Notepad is a text editor included in all Windows platforms. Although a seemingly basic piece of software, the text editor comes in handy for various things. For instance, Windows users can set up handy batch files or AutoHotkey scripts with it. However, Notepad has very few formatting or editing options so if you need a text editor with more extensive options and tools, look no further than these third-party Notepad alternatives for Windows.
Notepad++ is a highly rated text editor for Windows specifically designed for scripting with its support for numerous programming languages, such as C, Pas, al and C++. The program is freely available and compatible with all Windows platforms. Press the Download button on this page to save the software’s installer.
The great thing about Notepad++ is how it highlights syntax when programming code. With it, users can select numerous formatting options from the software’s Style Configurator to customize their own global styles with foreground and background colors and italic or bold fonts, or choose from preset themes. The program includes tabs so that users can edit multiple text files at once, a spell checker, macro-recording options, a Document Map tool and a Function List panel that displays function items in text documents. Furthermore, Notepad++ has additional plug-ins that enhance the software a little more.
EditPad Pro (or Lite)
EditPad is notepad software with a freeware and proprietary version. The Pro version retails for €39.95 and supports a wide variety of file types such as C, C++, HTML, C#, CSS, Visual Basic, VBScript and XML. You can add EditPad Lite 7 to Windows platforms from XP up by clicking Download EditPad Lite on this page.
EditPad is an all-purpose text editor that doesn’t just cater to software developers as it supports word wrapping and proportional fonts. The software itself has a tabbed UI design and includes extensive customization options on its Preferences window. For example, users can configure the editing options, the mouse cursor, keyboard navigation, tab colors, status bar indicators and more. The Pro version also includes syntax coloring, a spell checker, a hexadecimal mode for binary editing and a file navigator. Although the Lite version lacks those tools, it does still include the handy Clip Collections with which you can save text snippets and source code templates.
PSPad is another great text editor for programmers, but it also includes advanced text-editing options. This is freeware that’s compatible with the more recent Windows platforms and also has a portable version for USB sticks. You can click Installer on this page to add PSPad to your software library.
PSPad is chock-a-block with programming and scripting tools for developers. You can select to open ASCII Table window, Color Selector window, Color Translator, Code Explorer and Macro tools from its Tools menu. The software’s View menu includes Spell Check, Line Numbers and Hex Edit MODE options. This is a good text editor for website design as it includes an expansive HTML menu from which you can select HTML Page Preview, Check HTML code, Reformat HTML code and Text to HTML options. PSPad also has numerous code templates and highlights syntax for specific file types. PSPad is certainly packed with more tools than most third-party text editors.
Notepad2 is a lightweight third-party text editor that has a similar UI to the original Notepad, albeit with a customizable toolbar. What sets this program apart from the other alternatives is that it installs over and replaces the original Notepad. This software is compatible with Windows platforms from XP to 7 and you can download its setup wizard from this web page.
Notepad2 retains Notepad’s speed and ease of use, but has lots more options, the most notable of which is perhaps syntax highlighting for various coding languages, including C/C++, VBScript, Pascal, Visual Basic, Python and CSS. Users can select Line Numbers, Indentation Guides, Visual Brace Matching and Highlight Current Line options from the View menu. Notepad2’s Settings menu also includes a Transparent Mode that adds transparency to the window and an Always On Top options that keeps the text editor on top of other windows. Notepad2 doesn’t have as many tools as some of the other third-party alternatives, but it’s still a solid text editor.
Ted Note is another lightweight text editor that weighs less than one megabyte. Unlike PSPad, this is not a text editor designed for scripting but it has plenty of handy text-processing options. You can add this freeware to Windows platforms from XP to 10 by pressing the Ted Notepad button on this home page.
Ted Notepad might not seem much different from the Windows Notepad accessory at first blush, but once you start digging through the menus, you’ll find plenty of handy options. For instance, users can select from eight alternative types of text case conversions. The software includes Remove Empty Lines, Sorting, XML/HTML Tag and Enclose Selection tools. Furthermore, TN has nine clipboards that you can save text to and it also enables you to copy and paste text with the mouse instead of the usual hotkeys. Auto-save, which automatically saves timed backups, is another good addition to the program.
Atom is a relatively new text editor with rave reviews. This flexible, open-source software sports modular design which enables users to configure the program without opening config files. This is also multiplatform software that you can run in Windows, macOS and Linux platforms. Press the Download Windows 64-bit installer button on Atom’s home page to save its setup wizard.
Those are six of the best Notepad alternatives for Windows ideal for editing scripts and text processing, all with more options and tools than Notepad in Windows.
This Windows Report article also tells you about some of the best HTML5 editors with which you can edit script code.