BabelPad (Version: 188.8.131.52) is a text editor or word processor that comes with a lot features, especially if Unicode, fonts or foreign languages are concerned. BabelPad supports rendering to make different language display properly, in particular it uses Microsoft’s Uniscribe services. It is made to ease rendering of different fonts, simplified and traditional Chinese for example. It supports CR and LF new line formats, left to right and right to left layouts, encoding like UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-32, ISO-8859-8 (Hebrew), ISO-8859-6 (Arabic), Windows CP 1258 (Vietnamese), EUC-JA (Japanese), TSCII (Tamil) and many more and saves files in some and auto-detects them in many cases too.
Other features are drag and drop files, multiple undo/redo and an option to auto-indent text as you type, open large files and not only do a normal find and replace but batch replace whole series of words (Edit —> Batch Replace). Text conversion is another part of its strength in Unicode. It can convert case for multiple encodings and languages, between simplified and traditional Chinese, HTML entities to Unicode characters and lots more like it.
Other tools included are font coverage, analysis and information to provide info about an open document or any section of one. An advanced character frequency and character map with 1000s of character and symbols. An Advanced Character Search tool (Tools —> Advanced Character Search) where it can scan an open document for every kind of character combination one can come up with (see image.)
BabelPad is less than a 3MB download and the few words above are just scratching the surface of the number of options available. It can run on Windows 2000 and newer and is made available in a portable version by portableapps.com
TinyPad (Version: 184.108.40.206) is a simple note taker or notepad. Notes can be uploaded to the sharednote.com site and shared online.
Notes are automatically saved in tabs or pads and all are re-opened when the program is restarted. To avoid clutter when pads add up any number of them can be archived to remain hidden unless the View the archive cabinet button is clicked.
TinyPad’s toolbar covers some text operations like text size, color, style, alignment and lists. There is also an insert date/time stamp button but strangely, even though images are supported, there is no add image button. The only way to add an image is to right click inside a pad and paste a copied image.
Multiple undo and redo is available and Ctrl+F searches inside the current pad or use the search and highlight as you type field.
TinyPad can export all notes and save them anywhere, but in .tp files. It is possible to tweet directly from within TinyPad. TinyPad comes with several themes and should work on all Windows versions.
NoteItDown (Version: 1.2 as of this post) is a no-install, portable freeware Notepad alternative. Its features are basic and it is lightweight. It has the .rtf, rich text features such as changing text and (text and note) background color, adding or removing indent, aligning text and changing fonts.
Notes are saved in a tree structure and while the global search (File—>Find notes or Ctrl+F3) displays results in a separate window the search function above the note area searches the current note and displays matches incrementally as in a search as you type. The Insert menu features Date and Time, Date and Time options.
Links and email addresses are converted automatically and by default notes are saved automatically. On startup NoteItDown prompts the user to choose a location to save the notes or data, the three options available are the system application data, the program’s own or browse and pick any other folder. NoteItDown requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
InDeep Notes (Version: 2.0 as of this post) is a somewhat unusual note taking application. The interface is not standard but beyond that it features some of the same minimalist aspects of a notepad type freeware. It saves notes in a ‘collection’ and each in a folder within its data folder keeping a tree like directory structure.
It has a search box, status bar and an action bar. The first requires a click to start a search and the latter has buttons to add empty lines, remove empty lines, export visible text as png and export note as png (both saved on the desktop). These final two features may not be the most common or useful and one created a very large non word wrapped png file that needed zooming to to be legible.
Further options include changing the text encoding, changing the font for both the note area and the tree list and a toggle for word wrap.
InDeep Notes is portable, runs on Windows XP, Vista and 7 and requires .Net Framework 2.0
QText (Version: 2.50 as of this post) is a notepad alternative but it is best suited for quick note taking than anything else. It features a tabbed interface that saves each tab in a separate file. The notes are saved in individual txt or rtf files in the program’s application data folder but this is configurable in the Files tab of Tools—>Options.
QText offers to create a new tab either in text or rich text with each having a slightly different toolbar. It features URL support, quick auto save and ‘regular’ auto save intervals that can be changed from the default 3 and 60 seconds.
Hot keys Ctrl+Shift+Q (also configurable) bring up the program from the tray area and a carbon copy feature is available to keep a back up of the notes in another location, this is off by default but can be activated from the options. QText’s other features are zoom and formatting options (upper case, lower case and title case) plus sorting lines in ascending or descending orders.
Version 3.0 in beta is coming soon with more improvements and changes to the portable version. It currently – even in the portable version – saves notes in the application data (appdata) folder.
QText is available in portable and installer versions and requires .NET framework 2.0.
Notepad Enhanced is a text editor, it does not have many outstanding features as it basically aims to be a better version of Windows’ own notepad. It supports file associations but that can be done within Windows as well. The main reason for it to be called ‘enhanced’ is its tabbed interface.
Notepad Enhanced does have a few additional features and they are contained within panels, activated using the View menu. The Document Info Panel has the word, charater and sentence count. The Preference Panel houses the program settings which among others lets the user choose how the program opens, with new blank tab or not, and also if more than one instance of Notepad Enhanced can be opened at the same time. The File View Panel is a bit more interesting or unusual though perhaps not so useful. Here Notepad Enhanced scans local drives, ‘common places’ or Windows’ recent files to load a list of text files it finds. This can be filtered and is presumably a part of the program to ease the search for files to edit.
Notepad Enhanced requires the .NET Framework, is open source and is a simple addition to the list of many freeware text editors.
AH Note is a young entry in the notepad alternative universe. AH Note’s capabilities are all visible via its icons around the program interface. Its features, those not common to all simple notepad alternatives are listed below.
Copy options to copy the current file name and path. Indent selected text by 1 column increments. Add bullet points to selected text. Add images to any text document. Zoom in and out of pages. View the page in a browser and finally convert selected or all text to lower or upper case.
AH Note can open many text files formats and save them in its own native *.aht format in addition to *.txt, *.rtf and others. AH Note is obviously a young project, one area which makes that clear is the tool tips (hover the mouse over menu buttons). As of this review – version 1.0 – some tool tips are not properly labeled and are still the likes of ‘ToolStripSplitButton’, a mark of the programming language used to code AH Note. AH Note is one self contained executable file that doesn’t require installation, just download it and run it.
Notepad X is described by its author as
Notepad X is an open source text editor, with a lot of customization options created to help users managing text documents, featuring tab navigation
Notepad X stands at 1.8MB including its plug-ins and icons. It is a simple no frills tabbed Notepad alternative with the usual shortcuts including the likes of Ctrl+D1, D2, D3, and so on to go to the first, second, third and subsequent open tabs. It offers the standard features but also syntax highlighting for such languages as Boo for example. It also comes with a set of included plug-ins which include a File Explorer sidebar, a Google translate sidebar and a Snippet sidebar. It is possible to write one’s own plug-in by going through the C# tutorial. Notepad X also includes a BBcode toolbar that works on highlighted text (see image above)
Notepad X is available in a zip format or alternatively one can download the program’s installer. It is also translated to a good number of languages. A final important note: Using the zip format it was not possible to activate the aforementioned plug-ins (on a XP machine).
Jotx is a minimalist note taker or perhaps word processor that does little but could be useful in taking quick notes with something other than Notepad.
It comes with a built-in spell checker, a ‘task list’ pane and a pane to keep track of a favorite folder or two. The latter can be useful for immediate navigation to a folder for opening or saving notes. Jotx works and saves in plain text and RTF formats and via its options, among others, one can change the background color and the font used. It is also possible to set a default folder for immediate access when opening files.
Jotx is somewhat unusual in that it includes links to a religious book and blog in its menu options (both within the program and the windows start menu).