The intersection of technology and leadership

File Associations in Notepad++

I’m a huge advocate for using Notepad++ when doing development on windows. It easily beats the default notepad.exe for being function, remains fast, and its “Find in Files” feature actually works instead of the defunct windows-search facilities.

Its menu system is a little bit different from your normal windows application, and working out how to map a specific file extension to a particular format is not exactly obvious. In this case, I wanted to tell Notepad++ to treat build files as XML files. Here’s the steps you need to go through…

Open up the Style Configurator (such a developer name!).


Pick the XML language in the left most window and under the user ext: dialogue (it sits next to the Default ext: , add build as shown in the screen capture below (click on it for a bigger picture). This will now tell Notepad++ to treat files extending with the extension build to format as XML! Viola.

Associating build files with a formatting type

Happy editing.


  1. Mark Needham

    I’ve been wondering how to do that for ‘.config’ files actually but could never figure it out, neat – thanks!

  2. Patrick

    That’s exactly what I needed to do to find this out (or least had to find out for someone else).

  3. jamesr

    Thank you for posting this tip. it was driving me crazy, and yet the control was right there. thanks for taking the time to post what seemed to be a trivial detail!

  4. anonymous

    How do I add multiple options there? do I write as so asp|aspx|blabla ? or something else?

  5. Patrick

    I think you simply put spaces between each extension, so it’d be “asp aspx blabla”

  6. Janice

    Still useful (I forgot this); under Windows 7 you might have to open Notepad ++ as an administrator to make the settings stick.

  7. Steffen

    Whey, you just saved me so much of Alt-L-V-Enter! (set .iss to VB)

  8. Felipe Lima


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 patkua@work

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑