If you’re a MS Windows user then you really don’t need an introduction to “Notepad”. It’s the default text editor in Windows and well, it’s pretty decent for its job. But if you need a more powerful alternative luckily Windows comes with another one called “WordPad” which obviously has slightly better features and file type support.
But there’s an another completely free, open source (licensed under GNU-GPL) text editor that’s rich in features than the “notepad” and in some aspects, it’s actually better than the “wordpad” it self too. Advanced users must have heard about it by now :D, but if you haven’t then it’s called “Metapad”.
Some of its main feature …
*. Supports opening “.txt”, “.htm”, “.html” and source code files such as C/C++, Java etc.
*. Supports opening URLs inside a document.
And you can manually add a click-able URL too (just type the “http://” or any supported protocols and it’ll make it click-able).
*. Calculate the output file size (intended for programmers I suppose. But can come in handy for others too).
*. Add text indent, wrap/unwrap lines, add block quotes etc.
*. Word wrap.
*. Search and replace.
*. Even supports spell checking. But for that first you’ll have to download “aspell” (open source library for spell checking) and set it up first.
*. You can change the block quote symbol.
*. Add time/date (keyboard shortcut “F7”).
*. Load a file into the current text (with a click-able link of course).
*. Make it transparent … are some of its main features to mention.
It has two different versions. One is the default “Metapad” version and the other is called “LE” (= light edition). Obviously the LE edition has limited amount of features and is said to be faster when loading larger files.
Currently it supports all the MS Windows versions such as: 9x, 2000, XP, Vista and 7. If interested, you can get it from this official Metapad home page. And since it’s actually a zipped archive, you can use it as a portable text editor as well.
Under any Windows version you can easily make it to completely replace “notepad” by following these steps laid out in the FAQ page. This page actually has a lot of other information such as installing the above mentioned spell-check plugin, how to tweak Metapad for maximum usage by using the “Settings” windows etc. So perhaps you might wanna read that too :).