Network Notepad Professional Edition Help               


The Tool Bar
Adding Objects To A Diagram
Deleting Objects
Selecting/ Deselecting Objects
Aligning Objects
Resizing Objects
Linking Objects
Unlinking Objects
Using the Link Break Feature
Moving and Copying Objects
Nudging Objects
Changing The Name/ IP Address Of An Object
Changing An Objects Properties
Adding Text To A Diagram
Editing Text
Formatting Text
Moving Text
Adding Horizontal And Vertical Backbones
Resizing And Moving Backbones
Linking An Object To A Backbone
Hiding IP Addresses
Using the Programmable Function Buttons
Customising the Programmable Function Buttons
Page Setup
Print Preview
Searching Diagrams
Customizing Link Styles
Object Properties
Linking Diagrams
Links Table
Changing Link Types
Adding New Objects To An Object Library Form
Deleting Objects From An Object Library Form
Auto Hiding The Object Library Form
Creating New Object Libraries
Sharing Object Library Files
Format Shape
Grouping and Locking
Rotating Objects and Text

The Setup Form
The Diagram Properties Form
Creating Templates

Adding A Backdrop Image
Export to .BMP File
Associating .ndg File Extension With Netpad.exe
Setting A Default Diagram
Known Bugs
Report A Bug
Revision Level History

The Tool Bar

      Back and Forward buttons. These are used to move back and forth through previously loaded diagrams.       Align Horizontal and Align Vertical Buttons.
      Open a network diagram file.       Auto Align Button. When selected, objects are automatically aligned horizontally or vertically with the previously pasted object.
      Save the current file.       Send to Back, Bring to Front Buttons. These change the order that objects are drawn.
       Print Diagram       Connection Points Button. Selects between linking to a single point on an object or linking to any part of an object. 
      Object Libraries Button. This button opens the current Object Library and displays available objects to use in the diagram.       Link Button. Toggles link mode on and off. Left click on objects to link them.
      Cut button. Delete selected objects and place on clipboard.       Link Selection Drop Down List.
      Copy Button. Copies selected objects to the Network Notepad clipboard.       Unlink Button. Removes links between selected objects
      Paste Single Button. Switches to paste mode for a single paste operation.       Zoom in/out.
      Paste Multiple Button. Switches to paste mode and remains in paste mode for multiple paste operations.       IP Addresses Button. Toggles the display of IP Addresses.
      Delete Button. Delete selected objects.       Programmable function buttons.
      Text Mode Button. Toggles text mode on and off. Left click will position a text cursor at the current mouse position.       Exit Button.


To pan around the diagram, hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse (The mouse pointer needs to be position over the background of the diagram).
To follow a link to another diagram - Right click the object and select "Goto next diagram". Objects which link to other diagrams have a blue caption.
The tool bar back and forward buttons may also be used to jump to the previous or next diagram.
Network Notepad Professional Edition supports multi-page diagrams. The Tab bar along the bottom of the window shows a tab for each page in the diagram.

Using The Zoom Buttons

-+ Zoom buttons and Zoom Dropdown list lets you quickly zoom in and out the view of the current page. You can work on diagrams at any zoom level as normal, though it usually helps when rotating objects and text to return the view to the default 100% scale.

Tip: Right click the Zoom dropdown list to quickly default the view back to 100%.

 Adding Objects To A Diagram

Click the Object Libraries Button  to display the current Object Library.
Drag and drop Objects from the Library to the diagram.

You may also paste Library objects by selecting the object from the library and then closing or minimising it.
Point the cross hair where you want to place the objects.
To automatically hide the Object Library whenever you select a new object, enable "Auto Hide" in the setup dialogue.
The paste button performs a single paste operation and the paste multiple button performs multiple paste operations without exiting paste mode.

Tip: Double right click the background to toggle the last used mode (Paste, Text, or Link) off and on.

Cutting And Deleting Objects From A Diagram

Highlight the objects you wish to cut or delete by left clicking them and then hit the Cut Button  to place them on the clipboard. Click the Delete Button  on the toolbar to remove them completely or press Shift + Delete on the Keyboad.

Selecting/ Deselecting Single/ Multiple objects

Objects need to be selected (Red highlight) and deselected  for cutting and pasting. To select an object, left click it.
To select multiple objects at once, drag a "rubber band" around them with the left mouse button.
You must start selection with the mouse pointer positioned over a blank piece of background.
To select or unselect additional objects, hold the CTRL key down while selecting.
To select no objects, left click the background or choose Edit and then Select None from the ring menu.  CTRL-A also toggles between selecting all and selecting none.

Tip: CTRL-A toggles between selecting all and selecting none.

Aligning Objects

To align objects, select them and choose Format and Align Horizontal or Align Vertical from the Ring Menu or click the horizontal and vertical align buttons on the tool bar. The first item selected is used to align the position of the other items selected.
When pasting objects and drawing links, objects and lines are automatically aligned if the Auto Align button  is selected.

Resizing Objects

Use Shift + and Shift - to adjust the size of the current object retaining it's current proportions.
You can also resize an object by dragging the edge or corners.
Objects can also be resized by changing the x and y scale in the Object Properties form.


Linking Objects

To link two objects, firstly use the Link Selection Box to choose the desired type of Link.
Left Click the link button , the mouse pointer will indicate you are in Link Mode. Left Click on pairs of objects to join them.
You may also Right Click an object and choose "Link" to enter link mode.
To finish linking objects, click the link button  again.

Clicking the background whilst in link mode enables you to form elbows and bends in links.

Tip: Double right click the background to toggle the last used mode (Paste, Text, or Link) off and on.  


Linking To Part of An Object

By default, links point to the centre of an object. You may link to any part of an object using the Connection Points Option from the Format menu or clicking the Connection Points Button .
Select Connection Points - Unlimited to link to any part of an object or Connection Points - 1 to return to the default setting.


Linking To Part Of A Background Object

By setting Connection Points to unlimited you may link to parts of the object. Change the objects layer to show links on top of an object. See Object Properties on how to set an object to a background layer, or use the send-to-back and bring-to-front buttons on the toolbar. Note there are 3 layers below the links and 3 layers above the links layer, so you may need to press the buttons multiple times to get the desire effect.

See also: Customizing Link Styles

Unlinking Objects

To remove links between objects, select the objects which are linked and then click the Unlink Button .

Using the Link Break Feature

The Link Break Feature enables you to break a link and create a new join anywhere on an existing link. Right click the link where you want the new join to appear and select Break. A new "link-node" is highlighted where you select the break which you can then drag and drop or nudge to the desired position.

 Moving and Copying Objects

To move selected objects, hold down the Shift Key and drag the object to it's new position.
To copy objects, select them and then click then Copy Button. Click the Paste Button  to enter Paste Mode and the position the cross hair and left click to paste copies of the objects. To finish pasting, click the Paste Button again, or double right click the background to exit the current mode.

Nudging Objects

To nudge selected objects, hold down the Shift key while pressing one of the cursor keys.

Changing The Name (Or IP Address) Of An Object

To change the name of an object or change it's  IP address, Double Left Click on current name or IP address and type in the new details. Press Enter to complete.
You may also change these details by right clicking on the object and selecting "Properties". See Object Properties below.
When specifying IP addresses, you may include additional information, eg. subnet mask, following a "/" character. Eg. /28 or / The "/" character and any text which follows is ignored when using the programmable function buttons.
You may insert a Carriage Return in an Object or IP Label using Shift + Enter.

Adding Text To A Diagram

Click the Text Mode Button  and then Left Click when the cross hair 1 is where you want the text to appear.
The Text Mode button will indicate you are in Text Mode 2.
To finish entering text, click the Text Mode button again or press the Escape key.

Tip: Double right click the background to toggle the last used mode (Paste, Text, or Link) off and on.


Editing Text

To Edit text in text box, double click on it.. The Text Mode button will indicate you are in Text Mode.
Press ESC to finish editing the text, or click the text mode button on the tool bar.
To delete a Text Box, double click it and then hit backspace. Press ESC or click the text mode button to complete.

Formatting Text

To Format Text, right click text in your diagram and select Format Text. The Format Text window is now displayed. From here you can set the Font, Font Size, Colours, Effects and also set the angle of rotation in degrees for the text.
Set To Default Font: Sets the text to the default format.
Make This The Default Text Format: Sets the default text format to the settings shown on this page.

Moving Text

To move text, hold the SHIFT key down and drag the text. To Rotate Text, hold the SHIFT key down and drag one of the corners of the text.



Adding Float Text To Objects

Information can be displayed when the pointer is held over an object for a few seconds.
To Add or Edit Float Text, right click the object and select Edit Float Text.
Enter text into the Float Text entry box and hit escape when complete.

Adding Horizontal And Vertical Backbones

Add horizontal and vertical backbones to your diagram by selecting them from the Backbones object library.
Position the cross hair roughly where you want the centre of the backbone to be and click the left mouse button.
Click the Paste Mode  button to finish adding backbones.

Resizing And Moving Backbones

To resize a backbone, position the cursor over either end then hold the left mouse button down to drag the backbone larger or smaller.
To move a backbone, hold the shift key down whilst dragging the backbone to a new position.


Customizing Backbone Styles

Backbones are Shapes and they can be customised by right clicking and select Format Shape.

Linking An Object To A Backbone

To link an object to a backbone, click on the link mode button  and then join the backbone to the object. It does not matter what Link Type has been selected when doing this.

Hiding IP Addresses

To Reveal or Hide IP addresses, toggle the IP Address Button .

Using The Programable Function Buttons

The programmable function buttons  can be programmed to execute external applications. The application may be supplied with the IP address or hostname of the most recently clicked object. F1 for instance is pre-programmed to Telnet to the IP address of the most recently clicked object.
The 5 programmable function buttons are also present in the pop up menu when you right click an object.


Customising The Programmable Function Buttons

The programmable function button definitions are accessed from the User Defined Apps tab in the Setup screen.
The following Network Notepad variables may be included in the Command Line and Display Title definitions:
$IPADDRESS - is substituted for the most recently clicked object's principal IP address.
$HOSTNAME - is substituted with the most recently clicked object's hostname.
$EXPLORE - invokes an instance of internet explorer.
     E.g. $explore $ipaddress...... to browse the object by ipaddress.
$BROWSE - invokes the default browser/application.
     E.g. $browse c:\docs\$hostname.doc..... will try and open for example "router1.doc" in whatever application is configured to handle .doc files.
- Copies the resolved definition to the windows clipboard.
$FILENAME - is substituted for the current diagram's filename (.ndg).
$VAR1, $VAR2 - User variables. These are set in the Object Properties Form on the Misc Tab and can contain any user defined data. Ellipsis buttons are provided to browse for filenames.
     E.g. $browse $VAR1..... Could be used to open a specific file associated with the object.



  • Use SSH to connect to a device using Putty:
    "C:\Program Files\putty\putty.exe -ssh $IPADDRESS"
  • Use Putty in telnet mode to connect to a device:
    "C:\Program Files\putty\putty.exe -telnet $IPADDRESS"
  • Remote control a device using VNC:
    "C:\Program Files\UltraVNC\vncviewer.exe $IPADDRESS"
  • Remote Desktop:
    "C:\windows\system32\mstsc.exe /v:$IPADDRESS"

Toolset: Network Notepad Professional Edition allows you to define up to 10 toolsets. You can choose a toolset to use with an object in the object's properties form.

Edit Button: Toolset definitions are now stored in a local file. This button allows you to edit the file directly, as well as making it easy to copy, paste and share your toolsets.

Refresh Button: The refresh button is used to re-read the tooldefs.txt file after editing it manually.


Page Setup

Use the Page Setup form to select the paper size and orientation used when printing the current page. These are set individually for each page in the document.


To print a diagram use the print button on the toolbar. If you have a large canvas size the objects will appear small when printed. Drag the canvas smaller or reduce the Canvas width and height in the Diagram Properties form to make the objects to appear larger when printed.

Print Preview

The print preview menu option gives you an idea how your document will look when it is printed.


Searching Diagrams

To search a diagram, press CTRL-F to display the find dialog. Enter the text to find in the text box.
Use F3 to Find Next.
Tick the Search All Pages box to search for the text in all pages of your document.

Tip: Network Notepad Files are stored as plain text. Use Windows "Search for Files" to scan through all your diagrams and find what you are looking for.

Customizing Link Styles

To Customize the link styles select Format then Link Styles on the ring menu.


Link Style Dropdown:
Select an existing link style to modify.
New Link Type:
Click this button to create a new link style. You will be prompted to enter a name.
Rename the current selected link style.

Style Settings

Format: Choose between Line, Lightning, Lightning2, Arrow, Curve and Curve2 Styles. For the Lightning style to be effective set the width to 14 or more.
Colour: Select Colour of the link. The slider sets the transparency.
Style: Select from Opaque and various dashed line styles.
Width: Width of Link.
Angle: Selects the angle for arrow heads.
Length: Selects the size of arrow heads.
Style2: 1 for Solid arrow heads. 0 for Open arrowheads.
Startcap, Endcap: Selects from built-in startcap and endcap styles.
Dashcap: Selects style for dashed lines.

The Save, Load and Load Default options may be used to load and save a selection of link styles. Link styles are also saved with diagrams.


Curve Link Style

Curved link styles use one or two link nodes to act as control points for the curve. From the ring menu select "Options" and "Show Link nodes" to display link nodes while you are drawing curves.
Click the first object, click the background to place the first control point, click the background again to create a second control point and then click the second object to complete the link.



Curve2 Link Style

Curve2 Link Style allows you to draw curved Links with any number of control points.
From the ring menu select "Options" and "Show Link nodes" to display link nodes while you are drawing curves.





Object Properties Form

Tool Set: Select which of the 10 sets of programmable function button definitions are to be used with this object.

Links Table Button:


Name: The name of the object + relative position of label.
Address:Specifies the IP address used by the programmable function buttons.



Object Type: Name of the object as shown in the Object Library.
X/Y Scale: Used to enlarge or reduce the Bitmap.
Layer: Sets the order which the object is drawn. The background and grid lines are drawn first followed by objects in layers 5 to 3, then links are drawn and then objects in layers 2 to 0 are uppermost. The "Send to Back" and "Bring to Front" buttons on the toolbar moves the selected objects through the different layers.
Background: Setting an object to background allows links to be drawn on top of an object rather than connecting to it.
Quick RotateFlip: Allows a number of preset rotations and translations of the object.
Rotate: Specify the objects angle of rotation in degrees, or select from the list of rotations at 45 degree intervals.
Float Text: Text which appears when the cursor hovers over an object.

Linking Diagrams

Diagrams may be linked together such that one or more special objects in a diagram provide a link to other diagram files. To follow a link to another diagram, right click the object and select "Goto next diagram". Configure an object to be a link to another diagram, in the Object Properties form using the following settings:
Link to another Diagram?
: This tick box enables the "Goto next diagram" option when this object is right clicked.
Location: Filename of next diagram (include .ndg extension).
Seek: Some text to seek when the next diagram is loaded.
Use bookmark: Completes the Location and Seek fields with the last bookmarked location (Edit > bookmark).

Drag And Drop Method For Linking Diagrams

Another way to create a link to a diagram is to drag and drop the .ndg file you want to link to on to the canvas of the current diagram. This adds an object which acts as the link as stated above.

The Links Table

The links table shows a table of all the connections to an object.
Clicking any column heading sorts the table by that particular column.
An IP Address, Hostname and Comment may be entered for each end of each link.
The  columns are drop-down boxes from which you choose the display position relative the object for the IP Address or Hostname.
The "Add to table"/ "Remove from table" buttons are used to transfer or remove the object's IP address and Hostname to/from the table. To enable this button, you must highlight one of the rows by clicking column 0.

Changing Link Types

To change a link type in a diagram right click the link and choose "Set link style". You may also change a link type from the Links table by clicking a cell in the Link Type column and choose the new link style from the drop down list.


Click the Object Library button on the main window to display the Object Library.
Select different libraries from the Drop down list or use "File","Open".
Right clicking an object allows you to change an objects default name, filename and X/Y scale.

Searching Object Libraries

The search box on the toolbar may be used to search all available libraries for objects.
You can save objects found as a new Library using the save button on the tool bar.

Adding New Objects To An Object Library

Drag a .ico, .bmp, .wmf, .gif, .png or .jpg  file on to a blank part of the Object library form.
To rename an object, right click it and select "Rename Object" or double click the object's label. You also have the option to rename the bitmap filename, and resize the object by right-clicking it.

Use "File","Save Object Library" to save the updated Object Library file.


Tip: .ico and .wmf files support a transparent background colour.

Deleting Objects From The Object Library Form

To delete an object from the current Object Library, select the object followed by "Edit" and "Cut Image from Object Library".

Auto-Hiding The Object Library Form

To auto-hide the Object Library Form whenever an object is selected select "File" and "Auto-hide".

Creating New Object Library Files

On the ring menu select File>New to create a new, blank Object Library file. Paste new object images as explained previously and then use File > Save As to save the new Object Library.

Sharing Object Library Files

A workgroup Object Library (Folder) may be specified in the main setup form. Network Notepad will use this library when the shared drive is available. Otherwise it will use the default local copy.
To set this up initially, copy contents of the local objects folder to the shared folder.


The Format Shapes Form is accessed from the Format option on the main toolbar or by right clicking a shape in a diagram or in the Shapes Object Library.


Format Shape

Template Shape: Is the name of an existing shape which you can then customize.
Shape Parameters: Are the settings which control how the shape is drawn
Format: Choose from a list of basic shapes.
Colours: Choose the background colour of the shape. Select a second colour if gradient fill is to be used. The slider sets the transparency.
Gradient Fill: Tick the enable box to enable gradient fill. X1,Y1,X2,Y2 sets the start and end coordinates of the gradient fill.
Width and Height: Sets the default width and height of the shape.
Variant: Numerical value which selects from predefined variants of the shape.
Arc Size: For rectangular shapes, this sets the corner radius.
Border: Set the width >0 for a border to be displayed. The rest of the parameters here set the colour and dash style for the border.
Output, Shape Name: The name of the customized shape to save.

It is important to try and keep customized shape names unique. For example, if you created a new shape called "circle" and there is already a different shape in your diagram called "circle" you will not get the desired result when the new shape is added to your diagram (The diagram will not allow you to replace the existing shape). The ellipsis button may be used to generate a random shape name.

Save to Library: When defining a new shape you should tick this box to save the new shape to the Shapes object library.
Save to Diagram: If you selected format shape by right clicking a shape in a diagram, this option chooses whether that shape is replaced with the new shape. Update all: further selects whether or not to replace all shapes of the type originally clicked with the new shape.



Example Shapes

Rectangle, Width=200, Height=100, background set to transparent by setting the colour slider control to the left.
Arc size 20 sets radiused corners.


Rectangle, Width=200, Height=100, Variant 1 sets only the top two corners to be radiused.


Grouping and Locking

Objects may be grouped together and then locked in position relative to each other to form composite objects.

The first object you select will become the "parent" object and further objects selected will be "child" objects.
Select the parent object, followed by the child objects and then select Format > Group from the ring menu to group the objects together. At this point, you may still move the objects relative to each other. Copying and pasting the parent object will copy and paste all of the child objects as well.
To lock the child objects position relative to the parent object, right click the child object and select "Lock" from the menu. Now when you move the child object, the parent and all it's child objects are moved together.
To unlock objects, right click them and select "Unlock".
To ungroup objects, select each of the members of the group and then click Format > Ungroup on the ring menu.

Only one layer of grouping is currently supported. ie you cannot group groups.

Example using the shapes shown above we can create a composite Title Box object:

Position the two shapes to form a title box.
Select the parent box and then the title bar box, then Format and Group from the ring menu.
Right click the title bar box and select "Lock" to lock it's position relative to the main box.

Locking normal objects can also be used to lock the position of an object on the page. This is useful for things like template borders and title blocks which don't normally need to be moved. Locked objects have the following properties:

  • Locked objects cannot be moved with drag and drop.
  • Locked objects cannot be group selected, that is with CTRL-A or by dragging a band around them.


Anchoring locks the position of objects and text relative to one of the four corners of the page. This is useful when  resizing the page to ensure a title block and border remain fixed to the edge of the page.
Select objects and text to be anchored and then Format > Anchor from the menu.


Rotating Objects and Text

Rotate objects and text using any of the following methods:

  1. Specify a rotate angle in the Object Properties Form and in the Format Text Form.
  2. Drag any of the four corners of the text or object with the mouse. Hold down the SHIFT key when dragging. The cursor indicates when you are correctly positioned for this as shown in the example here.
  3. CTRL +/- rotates the currently selected text or object in 1 degree steps.




The Setup Form


General Settings Tab

Language: Select the Language used for Network Notepad.
The only items on the Setup Form which have not already been mentioned are as follows:
Default IP Address. A partial or complete IP Address which will be applied to all new objects added to the diagram.
Grid Line Spacing. Sets the spacing for grid lines when grid lines option is switched on ("Options","Grid Lines").
Default Diagram: Sets the diagram loaded by default if no diagram is specified on the command line. Use the ellipses button browse for a file or the "Use Current" make the currently open diagram the default diagram. The "None" button clears the default diagram.
Save X previous versions of diagram
. This option keeps the specified number of previously saved versions of the diagram in a "netpadsafe" folder. This option is present only in Beta versions.
Associate .ndg extension with Network Notepad. Let's you open .ndg files by double clicking them (This is set by default during installation).

User Defined Apps Tab

For information on the User Defined Apps, see Using The Programmable Function Buttons.


Updates Tab

Enable Automatic Updates: Tick to enable automatic updates (default).
Update Type: Select from Automatic, Check and Download, and Check only.
Manual Proxy Settings: Tick to enable automatic updates with manual proxy server settings.


 The Diagram Properties Form

The Diagram Properties Form

The Diagram Properties Form is accessed from the main ring menu File > Edit Diagram Properties.
The Diagram Name, Notes1 and Notes2 are text fields stored in the diagram.
Print Quality: Select from Draft, Fine and Superfine to set the pixel resolution used for the diagram.
Canvas Width and Canvas Height specify the size of the canvas in pixels.
Backdrop: Specify an image file for the Backdrop of the diagram.
Forground Colour and Background Colour: Sets the colours used for Object Name and IP Labels.
Link Text Colour: Selects the colour for text used to highlight objects which link to another diagram.
Float Text Foreground and Background Colours: Sets the colours used for Float Text.
Make These The Default: Sets the defaults for new diagrams.




When you start a new drawing or add a new page to an existing document, you are prompted to select from a list of templates. A diagram template is simply a minimal diagram which contains defaults for the new drawing. It sets the page width and height and orientation, default font, link link styles and it can contain some default drawing, for example a title block and border.

Creating Diagram Templates

To create new diagram template, set up a new single page document with the desired settings and default drawing as mentioned above and then save it to the templates folder using File > Save to Templates. 




Adding A Backdrop Image

Drag and drop a bitmap file (.bmp, .png, .gif or .jpg) on to the page to use as a backdrop image for your diagram.
In the Diagram Properties form, you may also specify a filename for a backdrop bitmap, and you can select whether to stretch, centre or tile the image.

Export To Bitmap Graphics File

To export a diagram as a bitmap file, from the ring menu, select File and then Export To Bitmap Graphics File. Enter a suitable filename when prompted. The following bitmap file types can be selected from drop-down list: .bmp, .gif and .png.

Setting A Default Diagram

You may configure a default diagram to be displayed when Network Notepad is run. The default diagram is configured in the Setup Form.

Report A Bug

If you find a bug, please email details to