Notepad++ (https://notepad-plus-plus.org/) is my go to scratch pad for all things.  Not a day goes by when I don’t paste something into it. Here’s some tips and tricks that I use:

JSON Formatting

When working with data JSON works really well and visual studio has lots of great tools for working with it.  Sometimes though you may have to work with raw JSON and you’re probably getting it as an unformatted string. 
Consider this string:

[{"FieldName":"Add Plastic Coating","FieldValue":"No Coating Required","ExTaxPrice":0.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":21,"Required":false,"DataType":0,"SelectedKeys":[]},{"FieldName":"Delivery Date","FieldValue":"22/02/2017 12:00:00 AM","ExTaxPrice":0.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":30,"Required":true,"DataType":3,"SelectedKeys":[]},{"FieldName":"Pick Up From City","FieldValue":"Brisbane|","ExTaxPrice":12.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":13,"Required":true,"DataType":4,"SelectedKeys":[44]},{"FieldName":"Embossing Text","FieldValue":"fds","ExTaxPrice":0.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":31,"Required":true,"DataType":1,"SelectedKeys":[]},{"FieldName":"Upgrade Product","FieldValue":"Don't Upgrade","ExTaxPrice":0.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":33,"Required":false,"DataType":0,"SelectedKeys":[]},{"FieldName":"Additional Options","FieldValue":"Add Logo|","ExTaxPrice":10.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":14,"Required":false,"DataType":4,"SelectedKeys":[47]},{"FieldName":"How Long?","FieldValue":"1","ExTaxPrice":0.0,"CustomFieldKey":2,"CustomFieldValueKey":37,"Required":true,"DataType":2,"SelectedKeys":[]}]

So you could create a new blank json document in Visual Studio, paste in your text and then get Visual Studio to format the document but this is too tedious. With a quick plugin install you’ll find Notepad++ is much a faster process. From the Plugins menu in Notepad++, select Plugin Manager->Show Plugin Manager. Scroll through the list to find JSTool and click on Install.

Now, just paste your JSON into a blank notepad document and press Ctrl+Alt+M (or by using the menu select Plugins->JsTool->JSFormat) and you’ll get this:

[{
		"FieldName": "Add Plastic Coating",
		"FieldValue": "No Coating Required",
		"ExTaxPrice": 0.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 21,
		"Required": false,
		"DataType": 0,
		"SelectedKeys": []
	}, {
		"FieldName": "Delivery Date",
		"FieldValue": "22/02/2017 12:00:00 AM",
		"ExTaxPrice": 0.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 30,
		"Required": true,
		"DataType": 3,
		"SelectedKeys": []
	}, {
		"FieldName": "Pick Up From City",
		"FieldValue": "Brisbane|",
		"ExTaxPrice": 12.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 13,
		"Required": true,
		"DataType": 4,
		"SelectedKeys": [44]
	}, {
		"FieldName": "Embossing Text",
		"FieldValue": "fds",
		"ExTaxPrice": 0.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 31,
		"Required": true,
		"DataType": 1,
		"SelectedKeys": []
	}, {
		"FieldName": "Upgrade Product",
		"FieldValue": "Don't Upgrade",
		"ExTaxPrice": 0.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 33,
		"Required": false,
		"DataType": 0,
		"SelectedKeys": []
	}, {
		"FieldName": "Additional Options",
		"FieldValue": "Add Logo|",
		"ExTaxPrice": 10.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 14,
		"Required": false,
		"DataType": 4,
		"SelectedKeys": [47]
	}, {
		"FieldName": "How Long?",
		"FieldValue": "1",
		"ExTaxPrice": 0.0,
		"CustomFieldKey": 2,
		"CustomFieldValueKey": 37,
		"Required": true,
		"DataType": 2,
		"SelectedKeys": []
	}
]

To convert your JSON back into a single line use the Plugins->JsTool->JSMin menu

Keeping Code

Sometimes I want to rework a block of code or try changing things up a bit.  What I don’t want to do though is lose the current code just in case I want to refer to it or worse case go back to it.  Sure I can post my code to GIT and retrieve it back later but I find that breaks my workflow.  Instead I just create a blank document in Notepad++ and just paste my code there.  No need to save it because Notepad++ keeps it in its own cache.  I can then rework my code and refer back to my original.  Once it’s all sorted I just close the tab in Notepad++