back to article The inevitability of the Windows 11 UI: New Notepad enters the beta channel

It is with a heavy heart we report that Microsoft's redesigned Notepad has begun to make its way to the Windows Insider Beta channel, taking one step closer to end users already reeling from the Windows 11 experience. The makeover was released a month ago for Dev Channel users with the news that no corner of Windows 11 would …

  1. TopCat62

    Who gives a flying fark what they've done with Notepad, unless they've also crippled NP++ to force people to use their own crock of putrid festering rectal emissions?

    1. ShadowSystems

      Don't hold back...

      Tell us how you really feel. =-)p

      *Produces shopping bags full of freshly popped popcorn to munch upon while reading this story's comments*

      1. Tilda Rice

        Re: Don't hold back...

        Only a matter of time before VI or Emacs are mentioned.

        1. Alligator

          Re: Don't hold back...

          The self-referential post. An art form all on it's own.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't hold back...

          vi, emacs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Don't hold back...

            Well vi (not vim).

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Don't hold back...

        Tell us how you really feel

        With my FINGERS, of course!

        1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: Don't hold back...

          What about the rest of your skin?

          1. Yes Me Silver badge

            Re: Don't hold back...

            I think he means "...when I'm doing a prostate examination."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Who gives a flying fark..."

      When I'm baited into "helping" someone with their Windows machine, there better be a functional notepad (they already took edit away).

      Any windows user care to mention how you edit text from a shell on a OEM windows machine?

      1. EvilGardenGnome

        c:\something\Desktop> notepad new.txt


        1. Tim99 Silver badge

          echo this is the first added line in file >> test.txt

          echo this is the second added line >> test.txt

          echo this is the third added line… >> test.txt

          1. Trollslayer

            I can't beat that!

            1. Spiz

              c:\> copy con test.txt





              ^Z (or F6)

              1 file(s) copied

              1. Tim99 Silver badge

                Yes, but my typing isn’t good enough to do 4 lines at a time and get them all right…

          2. shade82000

            Until you mistakenly use > instead of >> while typing line 42.

      2. ScissorHands

        If it's 32-bit, you can still run EDIT.EXE (it's supposed to be in there somewhere).

        For 64-bit, I still haven't found anything better than gvim's standalone executable (there's also joe).

        There's hope for Tilde, if someone ports it to Windows...

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          >For 64-bit...

          I'm either a bit thick or just old and behind the times but I don't see why you need to update all the software on an Intel processor (especially) if you're using 64 bit addressing. The only way I can see this rationale is if the system ignores the segmentation model and just puts everything, code, data and stack, into one large segment. Which, given the origins of a lot of the system code and the overhead of managing segments might be the case.

          Can anyone enlighten me?

      3. EricB123 Bronze badge

        Back from the Museum of Horrors

        I think it was called "DEVLIN"

        1. LisaJK

          Re: Back from the Museum of Horrors

          I think you mean edlin.

          Dreadful thing, even worse than vile vi, the neutrimatic editor!!! Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike an editor!

      4. ovation1357

        Ditto, and especially for referring to edit. I really missed it when they stopped bundling it with Windows.

        Notepad sucks but it's at least better than having nothing at all

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      decades ago MS had a version of notepad that I think was called "multipad" which was basically an MDI notepad that was part of the windows 3 SDK as an example program. As I recall, it simply uses the built-in EDIT control with some other basic features like file save/open, clipboard, and searching.

      If anything were to replace it, i suggest pluma (the editor for Mate based on gedit 2.x)

      1. Jon 37

        I like Pluma. Not sure what happened to gedit. One moment gedit was a decent text editor, the next Ubuntu release it was a straight Windows Notepad clone with no features whatsoever. Hence someone forking the decent version and calling it Pluma.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Gedit was ok until someone got rid of the menu.

    4. ScrappyLaptop2

      I care about it, if...

      They do to the final new Notepad what they did to the snip/snipping (ie screenshot) tool.

      No more proper "windows style" menu bar, just vague, stylized, minimalist line drawing icons without labels until you hover over each one.

      1. Andy A

        Re: I care about it, if...

        ...after all, WORDS are far to complicated for the numbskulls involved in the "design".

  2. redpawn

    Who cares

    if the code works, as long as you get Dark Mode! I love it when Windows goes dark, the longer the better.

    1. Tilda Rice

      Re: Who cares

      Ooh M$ bashing. You're in the right place.

      The other kids will be along in a minute to agree.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Who cares

        I thought we were calling them "Micros~1" now...

        1. JohnSheeran

          Re: Who cares

          I thought it was "Micro~7"......

          Can we really tell what that is?

          1. bpfh

            Re: Who cares

            you need to upgrade to Win95 for long file name support…

  3. Paul Herber Silver badge

    'Windows 11 design cues'

    Windows 11 design curse


    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Windows 11 design curse"

      Why the 11?

      1. BrownishMonstr

        Because it's one higher.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Yeah, but it's the last one. I know they said that about 10, but then someone realised they could turn it up to 11. There is NOTHING higher than 11!!!

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            I mean what happens if you have a monopoly desktop at 10, where can you go? Nowhere

            So this one goes upto 11

            Couldn't you just make 10 better?

            This goes to 11

  4. Paratrooping Parrot

    Last decent version of Windows was

    Windows 7, followed by Windows XP Service Pack 2 and then Windows 2000.

    I switched to Linux when Windows 7 was no longer supported.

    1. MrTuK

      Re: Last decent version of Windows was

      I switched after testing Win 10 for 3 months when it first came out, for some reason I could foresee the future of MS Windows, they want your data, they want total control over the Windows ECO now rather than back in Win 95 days mind you there was SFA else to go to if they had done it then so they would have had everyone by the short and curly's !! Win 7 Pro was the best but now its POP-OS with Cinnamon UI for the Win 7 look and feel, and oh wow Windows games work in Steam :) at least the one's I play EVEonline :)

    2. Dave K

      Re: Last decent version of Windows was

      Still on Windows 7 on my main PC here (typing this from the very machine). A quick ESU hack and the security updates continue to flow, all programs I want to use still work and receive updates, and it looks a shit-load better than Windows 10 and supports a lot more customisability and flexibility than Windows 11.

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: Last decent version of Windows was

        Ah so we are allowed to mention BypassESU here, I had begun to wonder :-)

        Mind you, Office 2010 refuses to activate any more - is that legal? I paid for the software, a HDD crash meant a fresh install, now I can't use what I paid for. Still there's always that Office 2000 CD knocking about somewhere.

        1. Andy A

          Re: Last decent version of Windows was

          Run an Office2010 prog with Admin rights, then fill in the Product Key from there. It worked fine for me a couple of weeks back.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Last decent version of Windows was

          > I paid for the software

          Oh you sweat innocent child. You paid for a one time license to be allowed to send Microsoft some money.

    3. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

      Re: Last decent version of Windows was

      Damn, I was going to post that...

    4. ScrappyLaptop2

      Re: Last decent version of Windows was

      Windows 7 was the last version with a UX primarily designed for a desktop PC; perhaps that has something to do with it?

    5. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Re: Last decent version of Windows was

      Hurray. Someone's finally mentioned a real operating system.

  5. TonyJ

    Leave well alone...

    ...other than maybe making search not need to have a direction of search box ticked, NP is bloody handy exactly as it is,

    For anything more advanced on your own machine, there is NP++.

    Otherwise, MS, fuck right off with this shit.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Leave well alone...

      Sorry, not possible.

      The mantra at M$ is ' If it ain't broke, break it, we can fix it later.

      Again and again and again.'

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exactly what's wrong with Windows

    Keep redesigning the dress for the catwalk whilst the model inside is a slowly rotting virus infested zombie with more holes appearing every day for vultures to get side and rip your organs out.

    1. ShadowSystems

      Re: Exactly what's wrong with Windows

      "slowly rotting virus infested zombie" ... I've just realized that I've forgotten to eat lunch. Thanks for the reminder! =-D

      *Scampers off to go make something noodley*

  7. DJV Silver badge

    "After all, it would be very out of character for Microsoft to take a perfectly working bit of code and replace it with something hopelessly broken."

    Nope, that's absolutely, definitely and most categorically never happened ever before, absolutely, no siree!

    1. Simon Harris

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Every designer/programmer/anyone feels the need to leave their finger prints on anything they touch. I can't wait to see what they've done with fonts and templates again - apparently I offend someone in designerland with my insistence on using Times New Roman.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fingerprints

      Well you should be using a sans font, they are easier to read. Also, don't fall into the awful trap of thinking a magazine page can be reproduced on the screen, and use a lighter weight, so the text appears more grey than black. The number of times I have to press F12 then remove the offending CSS rule(s) just to make it easier on the eyes to read something.

      1. Swarthy

        Re: Fingerprints

        I like sans fonts, and in general they are easier to read. But for getting what the actual characters are, you can't beat a properly serifed font. Having to copy a bit of text to Notepad set to TNR to find out whether that important value-specific sting contains a 1, l, or I is a bit of a faff.

  9. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    What a suprise...

    How about adding large file support?

    Or hex mode toggle - just plain simple text - not rich.

    Always go for the eye candy and mess up all the

    old command keys.

    It is ok though, it has dark mode.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: What a suprise...

      Yeah, we really needed that Dark Mode.

      Mine's the black one with the darker collar . . .

  10. Jakester

    Test EOL Characters

    Years ago when I was doing simple programs with Microsoft's macro assembler with DOS 3 through DOS 5, I would have about 1 in 10 lines just ignored. Looking at the text file in Debug, I found that those lines ended with the hex character 0D instead of hex 0D 0A. Since Microsoft is designing Notepad from the ground up, who knows what crap is going to end up hidden in the file? Run tests before using it for important projects when it is released.

    Currently not a problem for me, I quit any assembler programming after Win 95 was released - there were just too many APIs to try to keep track of.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Test EOL Characters

      Watching Windows keep getting updated makes me think that returning to CP/M is the best option when I retire. Yes I saw some issues with CP/M originally but ZCPR fixed virtually all of them making it easy to rewrite the BIOS so that I could run 320kB on my IMSAI.

  11. thondwe

    Another Work Experience Placement

    Assuming another Work Experience bod is give Notepad to enhance?

    Pretty much everyone replaces it with NP++ or Visual Studio Code - so why bother, some with half the other "apps in the box" - wasting effort - Weather app, News App - sorry I've got a phone/tablet/web site for all that... FOCUS on the OS guys!

    1. ScissorHands

      Re: Another Work Experience Placement

      Like vi, it's the power of "what's in all boxes by default when you sit in front of someone else's computer"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should have just shipped a copy of Visual Studio Code as part of Windows 11.

    It is actually a very functional text editor. Maybe rename it as something a bit more friendlier to not scare the masses, but seriously it means one less app sourcecode to maintain if you retire Notepad?

  13. Scott Pedigo

    For Me, Windows 10 Jumped the Shark When...

    I started getting notifications offering to show me highlights of stuff that got backed up to One Drive during the last year. I presume photos and screenshots. As if my Documents folder, which is being automatically backed up to One Drive, were some kind of social media. Say what?

    I find it mildly annoying when even Facebook offers to show me the highlights from my own year's posts, but I can just tell it not to show me those offers and it stops for awhile. I positively hate the feature that offers you to re-share old posts from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 years ago, because one of my relatives uses it and I find my feed regularly filled up with dozens of old posts that I have no interest in re-reading. Like photos from one of their vacations 7 years ago. If I were interested in some past occurrence, I could go to their page and look through their photos.

    But the OS getting in on the act? Gimme a break.

    If you're wondering why I'd turn on the automatic backup to One Drive, it's because for the first 6 months to a year after I got a new HP laptop, every Windows 10 update (which you can only postpone, not skip) would break the NVidia graphics driver and require me to reinstall the original OS version from the emergency restore partition and reinstall all my apps. Nothing else worked, not manually replacing the driver, not going back to a Restore Point, nothing. You get tired of reinstalling all your apps every month or so, and having to manually save and restore all your data every time as well.

    1. Smirnov

      Re: I started getting notifications offering to show me highlights of stuff

      It's not just OneDrive, a lot of programs have started to intrude with all kinds of meaningless and often rather annoying notifications that want me strangulate the program's developer.

      The worst ones are those messages that only have a "Not now" button which means they will come back at another, equally inconvenient time.

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: I started getting notifications offering to show me highlights of stuff

        'strangulate the program's developer'

        Some gimboid in marketing.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Memories and boats

    Sounds like the 11th excuse to require more memory.

    One sure thing about every next MS build - you'll need a bigger boat. (hole in the ocean you throw money into)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Memories and boats

      "Intel makes faster processors, Microsoft makes slower processes."

  15. Whoisthis

    Is it going to end up like windows 8?

    The enthusiasm with which it has been received does make me wonder how long it will last...

    What was the urge to change the interface (again)?

    What life changing features will I be getting by switching to W11?

    1. Adrian 4

      Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

      > What life changing features will I be getting by switching to W11?

      Continued "support"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

        More training bills.

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

      Well I 'upgraded' to Windows 11 over Christmas and hated it so much I started running Linux Mint off a USB stick, planning on dual booting once I got around to it. Luckily I then discovered the 10 day grace period where you can regress back to Windows 10 and keep your data. Currently I'm on Win 10 until I get around to setting up the dual boot.

      So life changing experience - discovering how much worse a Windows OS can be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

        Woo hoo, another convert.

        1. Swarthy

          Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

          I got a new Laptop with Win 11 as a Xmas Pressie to myself (I was planning to immediately nuke the OS and move to Mint). I paused for a bit to see if 11 was as bad as I feared - It was worse.

          I called my son over to get his impressions. His computer has been asking to upgrade to 11, so I wanted to let him see what was in store. A few minutes looking at it, he decided that his next OS upgrade will also be to Mint.

    3. Andy A

      Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

      > What life changing features will I be getting by switching to W11?

      ... A huge amount of frustration as you discover that most of those features you rely on have been taken away because the "design" numpties think they are "too complicated for users to understand".

      ... Advertising pushed at you whether you like it or not. There's a reason that half the Start Menu is labelled "Suggestions". That will be filled by ads as soon as they can lure enough advertisers away from Google.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Is it going to end up like windows 8?

        Advertising pushed at you whether you like it or not.

        Manchester City Council have found a way to impose the equivalent in a physical sense, by blocking the pavements...

        I wonder with that level of electricity consumption if those advertising screens are also mining cryptocurrencies

  16. marcellothearcane


    Or it didn't happen.

  17. aldolo

    ready for the 1gb np?

    ram is cheap after all

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ready for the 1gb np?

      Ewe taking the piss?

  18. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    re: users already reeling from the Windows 11 experience.

    That has to rank as a contender for the best quote of the year and it is not even halfway through January.

    Keep it up El Reg!

  19. Grunchy Silver badge

    I’m not ‘upgrading’ anymore. I’m weary of the endless ‘change for the sake of change.’ I use a computer for specific work and it already does that competently. I just picked up a 2nd hand DL380P (gen 8) because they’re practically giving them away, and that 2012-era hardware would probably be woefully overloaded by modern Microsoft bloatware. Besides, I will probably load it with Linux instead because there’s absolutely no way I’m ever paying a nickle to Microsoft for their ‘dog’s breakfast’ product they have for offer.

    Notepad++ is a not bad alternative product, but you know what’s even more useful? Notetab.

    (If you ever run ‘Notes’ on iPhone IOS, it seems like they borrowed heavily from Notetab, perhaps it is just a very sincere form of flattery?)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wndows? Never heard of it! What is it?

    Sorry!! Very confused!! Been using vi (and gedit) and lynx (and Netscape and Firefox) and StarOffice (and LibreOffice) on my RedHat box since January 1999.


    Someone here can explain!

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Wndows? Never heard of it! What is it?

      Windows - a very old invention...

      ...about 2 mins in

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Vertical Scrollbar

    May be they will get rid of the vertical scrollbar all together to satisfy the trend to remove essential screen navigation tools - given that by default these days it gets relegated to a thin vertical line which you have to finely place the pointer over to get it to appear - just kills productivity.

    This annoying feature can be turned off using the... "Ease of Access" settings! So, Microsoft are well aware that this feature is a hindrance.

    Make it the default to see all these essential things, and allow the OCD types to turn them off as they please/have a different theme that does exactly that.

    1. Shred

      Re: Vertical Scrollbar

      Thank you! You’ve just given me a way to fix a major irritation with modern Windows.

      Every new version, I have to spend hours and hours turning off all the new shiny “change for the sake of change” “features” and get back to where I was before I was forced to upgrade.

      It amazes me that we put up with this. I recently saw a video explaining why people pay big $$$ for a certain brand of electronics test gear. Partly, it is because large organisations want to buy (say) a multimeter, then specify it as standard equipment and write all their test and repair documentation around that device. They need something that is guaranteed to be in production for 20 years or more, because it just costs too much to keep updating.

      When will the computer industry mature to this point? The OS should be invisible to the user. Pretty up the user interface if the user wants.., or let them keep the same one for decades.

  22. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Here's hoping ...

    "It avoided Aero. Missed Modern."

    ... they go with Motif.

  23. marknzl

    Bugs -> Dark Mode

    I've only just resigned myself to Win 10 bugs and other annoyances being being referred to as "Features". Are Microsoft now calling them "Dark Mode" in Win 11? Are Microsoft going to pile even more crap and workarounds onto us, and then suggest we let go and embrace the Dark Side?

    Also.... who the hell has their taskbar on the bottom (or top) of a landscape oriented monitor?!?!?!

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Bugs -> Dark Mode

      It always got our IT guy wound up, for some reason, but I find the best taskbar is on the left (the rhs would also work, for those with the mouse in their right hand), wide enough to fit 20 or more characters and with autohide.

      All the screen space available for serious work. When it is time to change your focus, one quick flick of wrist and you get a column of window titles large enough to actually read.

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