Unleashing the Power of Notepad++: A Comprehensive Guide to Compiling and Running Java Programs


Notepad++ stands as a versatile and lightweight text editor that has endeared itself to developers for its simplicity and extensibility. While it may not be a full-fledged integrated development environment (IDE), Notepad++ can be transformed into a powerful tool for Java development. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of compiling and running Java programs using Notepad++, empowering users to harness the capabilities of this text editor for Java coding.

Section 1: Setting Up Your Java Development Environment

1.1 Installing Java Development Kit (JDK):

  • Before delving into Java development with Notepad++, ensure that you have the Java Development Kit (JDK) installed on your system.
  • Download the JDK from the official Oracle website or adopt the OpenJDK distribution.

1.2 Verifying JDK Installation:

  • Confirm that the JDK installation was successful by checking your system’s PATH variable.
  • Open a command prompt or terminal and type “java -version” and “javac -version” to verify the Java runtime and compiler installations.

Section 2: Installing Notepad++

2.1 Downloading Notepad++:

  • Visit the official Notepad++ website (https://notepad-plus-plus.org/) and download the latest version of Notepad++.
  • The installer provides a straightforward setup process; follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Section 3: Configuring Notepad++ for Java Development

3.1 Installing the JN Plugin:

  • The JN (Java Npp) plugin enhances Notepad++ with features tailored for Java development.
  • Download the JN plugin from the official GitHub repository (https://github.com/sbabais/JavaNpp) and follow the installation instructions.

3.2 Configuring Syntax Highlighting:

  • Enable Java syntax highlighting in Notepad++ to enhance code readability.
  • Open Notepad++, navigate to “Language” in the menu, and select “Java” or “JN.”

3.3 Setting Up Auto-Completion:

  • Enable auto-completion for Java code snippets by installing the “NppJavaAutoCompletion” plugin.
  • Download and install the plugin, then restart Notepad++ to activate auto-completion.

Section 4: Writing Your Java Code

4.1 Creating a New Java File:

  • Open Notepad++ and create a new file by selecting “File” -> “New” -> “Java” or simply create a new text file with a “.java” extension.

4.2 Writing Your First Java Program:

  • Write a simple Java program in the newly created file. For example:javaCopy codepublic class HelloWorld { public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println("Hello, World!"); } }

4.3 Saving Your Java File:

  • Save your Java file with a “.java” extension, ensuring that the file name matches the name of the public class within the code.

Section 5: Compiling Java Programs in Notepad++

5.1 Opening the Command Prompt:

  • To compile Java programs, Notepad++ relies on the command-line capabilities of the JDK. Open the command prompt or terminal on your system.

5.2 Navigating to the Java File Directory:

  • Use the “cd” command to navigate to the directory where your Java file is saved. For example:bashCopy codecd path\to\your\java\file

5.3 Compiling the Java Program:

  • Compile your Java program using the “javac” command followed by the name of your Java file. For example:Copy codejavac HelloWorld.java

5.4 Checking for Compilation Errors:

  • Examine the command prompt for any compilation errors. Address any issues before proceeding to the next step.

Section 6: Running Java Programs in Notepad++

6.1 Running the Compiled Java Program:

  • Once successfully compiled, run your Java program using the “java” command followed by the name of the public class. For example:Copy codejava HelloWorld

6.2 Viewing Program Output:

  • The output of your Java program will be displayed in the command prompt. In the example, you should see “Hello, World!” printed on the screen.

Section 7: Exploring Advanced Features in Notepad++

7.1 Debugging with Breakpoints:

  • While Notepad++ doesn’t provide an integrated debugger, you can set breakpoints in your code and use external tools like “jdb” (Java Debugger) to debug your programs.

7.2 Integrating External Build Tools:

  • Consider integrating external build tools like Apache Maven or Gradle with Notepad++ for more advanced project management and dependency handling.

Section 8: Troubleshooting and Tips

8.1 Addressing Compilation Errors:

  • Carefully review error messages in the command prompt when compiling. Common issues include syntax errors, missing semicolons, or incorrect class names.

8.2 Managing Classpaths:

  • Understand the concept of classpaths and ensure that your Java programs have access to the required libraries and dependencies.

8.3 Staying Informed:

  • Stay updated on Notepad++ features and plugins, as well as changes in the Java ecosystem.


Compiling and running Java programs using Notepad++ is a testament to the flexibility and extensibility of this beloved text editor. While it may not provide the robust features of a full-fledged IDE, Notepad++ can serve as a lightweight and efficient tool for Java development, especially for beginners or those seeking a minimalist coding environment. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ve embarked on a journey to leverage Notepad++ for Java coding, empowering yourself to write, compile, and run Java programs with confidence. Happy coding!