With the Windows version of our computer, a complete set of tools and utilities comes as standard by default, which we will use more or less frequently. One of these applications is the well-known Notepad, which has become one of the most basic and essential of the Microsoft operating system. With it we can create new documents and save them in plain text, without any type of format. However, many users miss more functions, something that we can find in a free alternative like DocPad, which we are going to talk about today.
DocPad is a program that is presented as a great alternative to the Notepad that Windows incorporates by default, because, although it fulfills the same function as plain text editing, it adds a complete set of tools that will help us save weather.
In this way, DocPad incorporates such interesting utilities as indentation, bookmarks, uppercase and lowercase conversion, customizable toolbar, encoding conversion, file backups, history, line break, print preview, search and replace, spelling check, among others. In addition, it includes a calculator, a calendar and a built-in character map. That is why we find a very complete tool with much greater utility than the simple Windows Notepad.
Among its most outstanding features we can mention its interface with tabs, which allows us to open several files and edit them in a single window. We can undo up to 100 changes, edit files with 8-bit ASCII characters or 16-bit Unicode characters. This program has search and replace options, with options that are not case sensitive, whole words and regular expressions.
We can also perform actions such as converting to uppercase, lowercase, title and sentence, as well as cutting, copying and pasting, dragging and dropping text. There will be the option of importing HTML files, to convert them to plain text, as well as converting various encodings, including Base-64, Quoted-Printable, UTF-8, among others.
DocPad, much more than a text editor
Once we run the application, its main menu appears with a striking interface, with well-organized elements . Too bad it is in English, which can be a problem for some users when it comes to discovering all its features. Within the main window we will find direct access to the most important actions of the application through a toolbar that manages to be complete and simple at the same time. We find functions such as creating or opening a document, printing or importing HTML to text.
If we click on open a new document, a new window will appear where we can start writing plain text. At the top we find a tool bar with numerous functions to save, cut, copy and paste, search for words, use the calculator or the calendar among other functions. This toolbar is customizable, as is the interface, so if we are not going to use some functions we can change for others, as well as the colors and size of all the elements of the application to adapt it to our liking.
Have access to all its functions from the tabs
Just above this toolbar we do not find the classic tab system, where we will have access to all the options that this program offers us organized by categories. If we click on the Tools tab, we will have access to the calculator, the calendar, a macro manager, statistics, among others.
In the More tab we will have functions such as download duplicate paragraphs, insert tab and time, line break, invert all paragraphs, invert all characters and mix all paragraphs. In the Interface section we will have all the customization options with different skins to choose from. We also find the “Color Picker” option, where we can choose any type of color for our interface. It also has a preference option with different functionalities that we can mark or unmark depending on whether we want them to be active or not.
Finally, in the Window tab we can perform different actions related to the program window . In this way, we can expand, minimize or maximize it and establish a predetermined position, as well as take a screenshot of the window.
By way of conclusion we can say that DocPad is a much more complete alternative to Notepad. Of course, without reaching the performance that a word processor can give us. It has a multitude of tools that can be useful if we need a plain text editor. It is true that it is not perfect and it lacks some characteristics that we could think are key such as the impossibility of changing the font used for the text since we can only change its size, although not exactly, but as small, large, etc. .
DocPad is a completely free application that we can download from its website . It is compatible with all versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10. It is a very light application, since it barely requires 30 MB to install and consumes very few system resources, so that it can be used by all types of computers. Its latest available version is 26.0 and it was released on July 18, 2020, which speaks of the good support and updates policy that it has from its developers.
Alternatives to DocPad
If we are looking for a tool with which to edit plain text, we propose a couple of alternatives to DocPad that we must take into account:
This plain text editor is very interesting since it has tabs within its own window, which allows us to open several notes in a single window. It has a multi-line structure, so we can write several lines at the same time, something that can be very useful when programming. It supports markdown writing and has the ability to compare changes in a document. We can download it for free from the Microsoft Store.
It is a free, open source text editor compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems. With it we can work with Git and GitHub directly. Its interface is intuitive and has multiple panels to compare and edit code between files, as well as a browser to find and open all types of files and projects from one window. We can download Atom for free directly from its official website .