I'm looking for an alternative to Notepad++ that runs on Mac OS. The thing is, I need a text editor that looks as similar as possible to Notepad++.

A little background: I'll be holding HTML and CSS tutorials and while I'll be using my Windows laptop with a projector, the attendees will be working on Macs. So I want to be able to show them e.g. the basic HTML syntax and for them to be able to write that by themselves without being confused by a completely different looking editor.

The first thing I found is Textwrangler, is this a good choice in this case? (I don't have a Mac here so I can't try it out myself) Or which other (free!) text editor that resembles Notepad++ could you recommend?

  • 3
    How about using a cross-platform editor so you and your audience can both use the same one? I can highly recommend Sublime Text (not free though). Atom (free, cross-platform) could also be an interesting alternative.
    – Lukas Graf
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 21:07
  • Sublime is too expensive for my purposes, even though one can technically "test" it open ended ... Atom looks cool, never heard of it before, I will definitely try it out. Thanks!
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 21:23

5 Answers 5


Please note: I do not own a mac or have a mac to try this so you will need to try it yourself.

If you watch this video here, it shows you step by step on how to install Notepad ++ using WineBottler.

Steps via description:

  1. Download WineBottler 1.7.x from http://winebottler.kronenberg.org
  2. Copy WineBottler and Wine.app to your Mac.
  3. Start WineBottler.
  4. Search for "notepad" in the "Download" Section, click "Notepad++".
  5. Give the App a name.
  6. Wait :) .
  7. Done. Run Notepad++ from "On My Mac" or from wherever you have installed the App to.
  8. If Notepad++ finds some updates, just let it install them - select "Restart Notepad++" after the updates are installed. Wait for Notepad++ to apply the updates and relaunch itself.

Enjoy! Mike

From having a look at the website, WineBottler is an applicaton for OS X designed to help people who need to run .exe's on Mac or play games not supported for OS X and only Microsoft.

It is currently supported on OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain and Mavericks.

Also from description:

About WineBottler and Wine- WineBottler packages Windows-based programs like browsers, media-players, games or business appli­ca­tions snugly into Mac app-bundles. WineBottler and Wine are FREE SOFTWARE. You are FREE TO REDISTRIBUTE OR MODIFY it under the terms of the LGPLv2.1 or any later thereof. http://winebottler.kronenberg.org http://www.winehq.org http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html

About Notepad++- Notepad++ is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.

PS. I am not aware of any Notepad ++ Programs similar for Mac but instead of looking for an alternative, why not just run Notepad ++ on Mac? ;)

  • Thanks for the detailed explanation. Since I'd have to do this with about 15 Macs and I'm not getting paid to do that ... well, I'll keep it in mind in case it becomes viable option!
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 2:24
  • @Izumi-reiLuLu Thanks for the above, most helpful :)
    – Simon
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:40

I really like Atom and it is cross-platform, but it does not have the same theme as notepad++ by default. HOWEVER, Atom is very flexible and easy to extend, hence you can install a notepad++ theme:

1) Open Settings

2) Click Install

3) Click Themes

4) search for "notepad"

A few notepad++ themes should appear. Hope this works for you.


jEdit is a suitable text editor which has somewhat similar look and feel and functionality of notepad++. jEdit has many plugins to extend its functionality if needed similar to Notepad++

  • Welcome firstpostcommenter! Do you have any affiliation with jEdit? If so, please disclose. Thanks! Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 10:20

All text-editors on Mac (I know of) look different than Notepad++. Totally different names of options, set of options, options dialogs different, menu layout is different. I know that Sublime Text is most ok, which is not free, and again, event it looks totally different.


Geany is a great editor (well, it is a light weight IDE that contains a good editor) and is is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Syntax highlighting, tag completion, etc.

This way you end up using the same application. Also Free (libre) and free (gratis).

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