If you always use Word Wrap in the Notepad text editor built into Windows, you might have noticed that the Status Bar option is greyed out — but you can trick Windows into enabling it with a registry hack.
Tagged With notepad
Windows: Notepad++, a light but reliable text editor we included in our 2009 Lifehacker Pack of essential Windows downloads, gets even more reliable with a free, configurable auto-saving plug-in.
Windows only: If you're delving into XML programming for the first time, or want to tweak a few software files, Microsoft's XML Notepad 2007 may be the no-nonsense editor you're looking for. It's not a beginner's tool due to lack of features or context—we're just assuming that most full-time or experienced programmers have their own platform preference for editing all sorts of code. XML Notepad 2007 is themed around the same kind of just-the-text-ma'am simplicity of Windows' Notepad, but does add relevant features for markup language hacking. The left-hand pane breaks an XML document into a tree view of classes, tags, and their key values. All the text is color-matched to its identifier on the left, and writing in Tree View allows you to leave all the tag containers behind. If you want to see what your raw XML looks like, click "XSL Output," and you'll see what Internet Explorer would see when checking out the file. Copying and pasting are modified to ensure the nodes you shuffle around keep their contexts, and, well, that's about it for basic features. There's more to find in XML Notepad, but nothing more is required to get started. XML editing gives one all kinds of powers over a system. XML Notepad 2007 is a free download for Windows systems only.
Windows only: If you frequently open NFO files—those pesky little text files that often contain scrambled ANSI art—NFOPad is a small Windows Notepad clone designed to display them properly. NFOPad selects the font style based on the file extension, so you can freely switch between basic text files and NFO files without the hassle of changing settings. In the screenshot above, the same file has been opened in both Notepad and NFOPad. The white text on the left is the ANSI text that Notepad is having trouble displaying. Even when the Terminal font is selected in Notepad to properly display the characters there is usually alignment and spacing issues that make any special formatting nearly unreadable.The same text when displayed in NFOPad reveals that the beginning of the file contains ANSI artwork. For more notepad alternatives check out the results of the Hive Five Best Text Editors. NFOPad is freeware, Windows only.
Windows only: Experience the popular ribbon user interface from Microsoft Office 2007 in your free, light text editor with Notepad 2008. Notepad 2008 most closely resembles the lightweight WordPad with the ability for users to change font sizes to format their text, but with the added options to customise the display of your text editor with one of three different appearances. The ribbon interface displays all features of Notepad 2008 onscreen so that no menus are needed. Notepad 2008 is a free download for Windows only.
Notepad 2008 (direct download)
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.
Windows only: When Notepad just doesn't have the features you need to get simple text-editing done, check out the lightweight but feature-packed alternative, Notepad2. Since we mentioned Notepad2 back in 2005, the application has seen several updates, including a new release just this week. Get code syntax highlighting, regular expression search, better text selection options, and support for Unix and Mac-created text files in Notepad2, which can run standalone from a thumb drive. You can even replace Windows Notepad entirely with Notepad2, though it takes a few steps—here's a tutorial on how for XP users, and one for Vista users. My one gripe about Notepad2? It can't open multiple files in one window. But it's still a big step up from Notepad. Notepad2 is a free download for Windows only.
Despite its slim profile and Windows 3.1-style interface, Notepad is a tool that Windows users have come to know and love, using it for all manner of tweaking, quick editing, and other tasks. The How-To Geek explains a pretty simple registry hack that lets you add "Open with Notepad" to the right-click context menu anywhere in Windows, saving most of us a few screens' worth of clicking through the "Open with ..." dialogs. We've previously show how to accomplish the same kind of tweak with the freeware apps Sent to Notepad and the larger Send To Toys, but the Geek's solution requires no extra software and just a little bit of registry hacking (which means, of course, it's time to make a backup). Follow the link for instructions, or a file that can add the right key for you. Add "Open with Notepad" to the Context Menu for All Files