Textpad: Good text editor for Windows

The following is software in which I have no interest, apart from being a happy user.

filename: hh6sTxtPad.htm

High "praise"? Textpad is the main reason I haven't gone to Linux a long time ago. The Windows 10 update perils and burden make it no longer fit for my purposes.

But Textpad is so good. (I'm writing this with it... as, indeed, I write 90% of all that I write.) My use of Textpad goes back to before 2002... and it was "my main (person)" from the start, having changed (remarkable for me!) from Notepad almost overnight, upon discovering Textpad.

Just go to TextPad.com and give it a try.... or... if not yet willing to do that, please (for your sake!) read on.

Textpad is a text editor... which is different from a word processor (I'll explain).

You can use a word processor for many of the things I use Textpad for... but why would you want to? Word processors are Big Beasts, and have overheads. They take longer to start up. They waste disk space.

If I save ....

The Quick Brown Fox

... with Textpad, the file is 19 bytes long. If I save it with my word processor, it starts at 8,209 bytes, and that grows if I edit the document.

If my hard disc crashes, recovering the Textpad file (extension .txt) is as easy as it gets. Recovering the word processor file would be harder, less certain.

A good text editor, like Textpad, will let you display your work in the font of your choice, size of your choice, as you edit. Syntax highlighting is available (I'll explain). The font and font size of any hardcopy can also be selected.... BUT! I must admit: While using a text editor, you can't avail yourself of multiple fonts, styles, etc... like italic and underlining (apart from what syntax highlighting "injects")... but I live very happily without those, using ** OLD FASHIONED ** answers to emphasis, when needed. (Ironically, I wrote the document behind what you are reading using Textpad... so I suppose, in an indirect sense, italics, underline, etc, are "available".)

A brief aside: Syntax highlighting: If you write raw HTML or program code, Textpad is capable of displaying your work with various highlightings to make your word easier. This is applied on a document-class by document-class basis, and is entirely configurable by you. I am, at the moment, working on an .htm document. It contains html tags, e.g. <p>, and, through syntax highlighting, they are shown in blue, to distinguish them from the main text. (Each paragraph of this document starts with a <p>, and ends with a </p>.) If I were working on some Lazarus code, file extension .pas, then any Pascal/ Lazarus keywords, e.g. showmessage, would be show in special colors and/or typefaces. Etc. End of aside. (If syntax rules for the document class you want to work with isn't in the default selection, you can download additional sets of rules from Textpad (Download/Add-ons/Syntax Definitions). You can tweak them for your wants... in Textpad, of course. Or you can write your own from scratch. (If the 114 on offer don't have one to cover what you want!... That's 114 on offer with names beginning with "A". I was perhaps 1/3 of the way down the "A-G" page when I decided I wouldn't count all the entries. Don't miss the installation instructions at the bottom of each page of syntax rules. I'm on Textpad 8. Since 4.2, you use a wizard.)

Textpad has a range of useful "smart" "clips". And I can add my own. I am typing html at the moment, and I put that in italics in what you read simply by highlighting it, and clicking on the "italics" clip in the list of clips on the left of my screen. Doing that added a a <i> in front of the highlighted material, and a </i> after it.

Textpad does spellcheck... well. I regularly use two different dictionaries... English and American... and switching between them is easy. I can, of course, add words to the dictionaries.

Textpad features of multiple files. I have about a dozen text pad documents open at the moment, partly because I am a scatty worker, and also because I am using copy/paste to move things between documents.

Textpad has search and replace features which allow no end of complicated things to be done, if you take time to master them. Simple search and replace is... simple!

My great affection for Textpad is not so much for its features but for how "comfortable" it is. I am never distracted from what I am trying to do by having to think how I am going to do it.

So what does it cost, how does one get it?

That still doesn't do Textpad justice, but I hope you get the idea?

You can get Textpad from its homepage, Textpad.com. You can download a free trial. If you agree that it is a great application, you don't have to re-install... just send them the money, and they tell you how to unlock all the features with a simple code.

The trial version... which installs cleanly, simply, by the way... is not time limited, nor does it impose awkward limitations, like only saving small documents. But, if you use it much, do the decent and legal thing? Pay the creators!

It only costs £16.50 GBP (approximately $27 USD). That hasn't gone up since at least November 2010. (The table of prices, at least for a single user license, hasn't even been revised to reflect the Brexit-induced exchange rate! ($22 on 27 Feb 19) You can pay by credit card, so don't let the UK currency be an excuse to leave the creators unrewarded.

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