Notepad! is a nicely balanced Notepad replacement, accessible to just about everyone but with plenty of bonus extra features when you need them.
The interface is an immediate plus, its Office-like ribbon organising the program’s main features across three tabs.
If your editing needs are simple, there’s not much to learn. Open a document, type as normal, use the standard editing keys, save the file and you’re done.
You’ll still notice immediate benefits over regular Notepad. Files open more quickly, especially when they’re large, and the tabbed interface enables opening several documents at once.
Other features begin to appear as you explore. Drag and drop editing means you can select a block of text and drag and drop it somewhere else. The Find and Replace tools support regular expressions, and maintain a history of your searches for easy recall.
The Print feature is a highlight. Instead of the usual “dump plain text to the default printer” system, you’re able to set margins, gutter, indentations, header, footer and more, and check the results immediately via a Print Preview.
The “Find in Files” tool works well, too. You can locate files by name, location, content, created/ modified/ accessed dates, size, all attributes (Reparse Point, Sparse File and more), and with your mix of include or exclude filters.
The “Document Map” displays a sidebar with a thumbnail of your document. Click on an area you recognise – a list of items towards the end of the document, say – and Notepad! displays it right away.
Click “Split Editor” and a second pane opens with another view of the current document. This allows you to view distant areas of the document at the same time, maybe to compare them, or to drag and drop text from one pane to another.
Programmers will benefit from syntax highlighting covering more than 35 languages.
Extras range from a hash mode calculator supporting CRC32, MD5, RIPE-MD160, SHA1, SHA256 and SH512, to the more usual bookmark system, line sorting and customisable hotkeys.
Notepad! still can’t match the power of a full-strength programmers editor. There’s no code folding, auto-complete, macro recording, session support or anything else particularly advanced.
It’s also missing one or two features you might expect. Right-click a tab and there are no management options, for instance– no context menu at all.
Despite this, Notepad! is a likeable tool, easy to use and with some helpful features. Take a look.
Notepad! is available for Windows 7 and later.
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