On our Windows 10 computer we find a series of tools that are installed by default. One of them is a plain text editor, which we know as Notepad, and which has become one of the most used for its simplicity and utility. But sometimes we may want to be able to take notes while doing other tasks at the same time. For this we can use a plain text editor like OSD note that has a semitransparent interface.
OSD Note is a lightweight and portable program that we can use to create and edit plain plain text . This application differs mainly from other similar tools by its semi-transparent interface, which we will always find in the superior mode. This allows us to take notes while we work, read documents or perform any other task with our PC. By always staying at the top, we will be less distracted compared to other similar programs. The notes that we create can be saved as RTF (rich text format), which is compatible with popular word processors such as Microsoft Word, WordPad, among others.
Regarding its functionality, the program performs any type of action that we can expect from a text editor. In this way, it allows us to copy, paste, increase or decrease the size of the font, add bold, underline, toggle transparency or reset everything to default values.
Take notes while keeping other windows open
To start using it, just run the OSD_note.exe file and its main menu will appear with an interface with a compact and opaque window. Its functions are in English only , so it can be a problem for many users. This is because the icons in the toolbar at the top do not have letters with their name, but are letters that represent their function. If we hover the mouse pointer over it, it does not show us information about the use of each tool, so it will be difficult for us to discover each of its functions at first The editor window can be dragged along the edges to change the size to our liking .
We can start working by simply writing on its interface. Once we have finished, to save the document we must click on the icon of the letter “S”, which performs the functions of “Save as”. This is the only way we will be able to save our file. Contrary to what happens with the popular Notepad that only allows you to save notes in a plain text file, with OSD note we can also save it in two additional formats. In this way, the program allows us to save our notes in three formats : RichText (RTF), Text (TXT) and AutoHotkey (AHK).
Just the icon next to the letter “O” will allow us to open an existing document, and the “rtf” and “txt” buttons will allow us to paste the content of the clipboard in rich text format and plain text respectively. Using the plain text option causes it to discard the clipboard formatting, so use it with caution.
We can increase or decrease the level of transparency
OSD note comes by default configured to always be on top of other programs that we are using, which together with its transparency allows us to take notes while we perform other tasks. However, it is possible to deactivate this functionality by clicking on the button 2AoT ». The «T +» and «T-» keys offer us the possibility of increasing or decreasing the level of transparency . This is extremely useful since a high level of transparency can make it difficult to use and can be annoying when the background also contains a lot of text or other elements. If we want to change the color of the textwe can use the icon for the letter “T”. When pressed, it shows us through a drop-down menu an available color palette, which even gives us the option to customize it.
The icon with the letter “H” allows you to choose the color for the text highlighting, and the font can be modified using the two buttons with the letter “A”. The icons with the letters “B”, “I”, “U” and “S” on the toolbar will help us change the text to bold, italic, underlined and strikethrough respectively. The button with the letter “N” is used to discard the underlining, the bold, etc, while the button “R” restores all the formatting of the text.
Free download OSD note
OSD note is a free and open source program that we can download directly from the Sourceforge website . We will download a zip file, which we must compress to be able to execute it. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10, being valid for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. This tool is very light as it weighs less than 1 MB when it is extracted and it is completely portable so it does not require any type of installation and can be executed from any external storage device, such as a hard disk, a memory card or a pendrive.
Being an open source program, it allows any developer to access its guts and collaborate with its development. Proof of this is that its latest available version is 1.1 and corresponds to August 27, 2020, so it is to be expected that it will maintain a good support and update policy over time. Some antivirus programs may detect this program as malicious, but that is because it is a script written in AHK, so we can safely run and use it since it does not contain any type of virus or malware.
Alternatives to OSD note
If we are looking for a program to edit plain text, we propose a couple of alternatives to OSD note that we should know:
It is an open source, free and multiplatform program for taking notes in plain text, which can also be enriched with the possibility of formatting them, adding images, links, tables and other very useful elements. In addition, it has encryption of notes in AES 256 format, allowing you to use custom encryption methods through Keybase.io or PGP. We can download QOwNotes for free from their website .
This program for editing plain text is characterized by incorporating a large number of functionalities such as customizable toolbar, encoding conversion, file backups, history, line break, print preview, search and replace, spell check , among other. Plus, it includes a calculator, calendar, and built-in character map. DocPad is a free tool that we can download from its official website .