Notepad is a simple text editor that comes with all editions of Windows. It is also wonderfully useful as a direct result of its simplicity. All of this also applies to any ├╝ber-simple text program, such as SimpleText (on Macs). I think it should be one of a few programs in every Windows users' Start Menu, set up so that it's the only program that starts with "N", so that in order to open it you just hit Start Button and N. I often will use it for solving any of these problems:

Getting rid of unnecessary code when converting from format to format.
I keep a list of music that I own on my homepage. The list, originally, was in Microsoft Word, which has a numbering feature, so that I can list how many albums I have. I wanted to copy the list onto my homepage, and so used copy-paste from Word to Frontpage. Easy, right? Well, the problem was that FP would add tons of crappy code to every line in order to maintain the numbering. I still wanted the numbers, but I did NOT want a 350k (!) html file. Eventually, I solved the problem (and many similar problems since) by copying it into Notepad first, and then into FP.

Another example of this would be if you're filling out your AOL Instant Messenger profile, and you've got too many characters including the HTML (which you can't see). To quickly get rid of all of the HTML (which will reduce characters dramatically without losing any text), just copy the text with links into Notepad, which will only retain the raw text. Copy it back in.
And of course, if you're looking up tips on the Web on HTML or Perl or whatever, copying and pasting will often include crap like & lt; LI > & lt;A HREF=example.html instead of <LI> <A HREF=example.html. Same process - copy into Notepad then copy it out again.

A To-Do list in the Start Menu
I keep a list of things that I have to do in my Start Menu. It has when various bills are due, and occasionally homework or other reminders. It is a quick and easy way to see what I have to do, and to get to it all I have to do is hit the Start button and then "T" (using the tip in the first paragraph).

Copy-Paste without worries
I use the cut-and-paste commands very often, for example, when I copied this text from my scratch pad into its writeup. Unfortunately Windows generally will replace copied text when you copy something else. So if, for instance, I copied this writeup and then copied a password into an FTP program, my beautiful writeup would disappear, and it's only about 50-50 chances whether or not the final version of my writeup would still be there if I hit "back". The solution? Well, in E2 you ought to update your scratch pad when you're finished so you don't lose your writeup, but the Notepad solution is to simply open up Notepad and dump your writeup into it for safekeeping.

Saving Everything writeup backups
While Everything is a very reliable engine, if I should want to read one of my writeups (or have quick access to any other text file, such as a quote I liked), Notepad is a good place to stick it. Again, it's a small, easily run program that can be read on any platform whatsoever, and you don't have to go online to show off your beautiful writeup to friends (if you're that wierd).

Seeing super-small text
Some Everythingites think it's cute to have some SUPER TINY text in their home node (or, annoyingly, in a writeup). The easiest way to see that text is to copy it and pop it into Notepad.

I guess you could use it to write a letter or something, too.
For the Windows programmers out there, it is quite obvious what Windows Notepad actually is: Notepad.exe is really nothing more than a window with an (rich text) edit control (one of the Windows Common Controls). Standard edit controls have a limit, and have limitations as to what they can do. Quite easily written (very few lines of code, notepad.exe itself is quite small). It is maintained and updated regularly with the standard Windows suite of utilities. Proof of this would be to look at the about screen. It has gotten simple new features, but why go overboard when other (better) mini-apps are included, such as WordPad.

Of course, it is not as simple as I make it sound. It has other text helping features: printing, search and replace functionality, drag and drop to load, and basic font support.

Windows Notepad is not meant for industrial text editing, or anything with strange ASCII characters. For large files (code and the like), I'd suggest a third-party text editing program. Notepad, because of it's simplicity, does not perform memory mapped file access, and thus pales in comparison to an editor that has those features (such as Visual Studio).

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