Note Pad

NotePad is a plain text editor built by MicroSoft and supplied with their MicrosoftWindows operating systems. It is extremely simplistic with regard to search and replace to say the least, but it's perfectly usable.

For the longest time, the fact that notepad's 64kb limit, as well as the fact that it didn't have decent shortcuts (Ctrl+S, Ctrl+F), were icons of the fact that Microsoft were all about highly visible features and not about everyday usability. With Windows 2000 and XP, Notepad has been fixed. Incidentally, around that time I learned to live with Windows + Cygwin, when I had to.

It is often claimed that more web sites have been developed using NotePad than with all of those fancy WysiWyg HTML editors.
A notepad replacement is TextPad. I use it now instead of NotePad, particularly because I can edit many files at the same time and save them as a group. I can also reload the group in another session.

NotepadPlusPlus and NotepadTwo? are similar, but they're GNU freeware. I use them all the time: when coding in MatLab or VhdlLanguage for my electronics subjects, or when I have to program with Java. They support syntax highlighting and the works. See and to get them. (Addendum: As of 2012, Notepad++ has literally grown into an IDE, and a pretty nice and lightweight one at that. It has a DBGP debug plugin, which lets you step through your code and check your program's state within Notepad++. Combine this with the PHP Xdebug extension and you got yourself a kinda ramshackle PHP debugger -- but also lightweight and better than nothing. --DaNuke?

Another good replacement is the CrimsonEditor? (, which also has good features to support programmers.

NoteLens is another alternative, blazingly fast, googlized searching, categorization, and other features.

Since around 1999, I have used MetaPad exclusively. I simply do a physical replacement of NotePad, and the author has a faq that leads you through how to do this on most windows versions. I have built a ton of websites with this little gem, and I won't have a computer without it. So far I have replaced NotePad on Win98se, XP Home, XP Pro, and Vista Premium. See:

Two more excellent NotePad alternatives are NotepadPlusPlus ( and Notepad2 (

The Windows builds of GeanyEditor are also perfectly usable now. My TextEditorContinuum? now looks like, from light to heavy, GeanyEditor --> JayEdit --> NetBeans. Download the installer with or without GTK at

See also TypeItInNotepadFirst
CategorySoftwareTool CategoryTextEditor

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