How to Use Notepad++ on Mac OS [Definitive Guide]

Notepad++ is one of the best options when it comes to text editors for coding, notes taking, or basically anything else. This simple to use yet powerful text editor is only available for Windows devices and to my surprise, it is completely free. In my early days as a coder/Programmer, Notepad++ was always my go-to choice; but when I shifted to Mac OS, I couldn’t find any best alternative. In this guide, I am going to show you how to run/use Notepad++ on Mac devices.

Before starting the actual guide, I need you to know that notepad++ is not available for Mac OS. So, how are we going to run the Notepad++ editor on your Mac computer? Let’s dig in.

Table of contents –

What is Notepad++ Editor?

To develop software or any internet product such as a website or plugins, we need a suitable environment. Suppose, you are learning how to code an android app, in such a case, you need “Android Studio” software because it is a suitable environment for developing apps.

Similarly, if you need to develop a website; you need text editors that can run the HTML/CSS/JS or any other Web development related languages. Notepad++ overall combines and runs almost any kind of programming language and all in one place.

Notepad++ is one of those editors that give you almost all the features that other premium editors provide. Additionally, it is simple to use and does not take all of your computer’s power.

This most loved text editor can run various programming languages and you can also install several additional plugins. If you are learning multiple programming languages or learning how to code, Notepad++ is the best choice.

If you are a windows user, you can try and test this Free and powerful Code Editor from below –

How to Run Notepad++ on Mac Computers?

Practically, there is no way to run notepad++ on mac devices. But we can use a simple trick and make it possible. But what is this trick?

We can one of the most popular open-source software that adds a layer on your mac computer. In such a case, you can install windows applications on mac computers though they are not available for mac.

WINE – Install Notepad++ For Mac Devices

WINE is open-source software that allows you to run windows apps on your mac devices. It is not an emulator, in fact, WINE is abbreviated as WINE is Not an Emulator.

So, how does it run a windows application without having the virtual interface on the Mac devices?

The answer to this is simple; WINE translates Windows API into POSIX that allows it to run on Windows apps on mac devices.

Also read: 12 Best Free Online Courses With Printable Certificates

How to use WINE to run Notepad++ on Mac OS –

  1. Download a stable version of WINE on your Mac OS. (It is recommended to download the “.pkg” file)
    Once, WINE is downloaded, double click the package (.pkg) file and run the setup file.
    Now, you can find the app named Wine staging/Devel on your launchpad.
    Open the app and you are ready to use the WINE terminal. Additionally, you are greeted with basic WINE commands.
  2. Download the zip package of Notepad++ on your mac computer.
  3. Now, open the terminal app on your Mac OS.
    You can use spotlight (Command+Space) and type terminal to open the terminal window.
    Do not open the WINE terminal but instead open the normal terminal app that is pre-installed on Mac computers.
  4. Type the following command in the terminal and hit enter –
    wine “~/Downloads/npp.*.bin/Notepad++.exe
  5. You can now run Notepad++ on Mac OS computers.

Should you use Notepad++ on your Mac computer?

Notepad++ is simple and powerful code editor and it almost accepts all the programming languages. But in my opinion, there are several best alternatives to Notepad++ for mac users. One of my supporting reason is –

Mac is a powerful computer and you can run a few of the resource-consuming applications seamlessly that you couldn’t use on windows computers. You can go for many other powerful code editors such as Atom or Sublime or VS Code.

I strongly agree notepad++ has great features but ultimately it a bit old-fashioned and is best for computers with lower performances.

Mac computers are one of the powerful daily use machines that can easily run heavy code editors such as Atom or sublime. You can add more to it by using several plugins and add-ons; Visual Studio (VS) is my suggestion in that case.

It is no wrong to use Notepad++ on mac devices, but consider an update if you wish to. But if you are used to notepad++ and do not wish to make a change then it is perfectly fine. Depends on personal choice in such a case.

Best Notepad++ alternatives for Mac Users –

  1. Atom
  2. Visual Studio
  3. Sublime
  4. Adobe Brackets
  5. Text Wrangler
  6. BBEdit
  7. Text Mate

Atom, Visual code, and Sublime are always the best replacement you can have to notepad++ editor. Additionally, Visual Studio code editor is best for two main reasons,

  • It is completely free
  • Has a great set of features, plugins, and add-ons.

Sublime does involve cost and if you can invest one-time money on a code editor that you use every day; sublime is perfect. The atom code editor has a nice and beautiful UI with some add-ons and plugins and it is free to download as an alternative to notepad++ or visual code editor.

Notepad++ Alternatives For MacRatingFree/PaidDownload
Visual Studio Code Editor4.7FreeVisual Studio
Adobe Brackets4.4FreeAdobe Brackets
Text Wrangler4.1FreeText Wrangler
Text Mate4.0FreeText Mate


We hope you are now able to run notepad++ on Mac computers. If you are facing any issue with installing notepad++ using wine; you can try installing it using homebrew but it requires you to have ruby installed on your device. Moreover, you can also switch to some of the best Notepad++ alternatives for your mac from the above list.

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You may also like,

How do I download Notepad++ on Mac?

There is no installable notepad++ for mac but you can download notepad++ on mac using WINE or Homebrew.

Which is the best alternative to Notepad++ for mac?

Atom, visual studio and sublime are the best code editor alternatives to notepad++ for mac and windows users.

Why Notepad++ is not available for Mac?

Notepad++ is not available for Mac because it uses Win 32 API and Mac uses POSIX. Notepad++ can be used on mac by using WINE that calls win32 API on POSIX and can run windows applications.

Is Notepad++ free for Mac?

Notepad++ does not support mac and is free for windows. Although, you can install notepad++ on mac using WINE and it is completely free.

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