Notepad is a very basic word processing program that comes as an application with Windows operating systems. It is the ideal tool for writing small documents that you want to save in plain text. Notepad also has a few features that you can benefit from. However, it is only a word processing tool so it is not compatible with images. Since Notepad is available by default on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the only noticeable difference is in the way the program runs. Learning the basics of Notepad is quick and easy!
Part 1 of 3: start Notepad
Step 1. Open Notepad
In Windows 7 open your Start menu then enter Notepad in the search bar. Select Notepad to open the program. You can also browse to the Accessories folder in the Start menu and choose Notepad from the list of programs.
In Windows 8.1, enter Notepad in the Start screen search bar
Step 2. Explore the Notepad user interface
Once Notepad is open, you'll see a simple screen with a limited number of word processing options. You will find menus like File, Editing, Format, Display and Aid.
Step 3. Open the File menu
A drop-down list will open and you will find options like New, Open, Save, Save As, Layout, and Print. These are the basic options for word processing. Select New to create a document.
- Whenever you save a file by pressing Save Where Save as, Windows will automatically save the file in the format .txt, which will allow it to open with Notepad.
- You can decide to save Notepad documents as HTML by clicking Save as and selecting All the files in the list of choices to finally save the file with the extension .htm Where .html. Enter your HTML code directly into the document as you would plain text.
- In order to save your document as HTML properly, you should enable the Auto Wrap option. You will have more details on how to activate this function a little later.
Step 4. Set your Layout
Access the Layout option via the menu File. There you will find just a few simple formatting options. Choose the size, orientation, header and footer you want from this menu.
Step 5. Add the header and footer
Notepad has a default header which is the name of the document and the date it was printed. The default footer text is the page number. You can modify this default data by selecting the options On your mind and Footer in the menu File located in the menu bar and erasing the codes that were there. All header and footer settings must be entered manually each time you want to print a document. These settings cannot be saved. To change the headers and footers, choose Page Setup from the menu File and enter the commands you want in the text fields of the Header and Footer options. Here is a short list of header and footer commands:
- & l: align header or footer to the left
- & c: align the header or the footer in the center
- & r: align header or footer to the right
- & d: insert current date
- & t: insert the time indicated by your computer clock
- & f: insert file name
- & p: insert page numbers
- If you leave the text box for the Header and Footer options blank, your document will not have a header or footer when it is printed.
- You can insert words into the Header and Footer input field and they will output in the assigned positions once they are printed. You don't have to capitalize the letters after the & sign.
- In Notepad, your header is centered, regardless of the formatting codes you use if they are not the first item in the header text box. For example to align a title to the left of the page, use & lTitle of the text.
Part 2 of 3: Use Notepad
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the Edit tab available in the menu bar
to cancel is the first option you will find in the drop-down list of the Edit tab located in the menu bar. You can also use the Ctrl + Z shortcut on your keyboard to perform this action. Once you tap Undo, you will find Redo as an alternative option.
- The other menu options Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Find, Find Next, Replace, Go To, Select All, and Time / Date are standard in almost all Windows programs that process Word documents.
- The Go To option is only available if Line wrap is turned off and your document contains numbered lines. Notepad crashes when the Auto Wrap option is turned off.
Step 2. Enable the Auto Wrap option
Unless this option is enabled, all texts you enter will be on the same line until you press the key. Wipe off so that the line scrolls indefinitely. In order to adjust this, open the following drop-down list in the menu bar. The first option you will find will be Carriage Return. Just tap it and the change will be applied to your document.
Step 3. Define your policy
Select Police from the Format tab of your menu. You can now choose from a list of predefined fonts. You have the choice between Normal, Semi-condensed Oblique, Semi-condensed Fat and Semi-condensed Fat Oblique. You also have the option of choosing the font size in this same window.
- A change in the font affects the entire document. You cannot use one type of font in one part of the document and another in the other part.
- In the drop-down menu named Script found in the Font window, you will find characters that are not available in standard Western font styles.
Step 4. Use the View tab found in the menu bar
The only option you will find is called Status Bar. This option is also available only when the Auto Wrap option is disabled. When the latter is disabled, a notification will appear in the lower part of your document window showing you the position of your cursor in the document.
Step 5. Start typing
To do this, it is recommended that you enable the option Automatic line feed. Adjust the font as you see fit and remember that it will be consistent with the whole document.
Note that the Tab key will move your cursor ten spaces on your line of text, unlike Microsoft Word which moves it five spaces
Step 6. Save your document
Once you have finished typing, do Save as from the File tab in the menu bar. Notepad uses My Documents as the default folder in Windows 7 and the OneDrive folder in Windows 8.1.
- If you want to save your document in another location, simply browse to your favorite folder from the Save As window and select it. Notepad will take this choice into account for the next documents.
- Remember that all your files will be saved with the.txt extension.
Step 7. Print your final document
Click on the menu File then select the option To print from the drop-down list. This will redirect you to a separate window where you can select the printer and options you would like and then click To print. To change the settings that determine how your document looks when printed, click the menu File then on Layout:
- to change the paper size, tap or click a size from the option drop-down list Cut
- to change the paper source, tap or click a name or feeder in the option list Source
- to print the file vertically, click Portrait and to print it horizontally, click on Countryside
- to change the margins, enter a width in any of the option boxes Margins
Part 3 of 3: use shortcuts
Step 1. Use the Esc key
You can use the Esc key as a quick and easy way to close dialog boxes. This key acts as a Close button. You can also press the Esc key to hide the outputs. The Esc key is usually found at the top left of your keyboard.
Step 2. Navigate to another window
To go to the next window, you can use Ctrl-Tab or Ctrl-F6. Press and hold these keys together to activate the shortcut. Given your options, this will cycle through documents in recent Windows window order or use a Visual-Studio window system.
You can hold down the Shift key with either of these combinations to cycle through windows in the opposite direction
Step 3. Toggle your output window
Press the F8 key at the top of your keyboard and the Shift key at the left to cycle through dockable output windows and individual output windows.
Step 4. Learn more combinations
Using combinations reduces the time you spend on small adjustments when working on a document. Notepad has a large number of combinations that range from simple actions to more complex ones. Here are some of the most used combinations in Notepad:
- F2 Go to next bookmark
- F3 Find next
- F8 Toggle output window
- Ctrl + W Close window
- Alt + F6 Toggle project
- Alt + F7 Toggle Clip Text Window
- Alt + F8 Toggle found results window
- Ctrl + Alt + C Copy as RTF
- Alt + F9 Toggle Ctags window
- Ctrl + Shift + T Copy row
- Alt + F10 Toggle scripts window
- Alt + Enter Show document properties
- Alt + G Jump to (tags)
- Ctrl + F2 Set Bookmark
- Ctrl + F4 Close window
- Ctrl + F6 Go to next window
- Ctrl + Space Autocomplete
- Ctrl + Tab Go to the next window
- Ctrl + Insert Copy
- Shift + F3 Find previous
- Ctrl + / Quick search
- Ctrl + A Select all
- Ctrl + C Copy
- Ctrl + D Double line
- Ctrl + F Find dialog
- Ctrl + N Create a new file
- Ctrl + H Replace dialog
- Ctrl + F6 Go to next window
- Ctrl + L Cut line
- Ctrl + O Open file
- Ctrl + V Paste
- Ctrl + P Print
- Ctrl + R Replace dialog
- Ctrl + S Save
- Ctrl + Y Redo
- Ctrl + Z Undo
- Ctrl + Shift + S Save all