Tiny Pad stars unique features

Yet another Notepad replacement, Tiny Pad's got some things its competitors don't. It's not perfect, though, so before you take a walk on the Tiny side, check out what it can do--and what it should do.

Last week, my colleague Jason Parker brought you a roundup of excellent Notepad replacements. There are more of them out there than I'd like to contemplate, but Tiny Pad is one that offers some features I haven't seen from others.

Tiny Pad supports a good list of hot keys.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

This freeware boasts a hot corners feature that's turned on by default, so if the program's running but is not the top window, moving your mouse to either the top-left or top-right corner will bring Tiny Pad to the front. This is a little thing, but extremely useful given the nature of what the Notepad is supposed to be: namely, a quick-access dumping ground for thoughts and, well, notes.

Also impressively, Tiny Pad will autosave your notes, and comes with an archiving feature. You can still save notes separately to your hard drive, but the archive lets you keep them all in Tiny Pad--just out of sight. I like the concept behind this, making the notes attached to the program, although I couldn't find a way to access an archived note outside of Tiny Pad.

Other features in Tiny Pad that many Notepad replacements have include tabs for writing multiple notes simultaneously, dedicated writing tools such as underline, strikethrough, and an Insert Date feature, and a good list of 10 hot keys to keep your hands on the keyboard--where they belong, right?

Tiny Pad lacks hooks into Windows's default Notepad, and isn't as robust as some of the Notepad replacements designed for programmers. This is more of a Notepad replacement for writers or casual users; if you want coding tricks, NoteTab Light or Notepad ++ are good places to start. The toolbar can be hidden, a nice plus that somewhat makes up for the Mac theme on this Windows program.

Annoyingly, the installer comes as a ZIP, which adds an extraction step that this program shouldn't have. The installer package itself clocks in at around 4MB, but used a surprisingly large amount of RAM--nearly 30MB when running with two tabs. This didn't affect the program's performance, but was larger than expected given the program's name. Size isn't everything, though, and Tiny Pad's features make it an appealing alternative worth checking out.

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