Open to all: Notepad 2

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It’s my intention this and next week to provide some help to those developers who want to use .NET but can’t afford or haven’t access to Visual Studio.

It started in the last post on, as I had a few requests for resources on the .NET framework classes. Now it seems many of you are after tools which help in the coding of ASP.NET.

Today’s gem is Notepad 2, yet another Notepad replacement. But unlike some of the bloated and slow implementations that have tried to improve on Notepad, this edition really does act as a drag and drop replacement for the humble text editor that ships with Windows.

For starts, by default, it looks extremely similiar to classic Notepad. And this is a good thing. One of the reasons Notepad is successful is that it cuts to the chase and just displays files. And Notepad 2, when viewing a plain text file will do this without rulers, and toolbars.

Yet, open a C# file, and you’re presented with line number margins, toolbars, syntax highlighting and extra features just for the file type you’re using. And most important of all, these extras do not clutter the interface. As with most modern applications, it is XP theme-aware, so will fit in nicely with your desktop.

It also has very rapid startup: I couldn’t tell the difference between loading Notepad and Notepad 2 speed-wise. Which to me, is another big difference between it and similar niche applications.

As with any tools I’ll be highlighting over the next week, its free to use and download.

Philip MiseldinePhilip Miseldine
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Philip is a Computer Science PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University. He's still not mastered guitar tabs, never finished Mario, and needs a haircut.

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