Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus - Automate the Windows application Notepad++


    use Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus ':main';
    my $npp = notepad();    # main application


Automate the Windows application Notepad++. This is inspired by the Notepad++ plugin PythonScript, but I decided to automate the application from the outside, rather than from inside a Notepad++ plugin. But this module uses similar naming conventions and interface to the PythonScript plugin.


You need to have Notepad++ on your system.

This module will work if Notepad++ is in a standard install location, like %ProgramFiles%\Notepad++\ or %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Notepad++\, or if it is in your path: when it can find the executable, it will either use the currently-running instance, or will launch a new instance if none are currently running. If it cannot find your executable, the will only work if Notepad++ is already running.

The module was developed with Notepad++ v7.7 or newer in mind, though some features should still work on older versions of Notepad++. As Notepad++ adds new features, the minimum version for that method will be indicated in the help.


These give you access to the Notepad++ application GUI and the Scintilla editor components inside Notepad++. The main module exports functions that return the default instances.



Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus::Notepad gives access to the actual Notepad++ application.

    my $npp = notepad();



Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus::Editor gives access to the underlying Scintilla component(s) used to actually edit the text files in Notepad++.

In PythonScript, the default instance is called editor for the active editor window. There are two additional instances, editor1 and editor2 for accessing the specific "left" and "right" editor panes.

    my $left_pane = editor1();
    my $right_pane = editor2();
    if( editor() == $left_pane ) { ... }    # do this only if left pane is active pane

What About a Console Object?

The Console was a PythonScript feature, beacuse it had an embedded Python interpreter. Since Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus is an outside-in framework, there is no Perl interpreter embedded in Notepad++.


By default, the module exports nothing.


Exports the "notepad", "editor", "editor1", and "editor2" functions.


Exports the variables from both Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus::Notepad::Messages and Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus::Editor::Messages

    use Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus qw/:vars/;
    # from Editor::Messages: %SCIMSG, %SCINTILLANOTIFICATION, and more than 50 others.

Exports everything from ":main" and ":vars".


This is the first public release of the module. In general, it works. As with all first releases, there is room for improvement; I welcome feedback.

The first known limitation is that none of the hooks for Scintilla or Notepad++ callbacks have been enabled. That may come sometime in the future.

All the testing and development was done with a US-English installation of Notepad++, and all the file encodings have been ANSI or UTF-8. I know that I need to include better tests for encoding, and any help you can provide with that is appreciated.

Notepad++ is a Windows application, so that's the intended platform for this module. However, I know Notepad++ can be made to run in Wine and similar environments in Linux, so it may be possible to make this module drive Notepad++ in such an environment. Feedback on this process is welcome.


To install this module, use your favorite CPAN client.

For a manual install, type the following:

    perl Makefile.PL
    make test
    make install

(On Windows machines, you may need to use "dmake" or "gmake" instead of "make", depending on your setup.)

It didn't install

In general, if the test suite fails and it doesn't install, you will probably need to file a bug report.

Known possible causes include

  • Bit mismatch

    Notepad++ and Perl must have the same bits -- 64bit or 32bit. Make sure they do. If they don't, it will fail in test file t\02_bits.t.

  • -1 NOT >= 0 error

    See issue #28: if you get the message SendMessage_getRawString(): -1 NOT >= 0 at C:\usr\local\share\GitHubSvn\Win32-Mechanize-NotepadPlusPlus\lib/Win32/Mechanize/NotepadPlusPlus/ line 755. or similar in multiple of the test files, it might be because you have one or more really large files currently open in Notepad++, or you have too many files open. Either of these can cause a race condition where the test suite expects Notepad++ to respond with all files loaded, but Notepad++ isn't quite ready yet. In that case, File > Save Session, then File > Close All. Exit and restart Notepad++. The test suite will probably pass now (if not, please comment on issue#28). Once passing and installed, you can File > Load Session to restore your previously active file session.


Peter C. Jones <petercj AT cpan DOT org>

Please report any bugs or feature requests thru the repository's interface at, or by emailing <bug-Win32-Mechanize-NotepadPlusPlus AT> or thru the web interface at


Copyright (C) 2019,2020,2021 Peter C. Jones


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License. See for more information.