Formatted JSON In Notepad++

Thursday, 06 March 2014
  • By
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Tags:
  • Quick Shot
  • Tips
  • Lunch And Learn


Since my original post, I've discovered another plug-in I like even more: JSTool.

I've also made a tutorial video on YouTube to guide you through setting up either plug-in.

Just FYI: watching in place here will make you sad or angry as the text will be too small. Either launch full screen or click the YouTube link to view in larger window.

If you prefer you Can Click Here To Go Directly To The YouTube Page. Might be easier on a mobile device.

Check out Formatted JSON In Notepad++ Video Tutorial to see the video and learn a bit more about JSTool.

The info below still applies, so feel free to read it as well. The big difference in JSTool is that you don't have to select the JSON before you tell the plug-in to format it, plus it can minify your JSON as well as format it for human consumption.

Original Post


Do you struggle with reading big walls of JSON?

Sample taken from

Odds are high that you will find yourself looking at some JSON that looks like a huge, impenetrable wall of text.


One of the attractions of JSON is that it is human readable, but normally it is minified (line breaks and white space removed) for speedier transmission across the network.

That makes it pretty darned ugly.

There are lots of tools to make your ugly JSON pretty, and one handy choice for Windows is the JSONViewer plug-in for Notepad++.

Notepad++ is a free, open source text editor with a ton of great plug-ins.

JSONViewer is a nifty plug-in that turns that wall into nicely formatted, easy(er) to read JSON.

It's quick, painless and oh-so-helpful.

Important Tip!!!

The one trick you must know about to use it is this: select the entire JSON text before you tell it to format it.

If you don't, then nothing will happen and you will assume something is wrong either with the JSON or the viewer.

JSONViewer for Notepad++ makes your JSON readable.

Sample taken from

Getting The Plug-In

Getting any plug-in in Notepad++ is as simple as going to the Plugins menu and clicking Plugin Manger: Show Plugin Manager. From there you get a nice dialog that lets you search for plug-ins. In this case just search for JSON.

Lunch and Learn Series

This is an occassional series of quick tips (also tagged as Quick Shot) that I put together during my lunch break.

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