I don't want to delete the empty lines completely, but I want to remove the trailing tabs and whitespaces in them. Eclipse usually does it (through a preference setting) when we save the file.

For example, the file before saving ($ = end of line):

def shuffle(list):$
    import random $

... and when I save this in the editor, Eclipse does the following:

def shuffle(list):$
    import random$

How can I automatically trim trailing whitespace with Notepad++?

  • 1
    To trim whitespace from multiple files at once, do a Find & Replace for the regular expression [ \t]+$. (Screenshot) (Source)
    – Stevoisiak
    Sep 27, 2017 at 20:13

10 Answers 10


You should be able to do a regular expression find/replace in Notepad++ using a pattern like \s+$.

There are also a few options under menu Edit -> Blank Operations that may fit your needs.

Under the "Macro" menu there's an option for "Trim trailing and save". If you need to do a regular expression it may be possible to create a macro however I've never tried them.

  • 12
    yes in my version of Notepad++, there's an Edit -> Trim Trailing Space, but can I trigger that automatically for every save?
    – Srikanth
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:36
  • 6
    There's an option for "Trim trailing and save" under the Macro menu
    – johanno
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:39
  • 28
    I have bound the Ctrl+S key to the Macro -> Trim Trailing and save option, using the Settings -> Shortcut Mapper... option. This is much better than having to remember to run the macro all the time. :) Jan 9, 2014 at 22:54
  • 3
    Searching \s+$ will match any empty line, regardless of whitespace. I recommend using [ \t]+$ instead. (See How do I remove trailing whitespace using a regular expression?)
    – Stevoisiak
    Sep 27, 2017 at 19:48

Alt+Shift+S does what you want. In fact it also saves the file.


As 10basetom noted, you can assign a different shortcut to this macro. You can control your shortcuts under Settings > Shortcut Mapper > [Macros].

enter image description here

  • 11
    To strip trailing spaces when you save: (1) Remove the default Save shortcut (Ctrl+S), then (2) assign the "Trim Trailing and save" macro to Ctrl+S.
    – thdoan
    Mar 3, 2015 at 4:33
  • 2
    And to remove the default Save shortcut, double click on Shortcut field and then select None from the combo box.
    – Mitch
    Dec 6, 2015 at 11:50
  • 2
    I found this page, updated my shortcuts as you suggested and used it happily ever after. Then recently I had to setup a new machine and had completely forgotten how I had done it before... Searched again and found this answer again! You should get +2 for helping me like this! Jan 11, 2016 at 20:59
  • Settings > Shortcut Mapper, then tab 'Macros'
    – bonob
    Feb 26, 2016 at 9:22
  • 1
    This should be the selected answer for me ^^
    – Nam G VU
    Feb 29, 2016 at 4:17

Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager
Under the Available tab, select EditorConfig and click [Install]

Add an .editorconfig file to the folder (name it .editorconfig. to avoid Windows error "You must type a filename" - the last dot will be removed)

# trims trailing whitespace for all files; filter like [*.{json,xml}]
trim_trailing_whitespace = true

EditorConfig can also specify encoding, indent and newline character(s), etc.

  • 1
    Seems that the EditorConfig plugin for Notepad++ does not actually support the trim_trailing_whitespace option: github.com/editorconfig/editorconfig-notepad-plus-plus
    – jpa
    Sep 1, 2015 at 8:32
  • 1
    Support for trim_trailing_whitespace was added on 2016-04-20. /cc @jpa
    – Stijn
    Dec 5, 2017 at 21:37
  • I wish I could upvote this more, even if only for the .editorconfig. trick. To think that I had been resorting to creating dot-files via the Command Prompt like a caveman for all of these years.
    – jamesdlin
    Jan 18, 2018 at 13:17

The existing answers look old.

Try below path:

Notepad++ > Edit (menu) > Blank Operations > Trim Trailing Space
  • 1
    I recorded a macro to "Trim Trailing Spaces" AND "convert Tabs to Spaces", for consistency in version control. I then Saved the macro with keycode combination Atl-T. Alt-T, Ctrl-S is Quick combo to trim, convert and save. I purposely do this in two steps, as I do not want to trim markdown files, or change tabs/trailing when editing other maintainer's files that may default to a different standard than I use. Notepad++ > Edit (menu) > Blank Operations > Trim Trailing Space and Notepad++ > Edit (menu) > Blank Operations > TAB to Space. (N++ also has ... Space to TAB options.) Jan 13, 2019 at 23:21

I changed the shortcuts to find a solution to this. I removed the save shortcut (shortcut mapper -> main menu -> save) and mapped Ctrl+S to the "Trim Trailing and Save" macro (shortcut mapper -> macros -> trim trailing and save). This way the macro replaces the save functionality and there's no need to remember the Alt+Shift+S shortcut.


Alt+Shift+S is the default shortcut for this. It's in the menu bar as Macro -> Trim Trailing and save. You can rebind this under Settings -> Shortcut Mapper -> [Macros].

Rebinding 'Trim Trailing and save' via Shortcut Mapper

Building on kon psych's answer, if you want to automatically trim whitespace any time you save, you can set this to replace the default Ctrl+S behavior. Just remember to change or remove the original save shortcut to prevent conflicts.

Disabling the default 'save' shortcut

  • +1 for 'Just remember to change or remove the original save shortcut to prevent conflicts.'
    – Wafeeq
    May 17, 2018 at 12:03

Ctrl + F -> Switch to tab Replace ->

Find what: \t\r

Replace with: \r

Make sure Extended search mode is on, then replace all.

If you want to save as well, johanno has the correct solution. Macro -> Trim Trailing and Save works as specified.

  • This answer is outdated
    – Antonio
    Mar 8, 2018 at 18:18

In order to preserve the existing menu commands, map (previously unassigned) Ctrl+T to trim trailing spaces. Then, do Ctrl+T and Ctrl+S together.

This lets you make a small change to a file without confusing text comparison utilities and source control programs by changing (potentially) hundreds of lines.


These are the precise steps to redirect the standard "Save" shortcut Ctrl+S to do instead "Trim Trailing and Save"

  • Settings->Shortcut Mapper...
  • Main Menu tab, double click on "Save", change S to None
  • Macros tab, double click on "Trim Trailing Space and Save", change to Ctrl+S

The Macros shortcut can also be modified from Macro->Modify Shortcut/Delete Macro...

  • Thanks, this is absolutely the best answer
    – simon tan
    Aug 19, 2019 at 19:11

Another way -

  1. Edit > Blank Operations > Remove Unnecessary Blank and EOL
  2. Plugin > XML Tools > Pretty print (XML only - with line breaks)

'XML Tools’ is a plugin that we can install for notepad++

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