Notepad is a bargain-basement text editor, which means it lets you open, create, and edit files that contain plain, unformatted text, like the ReadMe.txt files that often accompany new programs. You can also use Notepad to write short notes or to edit text that you intend to paste into your email program after editing it.
Notepad opens automatically when you double-click text files (those with the file extension .txt). You can also find Notepad by typing notep at the Start screen.
You’ll quickly discover that Notepad is the world’s most frill-free application. Its list of limitations is almost longer than its list of features.
For example, the Notepad window has no toolbar and can work with only one file at a time.
Above all, Notepad is a text processor, not a word processor. That means you can’t use any formatting at all—no bold, italic, centered text, and so on. That’s not necessarily bad news, however. The beauty of text files is that any word processor on any kind of computer—Windows, Mac, Unix, whatever—can open plain text files like the ones Notepad creates.
In the old days, Notepad didn’t automatically wrap lines of text to make everything fit in its window. As a result, chunks of text often went on forever in a single line or got chopped off by the right side of the window, which could produce disastrous results when you were trying to follow, say, a soufflé recipe.
Now, lines of text wrap automatically, exactly as they do in a word processor. ...