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Notepad2

CNET Editors' review

Notepad is a survivor. Built into Windows for ages, it's still doing yeoman service as a fast, lightweight, easy-to-use text editor. Notepad2 from Flo's Freeware is a Scintilla-based text editor with syntax highlighting. It's called Notepad2 because it follows the original Notepad's principles. It's compact and lightweight: The entire program folder is about 766KB. This makes it fast: Notepad2 loads quickly. But Notepad2 does a whole lot more than Notepad. Despite their many similarities, there really is no comparison: Notepad2 is a far more capable tool than Notepad for any text document. But for those who code, Notepad2 has much to offer, starting with syntax highlighting but with many more improvements over Notepad, including encoding options, advanced searching and editing tools, selectable (and customizable) syntax schemes (including a second default scheme), and much more.

Notepad2 is portable, but the program's Web site has instructions for replacing Notepad in Windows, and the text file included with the download has version info, keyboard shortcuts, regular expression syntax, command line switches, and other documentation. While Notepad2 does indeed feel quick like Notepad (and even has a very similar taskbar icon) the resemblance ends where the business begins, which in Notepad2's case is the toolbar and expanded file menu. The best way to compare Notepad and Notepad 2 is side by side, with the same text -- in this case, some HTML from a browser page's source code we copied and pasted into each. Only in Notepad2, we clicked Syntax Scheme and selected Web Source Code from a menu with more schemes than a Boris Karloff thriller, with all applicable schemes active. Notepad2 highlighted our code in color. Notepad2 offers lots more options for displaying and editing text. The File Menu's Encoding submenu includes ANSI, Unicode, and UTF-8 options. Clicking More accessed many more international encoding options, including ISO, DOS, Mac, and even IBM EBCDIC in multiple languages.

While Notepad has served long and well in Windows, it's obvious that Notepad2 is simply in another category altogether. Whether you use it beside Notepad or instead of it, Notepad 2 is by far the more capable text editor.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.7 stars

    out of 36 votes

    • 5 star: 16
    • 4 star: 8
    • 3 star: 4
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 7
  • Current version:

    3.2 stars

    out of 11 votes

    • 5 star: 4
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 11

  • 1.0 stars

    "No auto-save = why bother?"

    January 9, 2014  |   By baltopro

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    None (lack of auto-save makes Notepad2 irrelavent)

    Cons

    No auto-save

    Summary

    With no auto-save function, what's the point? You might as well just use Notepad or Wordpad.

    There are many freeware options that are far better choices:

    TED Notepad looks and functions just like Notepad, but it has auto-save and file backup, and a lot more available features. And it's even smaller (more portable) than Notepad2.

    EditPad Lite and Notepad++ are even more advanced Notepad/Wordpad replacements, and, of course, do have auto-save.

    Unless you don't care about losing data to a Windows crash or power outage, and/or your time and effort is worthless.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Nice features, but some flaws"

    September 13, 2013  |   By ElrondPA

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    Beautiful highlighting schemes for 22 different types of files, and ability to define your own (scheme selected based on filetype).
    Simple installation and loads quickly.
    Automatic line numbering.
    Whitespace display, with different representations for space and tab.
    Numerous formatting and convenient editing functions (copy line, change case, strip trailing blanks, swap paste buffer and selected text, etc.).

    Cons

    Doesn't backup open files (so if application or computer crashes, changes are lost).
    Colors used for schemes aren't necessarily consistent with standards (for instance, color for Visual Basic code doesn't match Visual Studio IDE). However, this can be altered easily.
    Automatically replaces Notepad, making Microsoft version inaccessible (though a folder listing shows the original application file). I'd prefer to have it available just in case I have a problem with the new software.
    Whenever a new window is opened, the Open dialog box defaults to C:\Users\<current user> (not My Documents or the most recently used folder)
    You can open the same file in two windows with no warning that you're overwriting what you've done in the other window.
    No documentation.

    Summary

    A nice, simple text editor with considerably more features than standard Notepad. But substantially less advanced than the free versions of some commercial text editors (such as EditPad Lite).

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Powerful text editor works in Win 7, 64 bit"

    May 1, 2013  |   By mikeeve1950

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    Good text editor with lots of options and syntax highlighting depending on file extension (.txt, .html, .c, etc). I especially like that it can highlight white space(blanks) with dots. Useful to catch syntax errors.

    Cons

    none that I've found.

    Summary

    Ignore the idiots who say it doesn't work in Win 7,64 bit. Go to flo's (the author's) download page and select the 64 bit version.

    cNET should really include links to both the 32 and 64 bit versions!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "No Win 7 64bit support"

    April 24, 2013  |   By astral69

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    None that I can see as it does not load!

    Cons

    Does not load under Windows 7 64 bit.
    What a shame

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Loser program"

    April 24, 2013  |   By cdhanks

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    None - well at least it's free

    Cons

    Only runs on a 32bit system!

    Summary



    Updated on May 1, 2013

    Does not work with 64bit Win 7 - why not?

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Detected as a Trojan!"

    April 20, 2013  |   By JakeInBama

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    Works great!

    Cons

    Anti-virus deletes it as a Trojan.

    Summary

    Switched to Notepad++ which does not trigger anti-virus.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Really excellent"

    April 19, 2013  |   By atlight

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    Notepad2 does anything you could want from a simple text editor. It's highly customizable and "just works". Read the CNET staff review for more!

    Cons

    The find/replace "regular expression" syntax is non-standard and doesn't always seem to do what it should, but for most purposes it is fine.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "It has a lot of functions"

    January 3, 2013  |   By XandroHernandez

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    Similarly to CesarUSA Text Editor BS2 it has a good set of functions not normally available in MS Word. It is a good replacement for the Windows Notepad.

    Cons

    The program is free and runs fast. It has uncluttered interface. For some reason I had barely used it. I think it is because I set EdidPad2 as my default plain text editor and use MS Word and CesarUSA Text Editor BS2 as my main word processors.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Simply Awesome!"

    December 30, 2012  |   By mattvaden

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    1. Great txt editor
    2. Comes with syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, PHP, .sh, .ksh, and many other standard programming languages.
    3. Sooo much better than the original Notepad from MS Windows.
    4. If you have ever used vi editor on a *Nix box, you will think your in heaven with this editor!

    Cons

    None that I know of...

    Summary

    Great, simple, light-weight product! Get it! NOW!!!! :)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Brilliantly Simple"

    November 14, 2012  |   By SaulBW

    Version: Notepad2 4.2.25

    Pros

    - Quick startup.
    - Good range of options and features.
    - Replaces the default Notepad application.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Summary

    Notepad2 will make you wonder how you ever managed to use the original Notepad in the first place.

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Results 1-10 of 11

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