Geany vs Notepad++

Notepad++ on Linux? Forget it. So people working on different platforms need different programs. But times change and Geany has come of age and is now also available for Windows. Let’s see how you can achieve everyday things in both programs. The aim is not to be exhaustive but to list some important actions.

Note: I am learning myself, please contact me in case of inconsistencies.

Daily procedures compared

Selecting: Parts including opening and closing parenthesisPlugin Extra Selection, Create key binding like: Ctrl-Alt-bput cursor before or after “(” or “)” and Ctrl-Alt-b
Selecting: Parts between parenthesis:Same as above, depending on cursor position.Ctrl+DLMB
Selecting: A complete line, carriage return etc. includedTLMBTLMB
Indent:Select block and Tab or Shift-Tab.Select block and Tab or Shift-Tab.
Find, replace (regex) like: ^FindMe or ^.SecondCharacter or Me$:Ctrl-f or Ctrl-hCtrl-f or Ctrl-h
Find, replace (extended) like: Replace \r\n with space character:Ctrl-f or Ctrl-hCtrl-f or Ctrl-h
Remove empty lines:PlugIn Line Operations, then “Tools” > “Line operations” > …“Edit” > “Line operations” > …
Duplicate line:Ctrl-dCtrl-d
Mark instancesYes, PlugIn Auto-markYes
Delete lines (and add to clipboard):Ctrl+Shift-x or Ctrl-k without clipboard. Ctrl-l
Toggle comment lines:Ctrl-eCtrl-q
Bookmark line:LMB in front.LMB in front.
Bookmark navigation:Ctrl+. or Ctrl-,F2 or Shift-F2
For DLMB selection of words, seperators…Edit filetypes.common, search for whitespace and remove – and * for example. (1)Add characters in Prefs.

Mouse buttons: Left, Middle, Right: <L|M|R>MB, like LMB. D is Double, T is Triple.

(1): That doesn’t work, changed it in %programfiles%.

If permission problems arise , Notepad++ can restart elevated automatically while keeping the open files in memory. This is very polished. Geany should be started elevated before permission problems arise. So editing a file by RMB and select Geany from Explorer is not an option in that case. For me that is a big disadvantage because I often edit files in environment %ProgramFiles%.

A tip for starting Geany elevated from the start menu, beside RMB > “as admin”: ctrl-shift-LMB on icon. Drag and drop should work then. A more consistent approach is to change properties at the cost of safety: start menu > RMB Geany > Properties > Tab Compatibility > Run this as administrator.


Supporting CAD-Lisp is interesting. There is a set of “Language Definition Files” for Notepad++. It really helps when editing AutoLisp and DCL files. I’ve created these files and you can find them here:

It would be nice to have this for Geany too and I am willing to act upon this.


Geany has become matured, all functions you look for are probably on board. Some plugins are extremely valuable. As an alternative for Notepad++ it is really good. When you work with multiple OS’s, then Geany is a logical choice for a consistent way of working on all platforms.

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