A day does not go by that I do not use Notepad. As a heavy Notepad user, here’s some quick Notepad tips and suggestions.
Note taking – We are now in the digital age. When talking on the phone, if someone says “Got a pen?”. I say “Yes”, and I open Notepad. One problem that I have is that I don’t save all my notes. Then when Windows reboots without asking, I lose my notes. Wouldn’t it be cool if Notepad had an autosave feature like Word?
Writing for a web site – I prefer to write my PC Pitstop articles in Notepad because Word puts a lot of formatting junk that makes a mess of the HTML. So normally, I write the article in Notepad, then place the tags on the article and then paste it onto the web site. Wouldn’t it be cool if Notepad had a spell checker?
Writing code – I have been doing my personal web site in PHP, and I usually use Notepad. But man, Notepad is really lacking for coding purposes. My wish list is long but the key features would be a more robust undo function, and also color coding PHP code.
Here’s some big news. There are ton of alternatives for Notepad. I am currently writing this blog using Notepad2. Just type “notepad alternative” into your favorite search engine and there are hundreds of great and free replacements for Notepad.
And that’s the point behind this article. Notepad was introduced close to 20 years ago in Windows 3.0. One would think that in 20 years, a company as rich, powerful and innovative as Microsoft would figure out how to put a spell checker into Notepad. Microsoft should be committed to continually improving their products, and not just settling for good enough.
Enough railing. Here’s another Notepad tip. Have you ever tried to move information between a web page and Excel? It can be maddening. All these artifacts show up in Excel and it’s hard to get rid of them. Or worse yet, the information may show up in one big humongous cell. Sometimes there is an hour glass for up to 5 minutes when trying to paste into Excel. What’s the solution? Notepad. Highlight the information on the web page. And then paste the information into Notepad. Highlight and copy the information from Notepad. Then Paste Special into Excel choosing Unicode. Try it sometime. It’s a great way to make a cool chart from data on a web page.
But now I’m back to railing again. I think that there are a lot of people that want to move data from web pages into Excel. After all of this time, shouldn’t there be an easier way?
HEY MICROSOFT. This is not rocket science. We put a man on the moon in less than 20 years. Is it so much to ask to put a few basic features into your products? I am not angry nor am I being facetious. This is serious. It is happening all around us. People are moving to alternative operating systems every day. The issues in front of you guys are not insurmountable, but you guys need to WAKE UP!