Less is more, except when your boyfriend says it.
October 4, 2011 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I love notepad. But I need more. But only a very, very little more.

When I'm writing, I just want to get everything I'm trying to say out on paper and arrange it only in a limited way within itself, if at all. I don't want formatting options, or spell check or anything until much later, it distracts me. That's why I like notepad. It is small in every way, can be resized to fit anywhere, any shape so I can have a movie and reference material on screen and write at the same time, it wraps so I can see everything all the time, and it never distracts me with red squigglies, or animated paperclips, or even the option of making it look presentable. The only thing it lacks is autosave. And that's bitten me in the ass for the last time (I hope).

Is there anything out there, just as bare bones, but with this single extra feature? Thank you.

P.S. I know I how to turn off Clippy and AutoCorrect. Resizing, minimalist, autosave are key requirements.
posted by Garm to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I believe Notepad++ has an autosave plugin.
posted by jeather at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2011

Best answer: It's not exactly as minimalist as you describe, but when I'm on the PC side, I use and love Notepad++. It's aimed at programmers and the like, so it does have a lot of features, but I believe you can turn off most of its menus and toolbars and make it look just like a window with a tab and a cursor.

It has autosave and session restore support (you can have more than one document open at a time, in tabs, and they will all restore when you reopen).
posted by aaronbeekay at 10:15 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

You might like EditPlus (http://editplus.com/). It CAN do many things, but at its core it's basically just a slightly better Notepad. You can set the autosave timer in the general options.
posted by jess at 10:16 AM on October 4, 2011

Best answer: NoteTab Pro has the following in its help file:

Make Backups: Makes a backup copy before updating a file on disk. The backup format is based on the setting chosen for the Backup Type option.

Save Files on Close: Automatically saves modified files before closing them. Note, however, that the File Save As dialog box is displayed if the document does not exist on disk or if the disk file has the Read-Only attribute set.

Automatic Save every: Set this option to save modified documents at regular time intervals. This option is useful if you work for long periods of time without regularly saving your changes.

I <3 NoteTab the most! I paid for the Pro option so that's the help file I have, but there's a NoteTab Lite option as well, which is free. The things I love the most: can leave tabs open so when you relaunch they open right where you left them. Can sync where you save files to Dropbox, so you never lose a thing. There's even an outline mode in the pro version, so you can have multiple sections of a document accessible from a sidebar.
posted by clone boulevard at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Another vote for notepad++. I use it for programming but also for exactly the purpose you describe. The ability to run a number of tabs helps when moving from one draft of some text to another one - I can keep earlier copies. If I need to present the text I have written then I like the ability to zoom the text size to something bigger using CRTL + mousewheel.
posted by rongorongo at 10:26 AM on October 4, 2011

There are some options for you here:

Battle of the Minimalist Text Editors

jDarkRoom and q10 sound like contenders...
posted by SNACKeR at 11:20 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Third vote for Notepad++, the session save is fantastic. You can have a bunch of different text files open and it will save them all, automatically. Absolutely invaluable.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:25 AM on October 4, 2011

Best answer: Hey, I was considering asking this question last week!

I surveyed the various Notepad replacement options and decided on TED Notepad. It's working well so far - loads just as fast a regular old Notepad, autosaves a recovery file every 5 minutes.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:40 AM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've am currently using Notepad++, but I also used and paid for Textpad without regrets. Textpad is probably more for Coding/scripting-- it has a lot of contextual coloring features-- not to say you must be a programmer to use it, but that it has features made for programmers.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:55 AM on October 4, 2011

I tried Notepad++ a few times but became annoyed that it seemed to want to update every time I wanted to just open it and start typing. I imagine that you can disable that, but it made me wonder what kind of notepad app has to push out updates so aggressively. I don't need autosave so I just went back to using Metapad. Sometimes I like software that doesn't need an update for 5 years at a time.
posted by Edogy at 12:46 PM on October 4, 2011


Is the bizness
posted by rudhraigh at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2011

Have you looked into Dark Room? It has auto save (though I think you have to enable it) and is otherwise a basic and distraction free text editor. I swear by it for when I need to sit down and knock out a report or something without any distractions of any sort.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 2:00 PM on October 4, 2011

Mac or PC? I love Bean. Basic. Straightforward. Easy, peasy, mac-and-cheesy.
posted by LittleMy at 5:22 PM on October 4, 2011

If you don't mind saving your notes online (which was actually a feature I was looking for, as well as syncing to an app on my phone), try Simplenote. It seems to autosave, although I haven't polled how quickly it does so.
posted by ccalgreen at 9:20 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

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