I think I've just about come full circle.
For the longest time, I couldn't be bothered looking up log files, text files or the like without using a full-blown office-suite word-processing application. Oh the power and flexibility I thought it gave me.
However, I find myself launching the shortcut for a notepad tool more and more. Now it seems like I was trying to drive a nail with a sledgehammer. Duh! What was I thinking?
I think there are several reasons for my fondness for notepad programs while working with text-files;
- They are small,
- They launch fast,
- Many incorporate additional features that benefit Web-code inspection and writing, and
- All can be kept on a USB drive.
So I offer you my quick-picks for handy notepad editors (and you won't find any by Microsoft here).
NOTEPAD++ - This is my most used notepad application today. Why do I love thee? Let me name some ways...syntax highlighting, tabbed multi-document views (like Firefox!), drag and drop handling of files, bookmarking, brace and indent guide highlighting, macro support, color syntax printing (if you have a color printer), and plugins to enhance functionality. The tabbed browsing and syntax features alone sold me. And you can save your "session" and reopen where you left-off--multiple tabs and more. It makes managing several log files or code snippets at the same time a breeze.
flo's freeware - Notepad2 - This used to be in my #1 spot until Notepad++ came along. I still like it because it is tiny, light and fast. Really fast. If you like Microsoft's notepad program, but need some expanded capabilities, this is the program for you.
WikidPad - just found this interesting notepad. Uses a wiki-like format for managing various notes, thoughts, todo-lists, contacts, etc. Lets you link and organize them together with a tree/outline view. More of a personal information manager in a notepad style editor. It's an interesting combination. Worth a look.
A43 File Management Utility - (freeware) While not a notepad per se, but a windowed file management and browser utility, it does have one handily related "notepad" feature. The quick-view pane at the bottom can be flipped to a text-editor/notepad. Then you can just browse for the text/log files you want to inspect in the top section and drag-n-drop them onto the viewer pane to open them up for inspection. Nice and simple one-two punch in a single application!
Previously posted and (slightly) related: