Aug 20, 2011

Notepad2: best replacement for Notepad

Notepad2 is the best Windows Notepad replacement, period.

It hits the spot: simple, single file, small and blazingly fast app. It's feature set is carefully limited to only most valuable functions. Thus it achived perfect balance: still as small as original Windows Notepad, yet almost as feature rich as Visual Studio text editor. I was quite excited to notice that Scott Hanselman used it in his speech at DevDays, check it out on Channel 9.

You can actually (I did) replace default system Notepad to Notepad2 using safe registry modification method:
  1. Create the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\[Wow6432Node\]Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\notepad.exe.
  2. Inside the key, create a new string (REG_SZ) value, named "Debugger".
  3. Set the data of this new "Debugger" value to the full path to the Notepad2 executable, followed by the /z switch. For example, "C:\Windows\Notepad2.exe" /z
In step 1, if you are in 64-bit OS use additional Wow6432Node.

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