Best Free Windows Notepad Alternatives for Web Developers

Notepad is used all around the world and many people love it. It has been around for forever and you’re bound to see text files here and there in Windows.

Notepad can be used for many things besides taking quick notes, recording error messages or storing code in them. Windows has developed quite during its time, but the development of Notepad stood in one place mostly. Thankfully there are many great alternatives that we can use, with upgraded features and most of which can easily replace Notepad.

Why Should You Replace It?

The idea of a better text editor hasn’t even crossed many average users’ minds, as the line of options that Notepad offers are enough for them. But if you’re even a touch more advanced user, you’ll probably want to know more and do more.

Even if you settle for the Notepad program that Windows offers, you’re bound to run into some of its limitations. Notepad sometimes corrupts files that contain foreign characters, making them unreadable. This is because that program converts its characters to ANSI or UTF-8 and not all file types go well with that.

Again, considering how little Notepad can do, most of the replacements offer much more useful extra features.

I am going to list some of the best replacements for Notepad to make things easier for you.


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The most well known and most widely accepted text editor besides Notepad. It comes with many extra features that make it useful when handling the simplest and the most complex tasks. If you want your Notepad to include spellcheck, tabbed interface or a spell checker, just go for Notepad++. It has a lot more to offer than just simple text editing.

The original purpose of its development was to handle coding and syntax highlighting features. It is a very popular program among coders because it supports many programming languages like, HTML, XML, C, C++, C# to mention a few.

Notepad++ has many frequent updates and has a lot of useful plugins that can extend the program a great deal. It also has its own Wikipedia that is updated by its many fans.

Another interesting fact about Notepad++ is that it supports “Themes”. You might imagine a Notepad program with white background and black text but there are a large amount of options when it comes to looks. There are many basic themes included that have a wide range of color schemes.

Notepad++ even has a portable version that can be either unpacked from a .zip file to your PC or can be ran from an USB stick.

Sublime Text

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The favorite of many developers, which is a cross-platform application with an amazing set of features. You can download plugins for most programming languages along with many add-ons that offer extended features.

A tabbed interface is also present and it lets you open multiple documents at the same time and you can also keep track of all the files that are opened, by looking to the right. It also offers powerful search features and great keyboard shortcuts that enable you to work seamlessly without taking your hands off the keyboard.

You can also select multiple rows and make changes simultaneously. Shortcuts can be customized to your needs and you can chain them together to perform complex operations quickly.

Sublime Text can be used on all the mayor operating systems, Windows, OS X and Linux. It is free to try and the full license costs $70.

Vim is simplicity itself. It is aimed at programmers, but you don’t have to be one to make use of the many features that help get your work done seamlessly. This text editor is very configurable, so you can tweak it to your liking.

Vim has some nice tutorials but it won’t help you out in every turn. When you remember the right keyboard shortcuts and commands, you can streamline your work easily. There are many scripts that you can apply to it too. Once you have the hang of all the features, it becomes a most essential tool.

It also comes with macro recording support, tracking for all of your actions, which you can undo or repeat at any time and file types are automatically recognized.

You can use Vim on basically any operating system and it is charity ware. The developers of the editor suggest that you should donate to the children of Uganda, who can use the help.

A lot of users say that Vim has a significant learning curve but once you get the hang of it, it holds unlimited potential.

Editpad Lite

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Editpad Lite is very similar to Notepad++, because it has some of the same features. It allows you to open as many text files as you want and has a better search and place feature than any editor. This is thanks to Editpad’s simple interface and tabbed access for multiple files.

Autosave and backup features make sure that you never lose any of your work and you have unlimited undo’s and redo’s even after you saved.

It is a very solid text editor that is great for coding purposes but we wouldn’t recommend it above the superior Notepad++. Editpad Lite still has updates as developers continue to make it better.

Edit Lite has a very interesting feature that allows you to create a portable version of the program with just a few clicks.

Atom promotes itself as “the text editor for the 21 century” and rightly so. It has got a lot of praise for being an editor that is primarily designed for the needs of today’s programmers. The program offers a lot of customization options, themes and you can download many plugins to better serve your needs.

A tabbed interface is a must have in a developer program, such as this one and it also has a great file browser. You can learn to use its many features pretty quickly and once you are up to speed, the sky is the limit. But there are also a lot of guides that help you with just about anything you have to learn.

It is a program built by one of the teams at GitHub and they used all the lessons they learned while managing such massive amounts of code on a regular basis.

Atom is still in private beta phase, so you will have to sign up to get an invite if you want to try it out. It’s currently available for Mac only but the team plans on releasing Windows and Linux versions too.

It is one of the most powerful and most professional editors for developers and definitely worth giving it a try.

Notepad2 looks strikingly similar to Notepad and it intends to do so. But it has great extra features like syntax highlighting, search and replace, long line marker, brace matching, auto indent and so on.

If you would stick with Notepad and just have a few extra features like being able to write formatted programming in languages like HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, JS, Perl, Java, SQL.

What makes things more interesting is that the program features a transparent mode. Making the window you are typing in transparent as it lets you see everything that’s behind it.

Notepad2’s user interface is surprisingly clever and easy to use. The right-clicking on toolbars lets you use further options to fit the program to your needs. The dropdown menus make things really simple but you don’t even have to use them too much because Notepad2 covers everything with shortcuts.


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If you like Office’s Ribbon user interface, then you’ll probably find FluentNotepad pretty appealing. It looks like Office and doesn’t offer anything special, other than what you would already come to expect from a text editor.

It has syntax highlighting for 10 coding languages and features multiple tabs. There aren’t many text editing features or code manipulation features. The best thing about it is the ribbon interface, so it’s hard to speak highly of this simple text editor.

There are many good programs that you can download and use, so it’s best to choose something that fits your needs better.

PSPad is yet another editor that is made mostly for coders. It includes syntax highlighting, macro reader, built-in FTP, integrated CSS editor, a full HEX editor and many more.

It also comes with great text editor features like a spell checker, search and replace, text difference, auto-correction, and multiple tabs and so on.

PSPad was updated not long ago, so its developers continue to make it better. But it could get very annoying during the installation phase where it asks you to install more programs and you have to decline each of them.


There are a lot of programs to choose from when it comes to text editing, especially if you want one for coding purposes.  We have listed our top choices and one of them is sure to work out for you as well. Most of these can be downloaded free so you can experiment with all of them. I hope that you found all the information you were looking for and that you enjoyed reading through this article!


David Cross

David is the chief editor at WebHostingMedia right from the beginning. He has a great passion for building and managing websites and creating helpful content. He is also interested in programming - currently learning python.