Freebie TED Notepad Offers Extras Microsoft's Own Notepad Doesn't
TED Notepad is a notepad replacement program that has a very straightforward goal: to be a better notepad, not a full-featured programmer's editor. It succeeds admirably at that goal. When you fire TED Notepad up, you see a screen very much like classic Notepad, except for a few more menus, most of which contain a whole lot of items. Fortunately, all of this power is safely kept out of the way until and unless you need it; you can use TED Notepad pretty much exactly as you use Windows Notepad, until you need to dig in and see what it can do.
Before we look at what it can do, though, it might be best to focus just a moment on what it can't... or, really, chooses not to... do. TED Notepad supports a single document at a time (though you can open multiple instances of the application, of course). It doesn't have any syntax highlighting features. Last, as a plain text editor, it doesn't allow any kind of formatting on the font or paragraph level--no boldfacing or mixing different fonts in the document.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look at what TED Notepad gives you that Windows Notepad does not. First on my list is multiple clipboards. TED Notepad has the standard clipboard functions we all know and love, but also allows you to copy, or paste from one of nine alternate clipboards--alt-1 copies to clipboard one, ctrl-1 pastes from clipboard one, alt-2 copies to clipboard 2, etc. You can also show all the clipboards in case you forgot which one had a particular bit of text.
Digging deeper, this review could go on far longer. TED Notepad has features to bracket text with beginning and ending markers (useful for marking up text for HTML or XML), a feature which lets you select a block of text and have it cut from the document and saved to a new file, text sorting, and a whole lot more. The help file provides adequate detail on each of the many functions.
If what you need is a programmer's tool--if you are working mostly with PERL scripts or HTML--TED Notepad might not have all the features you want. Check out ConTEXT or NotePad++. If you want a true replacement/upgrade for Windows Notepad, though, you're in luck: TED Notepad is resource-light, feature-packed, and free.