Saturday, September 08, 2012

MetroTextual - Spirit of the notepad known as Bend

Granted, it has been almost two years past, but in August of 2010, a refreshing -- nay, sexy! -- Windows notepad appeared on the scene. The name was “Bend”.

Bending “Bend” and Related Miscellanea - Grand Stream Dreams blog

We all wanted to date her. It was seriously hot…though in hindsight the interface now seems very Windows 8’ish.

In that post, I happened to describe how I worked out how to snag the binary set once it was installed and have tucked it away. I still use Bend from time to time, despite the fact the project was quickly removed from CodePlex by the author after it had made a big splash.


My love for this application never has waned. Even after two years I still have fond memories of our time riding bikes and picnicking together in Central Park during the zombie outbreak of 2010. Then it disappeared and I have been running wistful Google searches every so often hoping I would find you again.

Alas, it is not to be.

But I was surprised to find a new park-time favorite that reminds me of the way Bend’s hair would blow in the breeze.

MetroTextual - Metro UI Text Editor - SingularLabs

Seriously, you guys (& gals?) at SingularLabs are rock stars!


MetroTextual has the same slick style of Bend and does come with some neat features.

  1. several supported syntax highlighting styles,; C#, XML, HTML, JavaScript, VBScript, CSS, Python, SQL and Assembly language.  Based on Scintilla, it will auto-select based on extension of file being edited.
  2. change the application style color/borders to some common Windows 8 theme colors
  3. multi-thread and Unicode support.
  4. application window always on top of desktop option.


Sadly missing on our first date:

  1. More controlled line numbering like Bend (and many other notepad editors). Line numbering is present on the left border, but you need to drop the text formatting into another syntax mode to get it. On regular “default” formatting mode, there are no line numbers.
  2. font changing (to select something like Consolas perhaps)
  3. Tabbed file support. Unlike Bend and other notepad editors, MetroTextual seems to open each new file in a new windows session and not a tab. For those of us with limited screen display real-estate, having an “open in a new tab” option for the same application window is valuable.
  4. No internal “version/about” or “check for updates” options to confirm what version you are running. Version I am using above is 1.0.1 released 07/23/2012 according to the download page.

And yes, be aware, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (or newer) must be installed for MetroTextual to run on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 system.

So, go download MetroTextual over at SingularLabs right now.

Now…to be clear…I will be using this for quick text saving/editing.

My notepad workhorse still remains Notepad++ and the feature set it brings for extended text editing and manipulation remains unchallenged. No comparison.  If they were motorbikes, MetroTextual would be more of a Vespa to Notepad++’s cafĂ©-runner looks and functionality.

Additional heavier-duty notepad alternatives I recommend are:


Claus V.


Shane Gowland said...


I'm the lead developer of MetroTextual.I just wanted to stop by and thank you for discussing our little app and (most importantly) for raising its shortcomings.

As I'm sure you noticed; version 1.0 is very bare-bones (as 1.0's usually are)

Version 1.1 will include font changing, version checking and huge amounts of other fun stuff. Tabbed viewing is another thing that we plan on introducing at a later date.

Claus said...

@ Shane - You are certainly welcome! I was very excited when I stumbled upon it while checking out update availability for JavaRa and CCEnhancer.

Please take any comments and feedback posted as constructive criticisms! I cannot imagine the challenges of program development as I am not a programmer.

I will forward with interest to version 1.1. I think you captured the essence of the appeal to this particular notepad vision "...huge amounts of other fun stuff."

As I mentioned, there are already lots of "power" notepad replacements. Having a sharp, clear, and modern version that is fun and enjoyable to use when the OEM Notepad app gets boring would be great. That it can do additional stuff is helpful, but I love the slim and clean design-work. I think that's what Bend's appeal to me was. It was just so crisp and clean and fun to use.

I look forward to seeing the next version.

Best wishes and I'm confident this won't be the last GSD post on this super-cool app!

Well done!

--Claus V.

Anonymous said...

Hello Claus,

I am the developer behind Bend. I have been incubating the project the last couple of years and finally moved from codeplex and put it up here

let me know what you think.