Sometimes a full-featured word processor is too much. You want a simple text editor, for viewing and editing text files such as program source code, HTML, system logs, and so on.
There are hundreds of text editors available, including the simple "Notepad" utility that has shipped as part of Windows from day 1 and which still exists in Windows 8. There are also loads more available for download on the internet.
One of the things I personally look for in a text editor is speed. I don't need loads of whizzy features, because I rarely need to do anything more with a text file than edit and search it. But I need the program to be fast when loading or searching files, and I need it to be able to handle big files. Hundreds of megabytes big. And still search them quickly.
A few days ago I came across the best text editor I've ever seen in 30 years of writing about software. It's blisteringly fast at both loading and searching large files. Way faster than anything I'd seen before. It's called EmEditor, from a company called Emurasoft.
If you want to try it, download it from http://www.emeditor.com. It's a 9 MB file, and is virus-free according to Web of Trust and VirusTotal. If you have a 64-bit installation of Windows, be sure to get the 64-bit version of the program, as it's the fastest.
EmEditor is available as a Pro and a Lite version. The Pro version costs $39. If you only want the Lite one, which is free, download the main installer and run the editor. Then, once the editor is running, press Ctrl-Q to bring up the list of commands and search for "downgrade". This will downgrade your 14-day trial copy of the paid-for version to the free-forever version. Which is still just as fast, and has pretty much all the features you'll probably ever need.
EmEditor is currently my text editor of choice, both at home and at the office I work in during the week. It really is a truly excellent product.
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