Many people have their favorite text editors, usually for simplicity or for its features. Personally, I tend to like, and continue to use, Windows Notepad.
The Features I like about it are:
- Simple cut and paste.
- F5 for current date and time, using the ".LOG" trick makes it even more useful.
- Ubiquity on all windows machines.
- Simple uncluttered interface, helps get writing done.
The cut and paste function in notepad is just the built-in windows clipboard, and it does the job just fine for my simple writing needs. Perhaps its because I'm only journaling and writing blog posts and not a book, but I find the simple to remember Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V easy to use and remember. Of course the all important Ctrl+S to save my changes every couple of minutes also helps. Yes having extra undos, auto-save and multiple clipboards can make certain tasks easier, and that's why some people like the other editors, but I have no need for it right now. Maybe if I start to write a book, I may switch to something else, but I have a feeling I would continue to use it for writing drafts and for the below reasons.
F5 for current date and time
The F5 shortcut key for current date and time, is very handy for journaling. Remember this function key and you may end up using windows notepad for your daily journaling needs. Using a Notepad trick can save you even that one keystroke everytime you open up a log file. Put the text ".LOG", without the quotes, on the first line of a text file file and the file will get automatically updated with the current Date and Time stamp.
Ubiquity on all windows machines
I've used other applications for writing, but I keep coming back for notepad's simple and unclutterred interface. Obviously being available on every windows computer makes it easy to pick up anywhere you go.
Simple uncluttered interface
Lack of formatting features in Notepad has actually helped me. The lack of bold, underline, italics, and other simple formatting features can be a benefit. Even in writing this blog, I usually write my article on a text only based editor (I'm doing so right now) and fix up the formatting and links when I post. This helps me concentrate on writing a post when I do my writing, and work on formatting when I post it online to blogger.
Using Notepad is frugal in time and computing resources. It doesn't cost you a cent, and there is no learning curve to fiddle and learn a new application. It would take you time and effort to find and download a new editor. Sometimes you do want that, but for me, it's good to have a simple trusty editor always ready for me to write. One problem I've seen with Notepad is the formatting can get a little messy with the line breaks if you edit the file in certain parts. The easy fix is to save the file, exit, and then reopen the file. This usually gets the formatting back in shape.
What is your favorite text editor? Now that you read why I use windows notepad, will you use it? If you don't use windows notepad, why not?