Microsoft Editor

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Microsoft Editor

Microsoft Notepad logo
Screenshot of the Microsoft Editor program under Windows 8
Microsoft Editor on Windows 8
Basic data

developer Microsoft
Publishing year 1985
Current  version see Windows
operating system Windows
category Text editor
License proprietary
German speaking Yes

The Microsoft Editor (short- editor or to distinguish even MS editor named in the command prompt under the original English name Notepad bootable) is a simple text editor, the company Microsoft for the operating system Windows to create unformatted text in ANSI or Unicode format.

History and functionality

After the line-oriented editor EDLIN , still under MS-DOS and older NT versions of Windows as part of the operating system was delivered, and the subsequent semi graphical MS-DOS Editor , the editor is already since the first Windows with a version graphical user interface equipped and preset as the standard text editor for simple text files in the operating system.

From version 4.0 (with Windows NT ) the program supports - in addition to the previously used ANSI text format (see also Windows-1252 ) - also Unicode with the character encodings UTF-16 ("Unicode"), UTF-16 Big Endian (" Unicode Big Endian ") and UTF-8 (" UTF-8 "). ASCII (MS-DOS) is not supported on NT. WordPad can do this from the standard programs, and the old MS-DOS Editor on 32-bit versions .

Due to its limitation to basic functions, the application is hardly suitable for editing longer source texts or for creating ASCII art . The program is only suitable for small edits to configuration files, for example in INI format, for which Windows does not offer a graphical interface. Can therefore just as batch files are created and changed by the corresponding file with the extension .bator .cmdstores. In contrast to so-called word processing programs under Microsoft Windows, the editor and all other text editors only contain the characters actually entered and no other information such as formatting. When viewing a file with the help of the editor, its content is not interpreted, but is displayed character by character, which means that data that would otherwise remain hidden to the user can be made visible. However , this cannot replace a hex viewer or hex editor , especially since the editor needs a lot of time to load for large files, as it first loads the file in full before it is displayed. Also up to Windows 10 1803 the program can only handle Windows-specific line endings ( CRLF), which makes it useless in a heterogeneous environment; This fact should probably be resolved with the next Windows 10 edition, the editor can then deal with CR( Mac OS Classic ) and LF( Unix ).

Earlier versions also had problems opening large files. Under the 16-bit operating systems up to and including Windows 3.1, files larger than 45 KB were opened in read-only mode, files larger than 54 KB could not be opened at all. On Windows 95, 98 and Me, Notepad could not open files larger than 64 KB.

It is only possible to change the font in the editor window from Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0. Under Windows 95 the font was still set to the system font.

Unicode recognition

Notepad (NT-based Windows versions) always saves all Unicode texts with a prefixed Byte Order Mark (BOM) and recognizes the appropriate format when loading.

In contrast to WordPad, for example, the editor can also load Unicode files that lack the byte order mark, using the WinAPI function IsTextUnicode(). In Windows NT to Windows XP, this contains a bug that has been interpreted as the editor's supposed Easter egg called “Bush hid the facts” (“Bush hid the facts”). If you save this sentence with the ANSI coding, it will no longer be displayed correctly the next time you open it, because the editor misinterprets the text as Unicode.

However, the error occurs not only with this sentence, but with some sentences whose first word consists of an even number of letters and all other words of an odd number of letters.

time stamp

If the first line of a file .LOGis, the MS-Editor automatically appends the date and time as the last line each time the file is opened.


In contrast to various visual programming environments , with an ASCII text editor the user has full control over what is happening, which is particularly used by puristic website developers and programmers who reject a WYSIWYG editor or an overloaded integrated development environment , work on Windows platforms and use the Want to write source code without help. However, this user group in particular prefers text editors with colored highlighting of syntax elements and other extensions, since the editor only has a limited number of undo steps, is not universally expandable and in no way allows the configurability of a more extensive editor such as B. Emacs or Vim can offer.

In addition to Emacs and Vim, free representatives of this genre include JEdit , Notepad ++ , Notepad2 . Proprietary alternatives include TextPad , PSPad and TED Notepad .

Individual evidence

  1. heise online: Windows 10: The Notepad learns the Unix line break \ n. Retrieved May 13, 2018 .
  2. Introducing extended line endings support in Notepad . In: Windows Command Line Tools For Developers . ( [accessed May 13, 2018]).
  3. Microsoft Knowledge Base - Q59578: Maximum File Size Limits for Notepad
  4. Microsoft Knowledge Base - Q215340: "File Is Too Large to Open" Message in Notepad
  5. Microsoft Knowledge Base - Q196003: How to Show Text in Different Fonts in Notepad
  6. IsTextUnicode. MSDN
  7. Features of LOG and Time / Date Command in Notepad . Microsoft Knowledge Base (English)
  8. Microsoft Knowledge Base: How to Use Notepad to Create a Log File . Microsoft Knowledge Base (English)