Notepad++ VDF languages

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QC highlighting.

Notepad++ is a free source code editor that supports custom text highlighting. Highlighting rules are available for many Valve languages. To install them:

  1. Download the languages on GitHub here
  2. Extract the XML files to %appdata%/Notepad++/userdefinelangs/

%appdata% should automatically resolve to a full path.

Supported languages

Response rules highlighting.
Generic VDF
(No default extension due to very large potential filesize)
Response rules
Weapon script
(No appropriate extension)


N++ detects languages based on file extensions, but in several cases the established one is simply .txt. Rename the files in these cases: so long as the correct name is in the manifests, it doesn't matter what your soundscripts, response rules scripts, or soundscapes are called. You can see the custom extensions which had been set up for this purpose in the list above.

If you want to set a language manually in Notepad++, use the Language menu.

Compiling QC model scripts

You can compile QCs directly from Notepad++ with the NppExec plugin. Install it either from Plugins > Plugin Manager or by downloading directly from SourceForge.

With NppExec installed, press F6 and enter the following command. Change the path to studiomdl to match your system and your target engine branch:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\alien swarm\bin\studiomdl.exe" -nop4 -r "$(FULL_CURRENT_PATH)"

Press OK to compile.

Tip.png Tip: Use Ctrl+F6 to execute the previous command again.

See Also