Best Free Text Editors


       What do you need to write? a pencil and a page. But can you write anything on your PC with these stationary? Of course, answer is a NO!. That's why, text editors are made for.These are tiny programs which provide you thousands of pages; text editor clean interface; & never disposable pencil; your keystrokes on the keyboard.
        Have you ever imagined to see yourself as an ethical hacker, writting thousands lines of text in an alien language of keyboard characters or watched movies of advanced technology, hacking-penetrating into security systems of huge IT industries, with a man working on a strange machine with green columns of keyboard characters moving vertically throughout the whole screen with mysterious dark background. Yes? cool!. It will be interesting then to inform you that they actually are using a form of text editors used in past; terminal text-editors.
        Beside these bad text editors, there are a lot more user friendly and pleasing text editors we see now a days, commonly notepad which is built in Windows text editor and gedit which is more popular among Linux users. If you're more familiar with text editors and know about HTML Text editor which is used for creating web documentation, you should see our If a programming text editor is major requirement then you should see our
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide


EditPad LiteEditPad Lite is small and compact and yet offers the most functionality that users would expect from a basic text editor.

The program comes with a tabbed interface for switching between open files easily and allows users to set the application window on top of other windows.

Some other useful features include: block functions; no file size limitation; unlimited undos and redos even after saving the file - so long as it remains open. On the down side, the spell checker is not included in the free version.


ATPadATPad is useful for working with multiple files that can be opened in tiled or cascaded windows within the main user interface, while featuring a tabbed environment.

Basic features such as redo/undo, find/replace and word wrapping are included. The program also supports: line numbering; display whitespace; own text snippets; sending documents via email; and so on.

No installation of the program is required. Just download, extract the zip file and run the executable. The program does not come with a spell checker.


NoteTab LightNoteTab Light is a very handy basic text editor to have. You can open separate tabs to work on more than one project at once.

This program includes find and replace, undo and text statistics. The interface is quite easy to use although it has an old look to it. I wouldn't recommend this as a full-on text editor, but it still is a very good notepad replacement.

This program is quite basic by itself as many other features come in the full versions.


To be reviewed:

  • AEdit SX - 1.37 MB, ultra-fast text editor, with spell checker, print preview and setup.
  • DocPad - 6 MB, a free alternative to Notepad for plain text editing, offering an arsenal of time-saving text editing tools.
  • Writer's D'Lite - 715 KB, a lightweight text editor good for writing short stories and articles without any bells and whistles to distract you.
  • QJot - 607 KB, a small USB portable alternative rich text editor that reads and writes .doc files, inserts images and more.
  • Jovial Notepad - 32 KB, a lightweight Microsoft Notepad replacement program that offers some handy and useful features that are used every day. (Review)
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

Quick Selection Guide

EditPad Lite
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small and compact, tabbed interface, block functions, unlimited redo and undo, etc.
Spell checker is only available in the commercial version.
9.2 MB
Feature limited freeware
Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8.

Supported formats: txt and html.

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Tabbed environment with tiled or cascaded windows, basic editing features with lines numbering, own text snippets, sending documents via email and so on.
No spell checker.
124 KB
Open source freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.

Supported format: txt only.

NoteTab Light
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Tabs for more then one program open. Easy to use interface.
Missing many needed features in light version. Old looking interface.
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Win98 to Win7, Linux Wine, MacOS


This software category is maintained by volunteer editor muhammad.ahmad.mujtaba. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

text editor, plain text editor, notepad replacement, basic editor, windows text editor, program editor, best editor

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by mehman on 19. July 2010 - 7:43  (54499)


I have checked up Akelpad but I would still prefer Editpad Lite. It does have the features you mention, but many of the features are hidden within menus unlike in Editpad Lite where the are visible straight away.

Also you can make Editpad lite the default text editor from the application itself, whereas this option is so far not available in Akelpad.

I will be adding this software as one of the choices available.

Anyways thanks for the input.

by Samis (not verified) on 29. September 2010 - 19:22  (58664)

I would use that all the time....If it had syntax highlighting for LOGO,because i like messing arround in that language

by Ritho on 30. September 2010 - 12:38  (58715)

Mehman, Good work on these! Thanks! Every one needs a good text editor every once in awhile.


by MaxPayne (not verified) on 10. November 2010 - 17:15  (60978)

AkelPad and RJ TextEd the best

by Anonymouse (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 3:10  (64487)

+1 for Akelpad

Many people use text editors in many different ways. In a category where there is a large variety in complexity between products, extensibility wins out.

Akelpad's real strength is being able to add useful features via plugin's, whilst leaving out all the arcane stuff that I would never use present in other text editor's. It is appropriate for a large variety of needs, is constantly being updated and extended via an active user base, and has decent documentation.

by gian paolo (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 11:29  (64522)

I do agree. IMMO for a "standard" use PSPAD is the best (it can handle rectangular blocks, too).

by drazenn999 (not verified) on 1. February 2011 - 1:23  (65598)

What about TED?
Does it count in simple text editors category because I am using it as my main text editor in Windows 7,and I find it really reliable and confidential.
Maybe the best way to tell you how much confidence I(beside a thousands of other users) have in it(TED) is if I tell you that I have completely replace built in windows notepad,with TED.
But TED is perfectly suitable for me and my needs which are not I don't know how high and specially oriented,just for everyday use of an average user.

by drazenn999 (not verified) on 1. February 2011 - 2:38  (65601)

You can't just say "Alkepad is winner because I said so",because 100 people-1000 thoughts,needs and habits.
Personally I tried Akelpad,and I don't see it as a winner.
I am not a programer,and probably do not use notepad(or XXXXpad) for not so complex stuff you do,and I haven't try dosens of them(up to ten at most).
From those few sentences you wrote,I believe you are far more experienced user ready for coding,precoding,tramscoding,overcoding,undercoding,and according to you,I am just an average user who use notepad to write some basic line here and then,and mostly use notepad for taking some notes I need not to forgwr,prepare some things(I am still in phase when I am trying to leave a pen and paper for MUST-MUST situations).
So,why did I decide to replace default notepad with something else when it is just enough for me(except missing few basic functions which almost any other have beside sorting ascending and descending,capitalising words,sentences or just a first letter,and so on.And to be honest,in time when I build this machine(cca 3 years ago),AMD 5600x2,4gbDDR2@800,512MB GPU,2x250GB SATA HDD,and after fresh system install(no matter which one),waiting a few seconds on a simple notepad to open was like an internity and I felt it like an insult to my inteligence because I invested a big pile of money in for that time almost high end machine,but still waiting on a notepad like like I drive an overpayed pentiumII@450-Deschutes.,so I did a little bit of googling,downloaded dosen of text editors,installed them in VMWARE,and testing could be started.
First of all,I decided to try that so glorious and famous(and now I am still wondering for what reason) Notepad++ v5.xx...and bam,dissapointment on the very begginin.First of all,it took an eternity just to open,but beside that it really does have a whole bunch of interesting abilities beside tabbed browsing(maybe a hubdred or more,and I didn't even know what which one does.

I chose TED,and that is a portable version I have choose,and have never regretd completely replacing windows notePAD with a TED.
Small,light,portable(or installable),187 new features windows notepad does not have,and when you use to them,then you asj your self:"How could I even live without it until now?(no matter you are using only 5 of those 187 features or all of them)"

This is just my personal opinion,and there is a possibility if one who try it may totally disagree with me,but I am already hooked on it,whatever anyone else could or would think.
Thank you on your time,and I am sorry on my weak English but it is not my native,and sometimes it is not so easy to find a word or phrase needed to say what you mean or what you want to say.

Take care,

[Moderator's Note: Post edited and shortened due to incredibly long post.]

by Anupam on 1. February 2011 - 12:09  (65621)

You say that Notepad++ took an eternity to open. Please do not spread false messages. I have Notepad++ on my PC, and it opens instantly. If it took an eternity to open on your PC, then you should check if anything is wrong with your PC. The same way, notepad on Windows too opens instantly, and I did not had to wait for it, a single time.

Everyone has his/her own choice when it comes to software, and they have the right to their choice. If you like a software, its good, but do not spread false messages about other software. I could blast away your post about Ted like you did for the person above posting about Akelpad, but I wont.

by Freebird (not verified) on 19. February 2011 - 6:16  (66705)

Jarte - Try it.

Fantastic Notepad/Wordpad replacement!
You will love this!

by Anupam on 19. February 2011 - 7:38  (66707)

Jarte is more of a word processor, rather than a text editor. It has been covered in stand alone word processor category.

by Hamasakid (not verified) on 22. February 2011 - 17:57  (66933)

I need a DOS text editor that will work in the 64 bit Windows 7 with files up to 10 MB. Will these work? Thanks in advance.

by Anonymouse (not verified) on 30. March 2011 - 20:34  (68853)

Only two choices mentioned? Out of so many excellent text editors? I don't understand.

This website needs a Notepad replacement category, where all the small powerful text editors can have a home.

There is no mention of akelpad, notepad2, ted or others.

Please consider adding another category.

by MidnightCowboy on 30. March 2011 - 20:48  (68854)

I'm sure there are a lot of areas we could improve on or add to. We rely on our volunteer editors for this though and there are never enough hands to accomplish everything we would like to achieve.

Please consider joining us by following this link:

by wickyd (not verified) on 24. April 2011 - 16:50  (70836)

Thank you for your perspective in terms of what is important to you in a text editor versus what is important to me.

I have to say that I have been using Windows since Win3.11 up to Win7, from a 486, up to my current Core2Duo and I have never seen Notepad load slowly. Notepad always loads immediately. That's what makes it so effective. You never have to wait for it.

I have tried notepad++ on my Core2Duo and it is only milliseconds slower than Notepad, which is incredible for such a full featured application.

There is clearly something very wrong with you current PC that needs to be resolved. No matter how poor your hardware (you mentioned a PII450), if you have the correct Windows OS for that level hardware, Notepad is supposed to load immediately, always. If it doesn't, then there is a system problem that needs to be resolved.

by Gavin Bollard (not verified) on 27. April 2011 - 2:03  (70993)

My "extra" requirements for a text editor include;

- Search and Replace which includes control characters (ie: Returns, Tabs etc)
- Recordable Macros
- Bracket Matching
- Multiple Files (tabs)
- Large File Support
- Column block selection
- Case conversion

ConTEXT is the only editor I've found that can do all of this.

I use these facilities for a lot of reporting and massaging of exported data, so it's not just a programming editor.

by arto65 on 5. May 2011 - 14:07  (71467)

One feature I love is automatic cloud sync. Simplenote is a free service that offers just that, a dropbox for notes. There are freeware powered by Simplenote, like ResophNotes. The best thing is you're sure to never lose anything you write, whatever happens.

by The Advisor II (not verified) on 6. July 2011 - 16:29  (74872)

2 things I don't like about Akelpad:

1) The goofy name. I want "professional" named software on my computer.

2) Their site is down at this moment. Not good.

I shall keep looking

by Remah on 6. July 2011 - 22:27  (74891)

A "professional" product name is not an essential criterion. Excellent software from organizations with a professional reputation can have "goofy" names: Google, Mozilla, Defraggler, ERUNT, etc. "Akelpad" looks like it means "Akel's text editor".

by garyefron on 21. August 2011 - 4:01  (78065)

Simplenote ( is truly a simple note on-line program. If you want a note program on-line, I recommend Evernote. It can be accessed from on-line or be kept on your computer and synced to your on-line data base. It also allows multiple notebooks.

by garyefron on 21. August 2011 - 4:51  (78066)

Thank you for your recommendation of the context editor. It is an excellent text editor which I will review in the near future - along with notetab. One of these two editors will probably be declared "best freeware text editor".

by TapanVerma on 21. August 2011 - 6:05  (78069)

If you liked TED for its speed and features which are little more than basic notepad, you will definitely like Notepad2.

I did few test on TED and Notepad2 and found that Notepad2 was bit faster in opening and dealing with large files.

It has features like multiple undo, capitalising words etc. And it can completely replace windows notepad.

by garyefron on 21. August 2011 - 6:46  (78070)

We don't review DOS text editors. However, editpad lite will run under Windows 7 on a 64 bit PC and handle 10 MB files.

by garyefron on 21. August 2011 - 6:58  (78072)

TED is not a bad editor. It handles 10M files gracefully. It does not handle tabbed files, so it cannot compare files.

by Kew (not verified) on 8. November 2011 - 20:15  (82933)

There is a new version of TED Notepad. The changelog contains over 150 entries and most of them are new features. I think it starts to beat EditPad Lite and other such. After all, see for yourself and the changelog

by Larryjb on 21. November 2011 - 18:28  (83659)

I need to be able to do multi-column sorting of a text file. For example I need to sort a text file on columns 21-30 and then on columns 1-10. Textpad is the only text editor that I have found that can do this. Do you know of any other editor that can do that? I know of several other co-workers that could use that functionality as well. So finding a free version would be helpful.

by Gary Efron (not verified) on 3. December 2011 - 18:08  (84328)

Gedit, a gnome (linux) editor, has a plugin to sort multiple columns. See the article at

You can get a windows version of Gedit at

Also at

[Moderator's Note : Link replaced with link to software page, which contains the Windows download on the site page itself.]

by Panzer (not verified) on 30. December 2011 - 8:44  (86216)


by Gary Efron (not verified) on 30. December 2011 - 18:03  (86241)

Jotx is not a text editor. It is a word processor which, like all word processors, also allow saving as text. Incidentally, as a word processor, it is deficient because it only saves as text or rtf.

by swim (not verified) on 26. January 2012 - 17:50  (87840)

IMHO no list of notepad alternatives could be complete without mention of a little known program called Stick

Basically it allows the user to place multiple tabs on the screen sides which open a variety of functions including notepads (others include calendars, RSS, and -- less helpful -- an internet browser and a file explorer). The notepad itself is uninteresting except that it does support rich text.

The real advantage of the program is that it saves the file automatically and you can have multiple tabs displayed; all without cluttering the taskbar. Personally, I have one labeled "Scrap" where I place temporary general bits of things, "Notes" where I place longer-term general items, and then specialized tabs for various uses.

Sadly, the project has been abandoned but the program still works flawlessly in Win7 (x32, at least). Since it is portable, you can store it on a USB and take everything with you.

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