AkelPad is designed to be a fast, lightweight, open-source alternative to Notepad as the default text editor in Windows or as an integrated text editor in a third-party app like Total Commander. It's built specifically to correct some of Notepad's shortcomings when editing plain text files, especially code. It doesn't support other file types such as RTF files.
AkelPad's installer gave us three options: Standard installation, integration with Total Commander, and replacing WordPad. Since we'd planned to try AkelPad as our default text editor anyway, we chose the WordPad replacement, which automatically restores WordPad as the default text editor in Windows if and when you uninstall AkelPad. The program's ultrasimple interface screams "text editor," with a blank main window, basic menu bar, and an optional status bar along the bottom edge of the window. For such a plain-looking tool, AkelPad offers quite a few options. For instance, from the menu bar, we could also set Single-window (SDI), Multi-window (MDI), and Pseudo Multi-window (PSMDI) Window modes, configure plug-ins, change the language, fonts, and colors, and set the newline format for DOS/Windows, Unix, or Mac. We clicked Help and opened the program's HTML-based manual in a browser window. The documentation recommended using TrueType fonts and also lists command line parameters, manual settings, keyboard commands, and internal commands. The Settings dialog offered tabs labeled General, Registry, Editor 1, Editor 2, and Advanced, with many individual choices.
We opened and edited a variety of text files with AkelPad, both as the default Windows app and directly from AkelPad's interface. As a pure text editor, it performed as well as any we've tried, and better than most. It lived up to its billing as a small, fast tool that nevertheless improves on Notepad in several areas. It doesn't really do anything special, just competently. If you're looking for a better text editor, try AkelPad.