Battle of the Notepad Alternatives

If you've done any more than cursory text editing using Windows' built-in Notepad application, you know that Notepad is at best sorely lacking in the features department and at worst downright buggy. Several free, simple Notepad alternatives are available for download, but which one has your heart? After the jump, vote for your favourite powered-up Notepad replacement.

Note: There are a gadzillion text editors in the world, but here we're talking about the ones that compare themselves to Notepad in name, look, and feel.

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What's your text editor of choice on your PC? Let us know in the comments—maybe we'll convince Adam to do a Text Editors Hive Five!


    Fast, lightweight. Works on just about every operating system. Has tabs if you want them. Once you learn it you no longer need to move your hand back and forth between the keyboard and mouse.

    metapad: fast simple free (from
    tiny (94 Kb) single executable with no support files or installation needed

    SCiTE, because it has nsis syntax support, and runs off the same code base as notepad++ and notepad2.
    The light version is free and has so many features it is amazing including tabbed multi-document interface

    There are two I always keep handy. They complement each other very well. They're both free and both tabbed.

    1. Context: loads up very quickly
    2. PsPad: utf8 compatible

    @Mulligrub I used to use notetab too. Its autocomplete was an interesting feature but the lite version was somewhat limiting compared to the editors i've listed above.

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