Windows Notepad is getting its first overhaul in years

Since its first release in 1985, when it was bundled in with Windows 1.0, very little has changed about Microsoft’s plain-text editor Notepad, but the software giant has recently announced the first tweaks to the utility in years.

While the spartan program has been the go-to for everyday users wanting to take down a quick note, it also often performs an important function for developers wanting to record logs or even code simpler programs.

The app update was revealed on the company’s blog as part of the announcement of the just-released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17713, which also includes several improvements to Microsoft’s Edge browser.

Changes of note

When using the find and replace tool in the updated build of Notepad, a new checkbox gives you a new wrap around option, which will continue the search from the top of the document once it’s reached its end.

You’ll also be able to zoom your text in and out with the usual keyboard shortcuts (such as holding down Ctrl while scrolling or pressing the plus or minus keys), and via the View menu. When using the word-wrap feature (which allows long lines to flow onto the next one), you’ll now be given an accurate line and column count.

Some other minor tweaks include performance boosts for large files and the ability to use the Ctrl + Backspace shortcut to delete the previous word.

While these new features are currently only available in the Insider Preview Build (17713), they'll likely see widespread release later this year in as part of the next major Windows 10 update, which is currently codenamed Windows 10 Redstone 5.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.