back to article Microsoft gives Notepad a minimalist makeover to match Windows 11 style

Microsoft has released an update for its venerable Notepad text editor. Dave Grochocki, principal program manager lead for Windows Inbox Apps wrote that Microsoft's favorite feature is a new Dark Mode. "This has been a top community ask, and we hope you love this gorgeous new theme as much as we do," Grochocki beamed, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

    Slapdash*: haphazard, clumsy, hasty, heedless, irresponsible, lackadaisical, lax, messy, negligent, nonchalant, reckless, slipshod, sloppy.

    It's Notepad, one of the simplest applications ever written, surely even Microsoft can produce an update to this application first time. FFS, Microsoft bring back some semblance of proper testing instead of this nonsense. You're looking like utter fools.

    *All written and edited in classic Notepad first.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

      Pluma still runs rings around it. It's built around cairo and GTK 3 so it's probably possible to port it to windows...

      So many cool features, too. I like the auto-indent and syntax highlighting, since I use it 99% of the time when editing code. And it's got TABS.

      And on my Mate desktop, with "ClassicalOK" theme, it's NOT all 2D FLATTY FLATSO MCFLATFACE!!! And it has REAL scrollbars, not those "chrome-like" Adwaita scrollbars [like the ones I see in Notepad in the screenshots]. And I believe it has an undo buffer that's VERY deep... which, of course, is VERY nice to have at certain times.

      Yeah, I just needed to make that point. Why can't Micros~1 just "GET IT" for once???

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        Microsoft would recommend vscode for that use case. This is the Windows equivalent of vi.

        1. karlkarl Silver badge

          Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

          vi is *far* more featureful than notepad. (n)vi back in the day was created as a programmers editor so has some fairly complex things in there.

          If I had to choose, possibly notepad is the equivalent of nano.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

            Equivalent in that it always comes bundled with the system. Not equivalent in features.

          2. hoola Silver badge

            Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

            I think that vi and many of the other tools talked about are specifically not targeted for the area Notepad occupies.

            They are all very much editing tools originating on an OS where the primary function was to do stuff rather than consume stuff.

            Notepad is just that, a very basic text editor. If you need any other functionality for writing code then you use different tools.

      2. Tams

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        While Microsoft should be able to do this quickly and cleanly:

        1. It's in the developer build. Complaining about lack of polish there is silly.

        2. You [better program of choice] attitude is silly and mute when this is about a program that's very reason for existance is to be as minimal possible. The author here even mentioned that.

        3. It's not a program for coding. You can do that sure, but that's like using a Renault Cleo to tow a caravan.

        4. No one but a few anoraks care that your program of choice uses GTK3.141 or whatever.

      3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        Upvoted for

        2D FLATTY FLATSO MCFLATFACE

      4. LionelB Bronze badge

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        Pluma still runs rings around it. It's built around cairo and GTK 3 so it's probably possible to port it to windows... So many cool features, too. I like the auto-indent and syntax highlighting, since I use it 99% of the time when editing code. And it's got TABS.

        I tend to use Geany for that level of functionality (and more). Also Cairo + GTK3, and very lightweight - I routinely use it over ssh.

        Something like leafpad (Cairo + GTK2) is probably closer to Notepad.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Notepad

      Ah notepad.exe, for years I riffed with you, then my Win 10 build left you out for reasons only my desktop support colleagues know. And now I've embraced your geeky best mate, and once you go ++ there is no room for negatives. Unless you're doing maths.

    3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Devil

      Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

      Maybe the folks at Microsoft wonder why Notepad++ exists?

      As someone who never uses Dark Mode personally, I'm wondering why, exactly, people get so excited about it. Surely Dark Mode is just "High Contrast" mode but with better PR?

      And Windows 11 styling? If I want something that looks like MacOS 9, I know where to find SheepShaver...

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        "Dark mode" is, er, dark. Thus there's less acreage of white on the screen, the backlight doesn't have to work as hard and the poor, sad bastards who have to use crap laptops with a shite battery can avoid the thing crapping out on them for slightly longer.

        I shall now pause for this shite, crackly recording of the world's saddest tune being played on the world's smallest violin...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

          If it's a back-lit screen the back-light will be working just as hard but more of it gets blotted out.

          1. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

            Unless your backlight features local dimming...

            1. cyberdemon Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

              Your mum features local dimming mate.

              Jokes aside: Unless you're working on a TV, no it doesn't. You would notice immediately if it did, especially in "dark mode".

              Personally, I enjoy "white on black" (aka "dark mode") on my Konsole terminal in Debian. But I certainly wouldn't want it on windows notepad. Changing the aesthetic of that old stalwart would make me wonder what else they changed.. e.g. the most frequent use case I have of Notepad is when I have something in borked Unicode on my clipboard, and I need to squash it back to 7-bit ASCII.

              1. ChrisC Silver badge

                Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

                Increasingly people *are* hooking PCs up to TVs to gain the benefits of larger screens at lower costs, or when using them as media/living room PCs.

                Not that you need to hook your PC up to a TV to find yourself looking a a screen with local dimming, so don't really know where you got that misconception from:

                https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/features/best-hdr-monitor-how-to-choose

                Point still stands - whilst locally dimmed PC screens are still in the minority, they DO exist, so it's no longer true to say that dark mode themes have no effect on LCD-based monitor power consumption without any caveats.

                Also, if you think that was a joke, then I'm not really sure where you got that misconception from either...

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

          Dark mode messes with my eyes. I had a similar problem with ClearType when it first appeared (it used to make me nauseous) although either my eyes adapted or the technology improved. I've no idea if I could adapt to Dark Mode but I don't particularly want to try. It's a different symptom to CT. With DM my eyes temporarily lose their ability to change focus which is very annoying and potentially dangerous.

          1. TheRealRoland
            Coat

            Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

            No coding while driving your Tesla!

      2. dajames Silver badge

        Dark Mode?

        Surely Dark Mode is just "High Contrast" mode but with better PR?

        I remember when everyone wanted a colour screen with a CGA card, rather than a green-on-white jobbie, on their IBM PC. Some of my colleagues spent ages configuring every piece of software they could to display dark colours on a white background because they felt that that was in some way more WYSIWYG or better for the eyes (hard to believe, as it would flicker like a candle in a gale whenever the screen scrolled). I could never see why.

        Then desktop GUIs like GEM and Windows (and the Mac) gave us a real white-on-black experience just like ink on paper (well, nearly, in some ways). I began to understand what WYSIWYG was all about (even if it was more often What You See Is ALL You Get).

        Now, it seems, there is a clamour for "Dark Mode", in which everything is pale colours on black, just like it was in those CGA days. I can never see why.

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        I use dark mode because it's easier on my eyes. I'm staring at screens all day, bright white screens glare, especially with high quality modern monitors (which I own for photography reasons).

        High contrast is very different - it's why, for instance, your monitor has different settings for brightness and contrast. I want moderate contrast, good brightness but no glare.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "especially with high quality modern monitors (which I own for photography reasons)"

          That means you have them utterly configured the wrong way, and you have the wrong room lightning too, probably.

          A photo monitor should not be set above 100-120 candles, more or less - and you'll have it color-calibrated, you won't set contrast yourself. Still, good contrast is what makes edges well visible.

          Most people have monitor set for too far higher brightness, too blue temperature, and then ask for a dark mode. Because they are used to oversaturated colors and look for them in any image, and if the monitor is set correctly, they will find them "dull".

          Dark mode force the pupils to open wider - and that means more work for they eye to keep images focused. The only time I use a dark background - is for night-time use when it's important to avoid to lose low-light vision. But it does use low-intensity red as well for the same reason. not bright white.

          1. Def Silver badge

            Re: "especially with high quality modern monitors (which I own for photography reasons)"

            Yeah, I never understood the attraction of dark mode. More eyestrain for no benefit.

            Turn the brightness down on your monitor (they all ship with the brightness set to maximum), keep light mode, and use f.lux to moderate the blue light automatically and soft-tune the brightness at night on a hot key.

          2. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: "especially with high quality modern monitors (which I own for photography reasons)"

            It's lovely and bright right up until I use my spyderx pro to calibrate it, at which point it's more subdued but certainly not 'dim'.

            I still prefer dark mode. But I'm also sat in a house with no lights on, two hours after sunset.

    4. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

      Moreover, in days past there was almost nothing to it. Just a menu to send bog-standard messages to a bog-standard edit box. Hardly any scope for introducing bugs.

      -A.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

        That was my point. aka. Charles Petzoid, Programming Windows (circa 1991-1996). I'm not sure Microsoft programmers today, realise how easy it was to throw together a basic text editor with print functionality, even in 1991-1996, in Windows 3.1/95.

        Pretty shocking that Microsoft released this new version of Notepad with bugs, almost like they had to, so it ended up in the Windows insider programme, for the sake of "bug conformity" / process.

        Honestly, Microsoft you need to stop backslapping each other with useless marketing acronyms and start writing decent code. You've clearly forgotten the bigger picture, of writing decent bug free code first time in smaller projects like this, when Notepad ends up in a crappy, drawn out end-user Microsoft insider test programme for testing. There is just no need for this, you need have some internal testers for something as small as Notepad, to stop you looking like fools.

        I really hope someone senior at Microsoft reads this comment and at least understands where I'm coming from.

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: FFS. How slapdash can Microsoft get? It's Notepad one of the simplest Apps ever written.

          No bugs? Pah! That's the Linux way!!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to Noiepad, Classic Notepad updated

      Update: We've come up with new collective name for Microsoft Notepad, in a zoom meeting.

      Noiepad 21H2, shortened to just 'Noiepad', giving it the attribute of a nice spelling error (t replaced by i) to show it's unfinished state for the Windows 11 insider programme, but that (of course) gets carried through to RTM, because MS feedback never catches the error, or if it does, it's declared a feature not a bug. It also gives it a nice historical reference to Microsoft Internet Explorer 'ie'.

      "Welcome to Noiepad, Classic Notepad simply updated for Windows 11".

      There you are Microsoft, I've done your marketing for you.

      Noiepad!

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Pointless

    New theming for Notepad is pointless at best, idiotic at worst. My elderly eyes do not like any dark theme as some of the contrast is hard to see. Dark on white/light background is easier for my eyes. I wonder if there is an ADA (Americans with Disability Act) lawsuit in lurking, ready to pounce.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      You don't have to use the dark theme, you know. It's not even the default.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      Don't like it, don't enable it. It's not mandatory.

      And no, there's no lawsuit; at least not a legitimate one. Not unless some idiot gets it in their head that there's some money to be squeezed out to avoid doing some real work.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pointless

      I too am upset with a feature I don't have to use. It just really upsets me that it's there in the first place. The mere presence of the dark theme provokes my American patriot duty to sue.

      Shine a light mate, just don't use it.

    4. gotes

      Re: Pointless

      Personally I prefer to enable dark mode wherever it's available.

      Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it useless.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Pointless

        Dark background, light text does not cause the pupil to contract too much as it's predominantly dark - vice versa causes immediate contraction of the pupil resulting in dim, hard to read text for those with retinal problems which is why dark+light text conforms to the UK DDA requirements. Helpfully I'm currently typing this into a well formatted, white page with dark text web page which I can't alter ... so much for DDA ...

        1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

          Re: Pointless

          Yeah, I was just thinking to myself: "I wonder if The Register would add a Dark Mode theme?"

          1. Freddie

            Re: Pointless

            Firefox's "Invert Colours" plugin will help there, pal. It really helps my eyes out.

            1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

              Re: Pointless

              Cool, I'm using Opera so I wrote a quick Chrome plugin yesterday which is basically just a CSS override file. It needs a few tweaks but it makes a huge difference.

          2. Andy Mac

            Re: Pointless

            The long-since-departed El Reg mobile app had dark mode. Oh, how I miss it.

        2. Dacarlo

          Re: Pointless

          Dark Reader ftw! https://github.com/darkreader/darkreader

    5. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: Pointless

      In the early days of the Wibbly Wobbly Web, someone tried to get black text on a grey background as the default for text pages. But it did not win general support.

      1. andy gibson

        Re: Pointless

        Bring back Teletext - default black background!

    6. mmonroe

      Re: Pointless

      Dark themes are nothing new. NT had a colour scheme called black leather jacket. It may have been in 3.1 too, but I can't remember.

    7. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      To balance your point - my not so elderly but still considerably more aged than those of the average young whippersnapper UI designer eyes much prefer dark mode themes.

      There are good and bad themes on both sides of the fence - one of the things I hate about modern UI design is the way they use predominantly light coloured backgrounds, but then see fit to use only slightly darker colours to represent the elements in the UI, giving rise to so little contrast it can sometimes be literally impossible to work out what's going on.

      So it's really not the case that "dark theme == lower contrast", "light theme == higher contrast", that all depends on which specific colour combinations are being used within the theme, it's just that *some* dark themes take the "dark" part of the name too literally, and presume that *every* part of the UI needs to be rendered in a dark shade of whatever - in essence the mirror image of the light themes that render everything in light shades of whatever I've just complained about above...

      TL:DR - if a theme doesn't work for your eyes, don't blame it on being a dark or a light theme, blame it on the designer of that theme specifically, then go look for one that works better for you. That is, after all, the whole point of themes - giving the end user the ability to tune the visual output of their OS to meet their personal preferences.

    8. Tams

      Re: Pointless

      Do they insert something into you Americans at birth that gives you a propensity to think about suing or is it a nuture thing?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real Ctrl-Z freaks

    use it as an EOF marker.

    1. 42656e4d203239
      Coat

      Re: Real Ctrl-Z freaks

      >>use it as an EOF marker.

      and a few of them for LEOT... which, if you are lucky, devs check for when reading said tape... they also failed to check for PEOT as well as LEOT, resulting in curses in the server room as one had to manually extract and respool the tape.

      Those were the days.... when reading a file meant you had to actually know how things worked.

      /mine's the one with a 12" tape in the pocket (yup - big pockets!)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Real Ctrl-Z freaks

        Those were the days.... when reading a file meant you had to actually know how things worked. getting out of the drawer in the filing cabinet.

  4. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Huh?

    But Notepad was a memory-mapped OS-provided GDI component. Nothing more.

    It always followed the system theme with no work whatsoever, because it just let the OS draw everything and overrode nothing?

    What have they done to make Dark Mode so incredibly difficult for applications to implement?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grochocki beamed

    meanwhile, in the real ++ world...

  6. Alumoi Silver badge

    Lipstick, pig, Windows

    Need I say more?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Lipstick, pig, Windows

      non-oinky end. I'd like to add THAT.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Lipstick, pig, Windows

        I don't agree, but that did make me laugh. Upvote.

  7. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Notepad is a text editor and doesn't need bugs. That's what Word is for.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Yes. I really wish they'd stop f*cking about with it. Just a few more modifications and it'll be useless for everything I use it for: I love it specifically because it's dumb (like so many people seem to with dogs).

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Yeah the makeover to the Paint UI annoys me. I keep struggling to find the resize button. One complaint I used to hear back when I used OS/2 was 'it looks old fashioned.' and 'why are they still leaving that there?'.

        The answer to both questions was apparently 'because that's what our users are used to'.

        Whether that's a good approach or a bad one I was never sure :)

      2. ravenviz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Dogs aren’t dumb, they’re anthropomorphically challenged!

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Looking forward* to the day when Notepad uses 80-100% of CPU and lags 3 seconds behind my slow-ass typing, as Word 365 sometimes does.

      * Not really

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again -- "style" over "substance"....

    Quote: "....Windows 11 style...."

    ....so if you can't achieve "substance" for your users.......

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "this gorgeous new theme"

    Gorgeous ? It's white on black. No frills, a one-pixel border (that is black) and nothing else to look at.

    If that's your definition of gorgeous I suggest you set your expectations a bit higher.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: "this gorgeous new theme"

      Oh gosh, please don't tempt them ;)

  10. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    To quote Michael Saraf: it's not what you sell, it's how you sell it.

  11. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Darkness Visible.

    I would never use Microsoft, but this is the standard Dev future.

    Flat Black Squares on Flat Black screens, all 'Clean', all 'Minimalist', All 'Flat', as modern as modern can be by fiat. Preferably to be squinted at on smartphones.

    1. FatalR

      Re: Darkness Visible.

      Also overly big and fat, for fingers.

      Because you need easy to reach file menus whilst you're typing into notepad on your touch screen...

    2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: Darkness Visible.

      Its .... wait for it ..... Hotblack Desatio's spaceship

  12. Zebo-the-Fat

    Dark?

    Never understood this craze for white text on a black background, I find it hard to read (I don't read books with black paper and white ink!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dark?

      For many of us, a lot of our primary, secondary (and even tertiary) education was white text on a dark ground - that was until whiteboards took over. There's something nostalgic about a decent blackboard and a teacher who could write clearly in chalk; also nostalgic was the skill at aiming the duster at the oil at the back who kept messing around...

      1. andy gibson

        Re: Dark?

        Don't forget the BBC Micro - white text on a black screen when you powered it on.

        Even their word processors used the black background

        1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Silver badge

          Re: Dark?

          Nostalgia...

          Kid days: IBM PC XT clone, CGA graphics. DOS default: Color 7 (light gray) text on Color 0 (black) background. BASIC/BASICA coding followed that (as did many other applications). Even Broderbund's original The Print Shop used black bg/white text for the main menu.

          High school: White on blue (like QBasic and WordPerfect for DOS) was a nice in-between.

          College: Learning Java while Telnetted into a university server. Could have picked any colors, but white-on-black was still default. I also preferred using Pine in those days before a webmail interface was forced on us.

          Now, everything is opposite. Work is often spreadsheets, slide decks, Visio diagrams, AutoCAD*, and Word**. Everything must be WYSIWYG. I wouldn't mind doing email (Outlook) in "dark mode" but it removes so much color from the ribbon and other GUI elements that it's just too "flat" without enough navigational cues (true for ALL of MS Office).

          * Yes, AutoCAD can do a decent white-lines-on-black yet export properly, but I think the settings are per-drawing and I had dozens to touch this past year; too much work.

          ** Word used to have a WordPerfect for DOS-like white-on-blue, but it's gone now.

        2. ITMA Bronze badge

          Re: Dark?

          "Don't forget the BBC Micro - white text on a black screen when you powered it on.

          Even their word processors used the black background"

          Not if you had one of those nice crisp green phosphor monochrome monitors it didn't, such as the Philips BM-7502.

          I still have mine. And it still works!

          If you were a flash git, you had the amber phosphor version, the BM-7522, just to be different.

          And several models of RGB monitor, particularly the later Philips ones, had a "green screen" button - not as crisp text though since you still where reading it on a screen with RGB phosphor triads.

          1. A K Stiles

            Re: Dark?

            I can still be found changing the default colours of terminal sessions to be varieties of black background and white, green or amber text, depending on what I'm trying to do on the other end.

            I just find the dark background much less harsh on the eyeballs for a day of staring at the screen.

            1. ITMA Bronze badge

              Re: Dark?

              My standard settings for command prompt and powershell are green text on a black background.

              Nostalgic perhaps, but I also find green text far more restful toi look at on a black background than white text. White text on black I tend to find harsh.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Dark?

          I seem to remember one of them (Wordwise, Edword?) used white text on a blue background.

        4. druck Silver badge

          Re: Dark?

          Don't forget the BBC Micro - white text on a black screen when you powered it on.

          The reason for that is it was designed to be used with domestic TVs, that had poorly focused beams and high persistence phosphors. White text on black had slightly too thick lines and smeared when scrolled. Black text on white had very thin lines making it hard to read, and almost disappeared when scrolling.

          Even if it was used with a monitor with a better focused beam and lower persistence phosphor, the refresh was only 50Hz, which gave a very pronounced flicker with a white background.

          1. CRConrad Bronze badge

            Re: "the refresh was ONLY 50Hz"

            Ever been to the cinema?

            How could you stand it; didn't the 24 fps give you epilepsy?

      2. dajames Silver badge

        Re: Dark?

        There's something nostalgic about a decent blackboard and a teacher who could write clearly in chalk; ...

        All my teachers used to write in Comic Sans, though.

        That may have been just a default on the blackboards my school had (some of which were actually dark green, by the way) but I never found the font selection setting!

      3. Haff

        Re: Dark?

        it took ages to get that mark out of the back of your blazer

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Def Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Dark?

          Hmm, I'm not sure what happened here, but this is the link I was trying to post:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbWeSHbL-rM

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dark?

      As was written above, for some people with eyesight problems, its significantly better to have white text on a black background. For other people its worse. Your money may vary, but is it really bad to give people the option?

      You dont need to use it, but for those that need it, it's there. That's great for letting everyone operate how they want to. Why complain about giving people options?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dark?

        They didn't say they were complaining about options, just asking about why its such a craze.

        And the the majority of people is is just a fashion, everything else is wishy washy excuses why.

        Back in the day, we just like the way our themes looked...

    3. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Dark?

      Paper (relying on reflected ambient light) and screens (emitting their own light) are two very different beasts though...

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Dark?

        There was some recent research on this and the impact of reading from a backlit screen compared to paper.

        This is where e-ink is so much better as it emulates paper.

        I find reading books to be more relaxing that reading the same book on a tablet. I borrowed a Kobo a few years ago when I was travelling significantly in one month and found the experience much the same as a book.

        I use e-books an an 8" tablet for convenience, particularly as you can watch films and so as well but for the actual reading experience, paper or the digital equivalent of paper, i.e not backlit is far better,

    4. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Dark?

      White on black is rare. Usually its 'light colour' on 'dark background' to reduce the contrast. For example old terminals used to be green on black, then amber on black. The C64 was cyan on blue. My current desktops are all variants of light grey on dark grey, or almost-white on dark blue, or.. well, you get the idea.

      My kindle is also light text on dark background. Not white on black.

      1. Eeep !

        Re: Dark?

        Nortel (Northern Telecom) used to produce monitors (in the Vienna range) that had black text on white background as the default, and my younger eyes preferred them compared to white text on black when coding for long periods.

        ZX Specturm was black-text-on-white-background and I also liked the white or yellow on a blue background in one of the assembler editors (HiTech ?)

        Does having a dark/black background mean that there is/was a significant power saving for the monitor ?

        Where (I don't know it isn't there) is the evidence that lighter text on darker background it actually better than the opposite ?

        1. William Towle

          Re: Dark?

          > ZX Specturm was black-text-on-white-background

          It was, but none of the Speccy's unbrightened colours was particularly strong. I suspect I wouldn't have liked it to have had the sort of black-on-white of this web page.

          That said, I'm not sure I'd want a consistently-enforced dark/light mode these days - I switch my terminals to light-on-dark if required (and configure vim accordingly), and leave everything else alone. For me, this results in a meaningful sense of context switching when going to and from editor/compilation windows and web searches for documentation/other tasks.

  13. Primus Secundus Tertius

    I am surprised Microsoft never tried to buy out Notepad++. They have bought out so much other software.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      We should all be thankful for that...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waaat ?

    "This has been a top community ask"

    Wat ? Is he being sarcastic to level 20, because his team doesn't have anything to change in Windows ?

    Or is he serious ?

    Looks like Redmond only has GUI programmers now, and absolutely no-one else to understand any of the more difficult part of the OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Waaat ?

      Yeah, who knew notepad.exe had a "community" around it.

      I wonder if there's also a community for the "Save As" dialog, because I have a few suggestions...

      (the first being - "Use it". instead of whatever that horrid thing is that Office apps use now that forces me to click a few extra times to get to the proper "Save As" browsing dialog.)

      1. X5-332960073452
        Thumb Up

        Re: Waaat ?

        Word - File, Options, Save, tick "Save to computer by default" and "Don't show the Backstage", untick "Show additional places for saving"

        These may help

    2. andy gibson

      Re: Waaat ?

      Funny how they don't listen to the other "top community ask" - restore the Start Menu.

      1. DBH

        Re: Waaat ?

        Is that really a "top community ask" ?

        I can't remember the last time I thought "I wish I had a start menu, that would be easier"

        Just hit the windows key and type what you're looking for and hit enter, done

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Waaat ?

          Yes, I think it's been a "top community ask" since Windows 8.

          1. ITMA Bronze badge

            Re: Waaat ?

            I'd still like to know which sick **** decided the Metro interface should put on Windows Server 2012 r2.

            Find his car on a very hot day and secrete some of smelliest cheese on the planet and let it sit there, baking in the heat.

            Payback for the "pleasure" the Metro interface has given on a server.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Waaat ?

              Agree. Still not sure why the Windows Server GUI needed to be advanced beyond the Windows 2000/2003 interface. (Not a huge fan of Server Core myself, but my servers are pets, not cattle)

              1. ITMA Bronze badge

                Re: Waaat ?

                "Not a huge fan of Server Core myself"

                I am 100% with you there.

                Yes I know PowerShell is very powerful and that virtually all of the server managemenet "applets" are just pretty graphical front ends which effectively "spit out" PowerShell commmanrds.

                I also appreciate there is significant overhead to have the WIndows GUI on a server.

                But my philisophy is this - I am using and have been using for amany years Windows Server as much because it has the WIndows GUI through which you can do pretty much everything without having to learn a whole load of cryptic commands

                If I really wanted to have to learn lots of cryptic commands to do virtually anything, I'd be using bloody Linux and not Windows.

                1. CRConrad Bronze badge

                  Re: "lots of cryptic commands"

                  I am using and have been using for amany years Windows Server as much because it has the WIndows GUI through which you can do pretty much everything without having to learn a whole load of cryptic commands

                  If I really wanted to have to learn lots of cryptic commands to do virtually anything, I'd be using bloody Linux and not Windows.

                  If you'd been using those "cryptic commands" for even a few years, they wouldn't be "cryptic" at all.

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Waaat ?

          That assumes you a) know what it's called and b) can type quickly and accurately.

          The vast majority (>99.95%) of users can do neither of those things.

        3. X5-332960073452
          Headmaster

          Re: Waaat ?

          That is the Start Menu

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Waaat ?

      I'm more worried that so many people in the 'community' use Notepad.

      New Windows PC configuration guide:

      Step one, install a non-Edge browser.

      Step two, install a proper text editor downloaded via the new browser.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Waaat ?

        How else would you be able to strip the nonsense that Teams puts in copied text?

        1. JamesTGrant

          Re: Waaat ?

          Yes 100% trouble is, the buzzare char coding Teams uses for non-alphanumeric characters such as ‘space’ and the characters that look exactly like a single quote are preserved perfectly by notepad and so it looks right but whatever IDE you paste into is gonna get some weirdness fired at it, good luck with scripting or compiling-based languages, it’s stuuupid. OneNote is also guilty of this.

          But notepad though it just fine - it does do a wonderful job of getting rid of all the control characters which seem to be ‘unique’ to Teams. Poor notepad - I fear it’ll not escape the MS mangling. ☹️

          1. hoola Silver badge

            Re: Waaat ?

            m-dash, n-dash and the smart quotes where Office has been clever.

            All these are a particular nightmare when you have to take user-generated input and then turn it into something a script can handle consistently.

            Users will always copy and paste from Word or emails into Excel and it will take all sorts or "smart" formatting or character substitution with it. The nightmare then is you can no longer differentiate them,

            Macros do have a use........

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Waaat ?

            "Poor notepad - I fear it’ll not escape the MS mangling."

            If you could find an old Win2k/2003/XP install CD (or even an old computer/VM still running one of those), the Notepad EXE from them will run fine under current Windows. No ribbon, no clutter, just the original simple text-editing box with its simple menus. And all is right with the world.

    4. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Waaat ?

      You mean things like the wonderous decision in Windows 10 to remove the borders round the windows in things like Explorer.

      Or the settings that are no longer set after an "Okay", you just make the change and it is instant........

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    KISS!

    if you feel the need to 'fix' anything, try getting it to understand different flavours of 'text' file (line endings, encodings), like WordPad does.

    I'm fed up with having to explain to people that the reason that a TXT file displays as one continuous line that goes on and on and on and on is that it was generated in Linux (EOL=L/F), so could they reset the default program for TXT to WordPad or, my preference, install NotePad++!

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      My fix for that from days of yore has always been to add shortcuts to Notepad and Wordpad to the SendTo menu. Then it's a simple couple of clicks to re-open the Unix-format file in Wordpad.

    2. James Nord

      Notepad supports Linux line endings already (windows 11)

      Still i use NotePad2 for text and quick code files (it is still better), VSCode for anything less quick (Xml JSON where I want text folding etc) and a proper IDE for regular development.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minimal? Yet they make the menus fatter?

  17. Nugry Horace

    Dark Mode? I'm holding out for the return of the Hot Dog Stand theme.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. ForthIsNotDead

    Notepad++

    I wrote a 22,000 line assembly language program in Notepad++ it's a great editor. Windows notepad should have been retired years ago.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Notepad++

      Not much help if you are just setting a new computer up or you are otherwise without a network connection. Unless you're suggesting that Notepad++ should be part of the Windows install.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Notepad++

        foe some odd reason, I read that as 'the Windows salad'...

  20. Luiz Abdala
    Windows

    What's that one again, that recognized HTML and scripts...??

    Notepad ++?

    Because that thing is a gem. Can go hexadecimal, and recognize xml tags, and tags in general, can edit .ini files with visual aid, whatever.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
      Boffin

      Re: What's that one again, that recognized HTML and scripts...??

      Notepad++ is good for that sort of thing. UltraEdit is better.

      1. Luiz Abdala
        Go

        Re: What's that one again, that recognized HTML and scripts...??

        I gotta find UltraEdit, eventually test it myself.

  21. Boufin

    Just say EMACS

    ^X^C

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    So Microsoft is twiddling Notepad. Is it excessively paranoid to assume they're putting in the framework to bring Clippy to Notepad?

  23. TangoDelta72

    Stripping metadata

    Notepad is still my go-to for stripping metadata when copying from other [MS] products. Just paste into a brand new Notepad and voila! no more hidden tabbing, links, formatting... nothing. Then Ctrl-A, Ctrl-V, and paste into wherever I want it without anything trying to be more helpful than I want it to be. Tabbing and spacing will still convey, but it's usually those things I want anyway.

    Notepad++ doesn't really do that so well, but I love it for quick code editing.

    But back to the original story: it does seem rather pathetic that an "improvement" over such a simple program is delivered with a bug caveat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stripping metadata

      Did you ever try <ctrl>+<shift>+v to save yourself a couple of steps bypassing notepad completely?

  24. glennsills

    Seriously? A whole world of possible notepad enhancements out there and "Dark Mode" was the number one ask?

  25. IGotOut Silver badge

    Remember Win95?

    You know, the one where you could change the colours of borders, boxes, menus, buttons, highlighted parts, clicked items, shadows, in fact everything possible in the GUI.

    Now you get back or white

    Progress.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Remember Win95?

      Win3 was even better, you could - via a third-party utility rearrange all those items of windows furniture.

      Being left-handed my preference was to put the traditional top right buttons on the top left and likewise move the vertical scroll bar from the right to the left, additionally, you could change the window furniture from MS to MOTIF, SunView, MacOS etc.

    2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Remember Win95?

      Thank you. There have been times in the past 20 years where I've thought I must have imagined all that flexibility, that Windows never actually let us do that, that I've got a broken figment of my imagination that I'm remembering incorrectly. After all, why would they strip out such simple but useful customisability from their GUI (which used to be the very heart of their Windows product)? It shouldn't have been a terrible strain on the guys working on the GDI stuff to leave it in. Makes no sense, really.

      Progress. On a road that goes nowhere.

  26. Si 1

    Does it know about UNIX linebreaks yet?

    I admit it’s been ages since I’ve used notepad.exe, but does it still put everything on one line when the linebreaks don’t come with a carriage return?

    I basically stopped using notepad about 22 years ago when the code for my university final year project got so big it exceeded the maximum file size notepad supported. Downloading Editplus over a 33k modem as a replacement wasn’t fun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it know about UNIX linebreaks yet?

      It does in Widows 11.

      Still not a good enough reason to justify an upgrade to 11.

  27. Trigun Bronze badge

    "multi-level undo"

    You can argue about notepad needing or needing more capabilities, but CTRL+Z is a very good thing to add, even if nothing else ever is.

  28. Eeep !

    Why are you using Notepad so much that it needs a dark mode ?

    Notepad is a basic text editor for use in the most "I need the most basic editor Windows supports" - editing Windows specific config files.

    Anyone using Notepad enough to request a dark mode has chosen the wrong tool for the editing they are doing.

    It is a poor sign that Microsoft have caved to these requests rather than just point them to more flexible editors like Visual Studio Code.

  29. TheMaskedMan

    Menus?

    So what has become of the Format and Help menus, and the content thereof?

    Admittedly, the View Help menu item in my Windows 10 copy of Notepad does nothing more that fire up a Bing search for "get help with notepad in windows" - no idea how long it's been doing that, since I don't think I've ever even opened the Help menu before - but still, a Help menu, along with About box is kinda expected.

    And without the Format menu, where do Word Wrap and Font... live?

    All seems like tinkering for the sake of it, to me.

  30. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    Emblematic of what's wrong with Microsoft

    "This has been a top community ask, and we hope you love this gorgeous new theme as much as we do"

    * Nothing wrong with dark mode per se. Sometimes it's better and I use it, sometimes it's worse and I don't use it.

    * Nothing wrong with Notepad, it's pretty basic but gets certain jobs done with no fuss. I have notepad++ open all day, but still pop into Notepad for certain things.

    But dark mode in Notepad? Who cares about that? If anybody is staring at Notepad for hours and hours and getting eyestrain, I guarantee you that same person should *not* be guiding UI requirements in Windows. "Top ask", what a joke. Nobody should be asking for *any* features in Notepad, it was feature complete the day they removed the 32K limit.

    Microsoft's problem is they have no_strategy_ (for the desktop). They have a bunch of tinkerers making random changes to random software, usually buggering something random in the process. If they had a strategy, they could tell the developer, "stop working on pointless feature and start working on something that will make us money". If they had a strategy, they could say, "dark mode is so great even Notepad could benefit, so we are going to implement a killer dark mode once for *all* apps". Of course it would be hard. Good strategy is hard, good delivery on good strategy is very hard, but from where I sit Microsoft has poor delivery on no strategy.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022