with various plugins like compare with which you can easily compare two different text files with similar content.

Can be Completed Automatically:

Auto completion feature is also available with Notepad++ to enrich the writing experience of the user.One of the basically important features by Notepad is File Comparison. You can compare two different text files using Notepad++. Let’s see how we can compare two text files with almost similar content side by side using Notepad++.

Instructions to be followed:

Step 1:



As Notepad++ is available for free, one can easily download it from Internet. But the option you need to compare is not available with that download.You need the option compare plugin which is Plugins > Compare > Compare. You need to install it separately. You need to select Plugins Download option from there.



For the latest version like Notepad v5.6, it is easy to install Compare Plugin by simply clicking Notepad++ Plugin Manager and installing compare plugin.

Step 2:

The two files which u need to be compares should be opened simultaneously in notepad++ as the feature of opening multiple files in multiple tabs is available in Notepad++ which is not available in Windows Notepad.

Step 3:

Go to plugins option you will see on the panel. Then select the sub option compare and then in the next step again select compare.


Step 4:

After clicking it, you have done with the comparison. Now both the files will be displayed side by side and the difference between both the files will be highlighted.This is the step by step guide to compare two files with similar contents using Notepad++. So it is as simple as opening a file in notepad and that’s why, it will be more commonly used in near future with all its comparators from IDE sector like Visual Basic, Eclipse etc.


Hope every one enjoyed reading my notepad compare post please leave your valuable feedback below.You can also check this video for your reference about compare two text files:


  1. I have been using Notepad++ for years and had never installed any plugins. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve already installed it.

    BTW – I found this post on Blokube.
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  2. James says:

    Notepad++ has been on my computer for sometime now. Although, I rarely use it to code as I prefer Dreamweaver(coding interface/capability) to it. But, with the compare thingy I just read from here. I think I’ll install the plugin and see if I can get other useful plugins to play around with. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. Steve says:

    i have not heard about using notepad compare before just always use normal stuff for my work and great to see the plugin too between great share

  4. Nico says:

    When I use compare it only shows the line with the diffs. Can’t it show the actual difference?

  5. Hello Shameem !!!
    Compare Files Using Notepad++ great & helpful post to know But I was’t aware about Notepad++ so Shameem, for making better understand about Notepad++ as well as Compare Files Using Notepad++ too.

  6. Michael says:

    Hi Shameem,
    While surfing in internet about this topic i found this one, really it is useful and interesting. Keep updating. Thanks for sharing this :)

  7. Jim Barr says:

    The Notepad++ Compare plugin is excellent! I’ve been using UltraEdit (and UltraCompare) for well over a decade, and their compare functions are horrible when dealing with simple columns of data. The only way this plugin could be improved would be to have it optionally show just the differences. THAT would round it out to a complete solution.

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