Top Free Windows Notepad Alternatives

Whack_NotepadIf you’re like the majority of Notepad users, you probably write web pages, Cascading Style Sheets or even computer software in it instead of plain old text. Notepad is limited for this kind of usage — it can’t handle very large text files well, sometimes “breaks” text by loading it improperly after you save and close, and more. It will do in a pinch, but now that there are so many free Notepad software alternatives out there with helpful extra features, you’ve got no reason to make do with the bare minimum.

Here are some of the top free software downloads available to replace Windows Notepad:


One of the most well-known windows notepad alternative; Notepad++ is aimed at web site and software designers. Features include:

  • Line numbering.
  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Support for creating files in C++, Java, VBScript, PHP, CSS, HTML, and dozens of other scripting languages.
  • Works wonderfully for editing existing HTML and CSS files.
  • Opens multiple documents at once.
  • Features handy commands such as TextFX, which allows you to switch kinds of quotation marks you’re using, change case, sort lines by case, word count and more.
  • Supports 16 different character sets for coding in just about any language you wish, from Chinese to Hebrew.
  • Dozens of other features as well.


Notepad2 aims at replacing the original Notepad; it closely resembles the original. Features include:

  • Line numbering.
  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Easiest replacement of the original Notepad: simply change the filename to remove the 2 and paste it over the original Notepad in its program folder.
  • The interesting and handy ability to highlight text and then drag and drop it to other locations in a document, or even out of the Notepad2 window into another program. No need to even press Ctrl+C!

TED Notepad

The self-declared Swiss army knife text editor, TED Notepad is so tiny and efficient that you can download it to your flash drive and take it with you anywhere. Simply run the .exe file directly from the flash drive — it doesn’t even need to be installed first! Features include:

  • Auto-completion.
  • Enhanced search-replace features.
  • Hotkeys for every single action it can do and a convenient quick-exit by hitting the Esc key.
  • Supports coding in Unicode and UTF-8, allowing you to write for UNIX and Mac.
  • Has Unicode character in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Bulgarian and Arabic as well as English.
  • Saves your settings into an INI file — put that on the flash drive with the .exe, and your preferences will load every time.

These are some of the best free Notepad replacements out there, but there are many more. If one of these programs doesn’t have a feature that you were hoping to see in your new Notepad software, try doing a web search for “free Notepad read aloud” or whatever other function you want it to perform. It’s probably already out there, just waiting for you to find and download it.

Do you know of a great Notepad replacement software that isn’t listed here? Feel free to leave a comment and share it with us!

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