The developers at Latitude are heavy TextPad users. I always thought this was funny because Visual Studio has a very capable text editor with more than enough features for the documents I would ever edit and all developers at Latitude are also Visual Studio users. Admittedly, Visual Studio is pretty heavyweight for simple editing tasks and because of this; I can understand the need for an alternative light-weight text editor.

For whatever reason, TextPad never really did it for me. There are two problems I can see with TextPad. The first is that it is not free and as such, a nag screen is displayed each time you launch it. Of course, I have nothing against nag screens (I have actually written a lot of shareware in my life) but the reality is that I know of no TextPad user who actually owns a registered copy of TextPad. They prefer to dismiss the nag screen each and every time they use it. (If after reading this post, you wish to purchase a registered copy, click here) The second problem I see is that TextPad's default function keys mappings are different than any program I've ever used. Who uses F5 for searching anyways?

While reading about the WIX installer package in the O'Reilly book Windows Developer Power Tools I came across a link to an excellent alternative, free editor with no nag screens called NotePad2. I recall hearing about it a few years ago but did not ever look at it in any detail. I did today and it is excellent. It has block commands, a comprehensive search and replace function with regular expressions support, line numbers, syntax highlighting for just about any language you can imagine and much more. Best of all, F3 is Search as it should be. Check it out. I'm sure you'll be happy you did.

And yes Dale, I think PFE is almost as good as NotePad2.