When I wrote in this column last week about a text editor called EmEditor (http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/fastest-text-editor-ive-ever-see...) I received many comments about my story, both from those who like EmEditor and from those who prefer a different program.
Ever since I've been writing about IT, which I started doing on April 6th 1983, people's preferences for text editors have probably been the strongest-held opinions, even surpassing those for web browsers and operating systems.
Many of the comments in response to my EmEditor story mentioned Metapad, so I decided that I owed it to you, my readers, to check out Metapad.
You can download Metapad from http://liquidninja.com/metapad. It's a small download of around 0.1 MB, virus-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust, and runs on Windows XP upwards. It's portable and free, although the author offers you the opportunity to make a voluntary donation if you want. It's also open source, so you can download and compile the code (it's written in C) if you want to. For what it's worth, the source code consists of a single file of 8000 lines of code, with hardly any comments. It also hasn't been updated in more than 3 years. Development of Metapad started in 1999.
My look at EmEditor mentioned that it handled relatively large text files (a few hundred megabytes) quickly, so I decided to test Metapad in the same way. And in my own personal non-scientific tests, EmEditor came out top. It was around 10 times faster than Metapad at both loading and searching files.
So there you have it. Two perfectly acceptable free alternatives to Notepad. But for my money, EmEditor beats Metapad. Another worthy contender, if you merely want to browse and search large files rather than edit them, is Glogg (http://glogg.bonnefon.org/).
So why not check out all 3?
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