Once upon a time... I had an editor that I could give a link to the official PHP help files (downloaded from the PHP website and extracted on C:/phpmanual/), and when hovering the mouse over a PHP-command I could press F2 or F4 and the according help file text would be displayed in an overlay.

Is there something similiar for Notepad++?

I have looked around quite some time now, but did not find any plugin offering this.

  • Did you find a solution? If so, posting it here would help others in future
    – Mawg
    Sep 12, 2017 at 9:37
  • @Mawg I didn't look anymore for such a plugin, as even on the notepad++ website's forum I didn'T get any answer. Just from time to time I take a look here to see if someone has written such a plugin. (If it is possible at all with the notepad++ software.)
    – John
    Sep 29, 2017 at 22:33
  • Did you try an IDE instead? Just think of the benefits of breakpoints, examining the stack and variable values, etc ... Honestly, no professional would use, or be allowed to use, an editor, rather than an IDE
    – Mawg
    Sep 30, 2017 at 8:57
  • Did you ever find a solution for this? It would help others in future if you tell us what you decided
    – Mawg
    Dec 12, 2017 at 9:10
  • 1
    @Mawg I didn't find a plugin, but the current version of notepad++ I use now gives a small tooltip when opening the parentheses after a recognized php command; this helps very often. And Alt-F1 now opens the php.net manual in my browser. (I didn't even need to configure anything for this.) - Sadly I haven't moved on to a real IDE so far.
    – John
    Dec 8, 2019 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


Instead of using an editor, you will make life easier and make yourself more productive, if you use an IDE.

Are you still debugging by adding echo() statements? Instead, use an IDE with a debugger, set breakpoints, examine and set variables, follow the path through your code to see what it does , etc, etc

I highly recommend Eclipse PHP , although Netbeans is also free and also good, or you could pay for WebStorm OOPS, sorry, I meant to say PHP Storm, which some find better.

While you are at it, check out ChromeLogger , which will let your PHP write to the develop console of your browser (just press F12 to see it). I find this to be extremely useful when developing AJAX. Even for plain PHP, it lets you avoid echo() debugging.

Sorry that I did not ask the question which you asked. I just hope that it is the one that you meant to ask ;-)

As to help, they pop up tooltips when you hover over the name of a known function. Maybe not the full help text, but good enough for me.

  • 1
    Maybe you could rephrase the beginning to make it less offensive. People use editors because they don't know better. Apr 13, 2017 at 9:41
  • 1
    Why do you suggest WebStorm and not PhpStorm? Sounds like PhpStorm was made more for PHP, which is OP's target language. jetbrains.com/phpstorm Apr 13, 2017 at 9:41
  • I have no idea! I agree, PHPstorm, rathar than WebStorm (+1). I don't know what got into me when I said that :-/
    – Mawg
    Apr 13, 2017 at 9:52
  • PHPstorm is well worth the money. Failing that, I have had great success with gratis alternatives, such as Eclipe PDT and NetBeans. Here are some more gratis alternatives - I have used CodeLobster which is OK, and hear good things about VIsual Studio Code
    – Mawg
    Dec 9, 2019 at 6:43
  • I also used, and liked Code Lobster and found it to be good enough. VSC is proving to be a very strong contender for many, many languages. I use it for programming ESP32s. But, via the unsurpassable - and free - PyCharm, I became hooked on JetBrains' IDEs and and currently pay for 3 of them. PhphStorm just cannot be beat, but it's an annual fee, so may not be for you. I founds Eclipse to be better then NetBeans and most companies I work for have used it for c / C++. But, please, do not be too concentred about start-up time. Always use an IDE - with a debugger - and not just an editor.
    – Mawg
    Jan 2, 2022 at 17:19

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