All that is wrong with the world…

November 8, 2011

Why is Notepad never improved?

Filed under: Tech — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 4:28 pm

I don’t understand over the course of 15 years how Notepad has never managed to be improved. Most of the basic Windows utilities have improved over the years, primarily Calc and to a lesser extent mspaint and wordpad. I am not aware however of any improvements ever made to notepad. It can’t handle word wrap properly, and will create newlines based on the size of the windows. It can’t handle Unix end of line characters, requiring you to open the textfile in wordpad or an alternative editor and resave it. It requires using double quotes to save with a non .txt extension, which shouldn’t be necessary. Even the view menu has a grayed out option for a status bar, which I can’t seem to activate. It is also unacceptable for an operating systems basic text editor not to have support for regular expressions in 2011.

The only advancement made in Notepad seems to be the algorithm for detecting Unicode files which was introduced with Windows 2000. While it may have been improved since then, no actual features that would make the program useful have been introduced. I’m not asking for more advanced features like code folding or syntax coloring, although they would be nice as well. Just enough basic functionality to ensure text files didn’t break while transferring between platforms or because you resized the window. There should be no requirement to open text files in wordpad these days just to be able to read it properly.


  1. The reason you can’t select “status bar” is that you have word wrap on.

    Saving as a different extensions works fine if you select “All types” (or something like that) as “Save as type”

    Still breaking on UNIX newlines is nuts, though.

    Comment by radioteletype — November 8, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    • Ahh, I new I missed something with the status bar being greyed out. Didn’t know you could save as any extension so easily though, I have always used enclosing the filename in quotes because I think that used to be necessary on earlier versions.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — November 9, 2011 @ 1:37 am

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