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Metapad is an enhanced (and totally unobtrusive) version of that Windows classic, Notepad. Unlike most Notebook replacements, Metapad is actually quick and simple enough to deserve the title.

Screenshot of Metapad

Notable features:

  • Flexible find and replace feature, which recognizes tabs and newlines. This can come in very handy, but regular expressions would definitely make Metapad more powerful.
  • Quick buffers: up to ten shortcuts for commonly used text strings. Personally, I've never used this. I've also never used...
  • Favourites menu: create shortcuts to commonly used files. This could be very handy for the GTD crowd, now that I think about it.
  • Quick Exit: if you turn on this option, Metapad will close when you hit the Escape key. If you compulsively save and like to get things out of the way quickly, this is a fantastic feature.
  • No file size limit, although this isn't much of an issue anymore.
  • Detects hyperlinks and makes them clickable (or double-clickable, or just ignores them -- your choice)
  • Oodles of text massaging features: block indent/unindent, wrapping/unwrapping of long lines, changing of case (upper/lower/title/sentence)
  • Support for DOS, Mac, Unix, and Unicode files, conversion between the two, and the setting of a default format.
  • My favourite feature, support for two external viewers (primary and secondary). If you do any web work, this can come in handy: make Firefox one viewer and Internet Explorer the other. (Actually, I use shellexecute as my primary viewer, so files open up in their default viewer, which has the same effect in the end for me.)
  • Support for two different fonts, so you can switch between variable-width and fixed-width fonts with a single keystroke.
  • Localizations into various languages.

Can you tell that I love this program? I've been using it for years, and I recommend that all Windows power users give it a spin.


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