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Looking for a Notepad replacement?
In the dark ages (before Vista) I used Metapad because it was extremely quick and offered a lot of functionality in a very small package, and it is free. With a few tricks, you could even circumvent the Windows XP Protected File feature and really replace the default Notepad application. With Vista however, you can't just do those tricks anymore. So I was looking for a Notepad replacement, at the very least to improve the View Source feature in Internet Explorer.

At first I had set UltraEdit as default editor for IE's View Source feature, since it offers syntax highlighting, a gazillion editing features and even makes your coffee. Hmm, perhaps not that last feature, but it's a mighty application I've been using for years (I even have a shortcut in Visual Studio to jump to UltraEdit just for column editing). But although UE is not slow in performance, the few seconds load time accumulate for every View Source I perform throughout the day, and thus the hunt continued.

And thus I found Notepad2, another leightweight Notepad replacement like Metapad, but it has a few tricks in its hat that I like. Similar to Metapad, it offers instant launch and doesn't need fancy installation programs. Additionally, here are some things I really like about it:

  • Syntax highlighting

  • A gazillion keyboard shortcuts

  • Minimize to tray

  • Tab settings (tabs/spaces)

  • Auto-indent

  • Escape key minimizes or quits Notepad2

  • Highlight current line (like UltraEdit)

  • View whitespace, line endings, etc.

  • And so much more...

So instead of a Notepad replacement, I found a Metapad replacement with UltraEdit allures!

To make Notepad2 the default View Source application, you need to change the following registry key:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ViewSourceEditor\Editor Name\
and set the (Default) entry to "C:\Program Files\Notepad2\Notepad2.exe".

So far, I'm a happy camper. If you know the trick to totally replace Notepad in Vista, let me know!

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  Posted by oVan on Friday, June 08, 2007 | PermaLink | 3 comments
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