Enabling Notepad++ as an Editor for Azure Resource Manager Templates

When you begin working with Azure Resource Manager templates, you will immediately need a JSON  editor to work with the Azure Resource Manager template language. While your best option is Visual Studio (more on this in another post), it is not free and may not be an option if you do not have an MSDN subscription or generous employer. NOTE: Individuals, small teams, and others who qualify can also use Visual Studio Community Edition, which is free for non-commercial use or open source projects, academic research, training, education. More on that at https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-community-vs.aspx.

One free option is to leverage Notepad++. While Notepad++ does not support JSON out-of-box, there is a fairly good JSON plug-in for Notepad++ available at  http://sourceforge.net/projects/nppjsonviewer/?source=typ_redirect. You install this plug-in like most others for Notepad++…by simply copying a .dll to the \plugins folder and re-launch Notepad++.

Now you can open an existing template from the samples available online. To enable the functionality Notepad++ json plugin, start by selecting your json template with Control+A, or Edit–> Select All.

Then, select Plugins –> JSON Viewer –> Show JSON Viewer.








This will parse the template and present it in the JSON Viewer in a left navigation pane.













While this is not ideal, it does provide some basic functionality for validating JSON syntax as you piece together new deployments from existing ARM JSON templates.