Plugins are dynamic link libraries (.dll) meant to enhance Notepad++ functionality. You can have a default collection installed when you run the Notepad++ installer. Further, you may find other, not yet official, plugins by searching the Plugin Development forum. A plugin has to be of release grade in order to be accepted as official, but some unofficial ones work very well, albeit perhaps not flawlessly. Open source is an art of living on the edge for getting it, remember?
Since v5.1, Notepad++ had been released in two separate versions, ANSI and Unicode. Plugins are only compatible with the Unicode version if they were written in Unicode, the same goes for ANSI.
Nearly all plugins had ben converted or superseded at the time Notepad++ dropped support for ANSI builds, starting with version v6.0.
So, if you are seing any incompability message, it means either of three things:
- You are using an old ANSI build of Notepad++ and try to plug an Unicode plugin on it. Please upgrade.
- You are using an ANSI plugin with a standard Notepad++, which means Unicode. Please download the relevant Unicode version of the plugin, or a newer one. Currently, the only two reasons you'd want to keep an ANSI plugin are
- SearchInFIles, because of its Exclude types wildcard pattern feature;
- SimpleScript, because for some reason you don't wish to use the other Unicode aware plugins as reported on the Scripting forum.
- Most frequently, you get the message because for some reason loading the dll failed, and ANSI / Unicode incompatibility is wrongly reported.
This page is bound to be deleted at some point in the future, when it is felt that it describes situations relating to a distant, foregone past of coexisting builds, which ad lasted for 3 years and a half.