The Fastest Text Editor I've Ever Seen


Sometimes a full-featured word processor is too much.  You want a simple text editor, for viewing and editing text files such as program source code, HTML, system logs, and so on.  

There are hundreds of text editors available, including the simple "Notepad" utility that has shipped as part of Windows from day 1 and which still exists in Windows 8.  There are also loads more available for download on the internet.

One of the things I personally look for in a text editor is speed.  I don't need loads of whizzy features, because I rarely need to do anything more with a text file than edit and search it.  But I need the program to be fast when loading or searching files, and I need it to be able to handle big files.  Hundreds of megabytes big. And still search them quickly.

A few days ago I came across the best text editor I've ever seen in 30 years of writing about software.  It's blisteringly fast at both loading and searching large files.  Way faster than anything I'd seen before.  It's called EmEditor, from a company called Emurasoft.

If you want to try it, download it from  It's a 9 MB file, and is virus-free according to Web of Trust and VirusTotal.  If you have a 64-bit installation of Windows, be sure to get the 64-bit version of the program, as it's the fastest.

EmEditor is available as a Pro and a Lite version.  The Pro version costs $39.  If you only want the Lite one, which is free, download the main installer and run the editor.  Then, once the editor is running, press Ctrl-Q to bring up the list of commands and search for "downgrade".  This will downgrade your 14-day trial copy of the paid-for version to the free-forever version.  Which is still just as fast, and has pretty much all the features you'll probably ever need.

EmEditor is currently my text editor of choice, both at home and at the office I work in during the week.  It really is a truly excellent product.



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*thumbs up*


Rob and others:
The download works fine. However, this does not Run on a 32 system.
Just a heads up for you.
Looks interesting but doesn't work on this 32 bit xp windows.
Have a good day folks!

Well I tried it out, even though I suspected that the downgrade would make a huge difference, and I think it does. Yes, it is blazingly fast, but the downgrade version is too stripped down to form a true threat to other editors. I applaud your efforts, but that's all. An editor that doesn't save to Rich Text Format (*.rtf)? Not in this shop.

I've been using TextPad for many years, and even though there are more powerful editors, it does well for the type of work I do (reviewing application/server/FIX protocol/etc. logs a LOT). But...with Window 7, it started display the NULL character in a bizarre way, sometimes screwing up the display of characters near it. EmEditor seems like it might work better for me. It has a similar "feel" to TextPad....I'm going to give it a serious try.

sill like GVIM for windows after all these years

I still use metapad. I tried this one and it isn't really for me
But thanks for offering it!

me, too.

Like You Rick, I am still using MetaPad. It serves all my needs. I regestered it with Liquid Nija a Long Time Ago, and still donate to Alexander Davidson every so often. I have it on all my computers.
Thanks for Offering, but Heavy Tasks I still use Notepat++.
Jimmy Alexander

What exactly are you doing that requires you to load a text file that's hundreds of megabytes in size..? It sounds inherently risky.

I need to look through server log files at the place I work, which can run to a few hundred megabytes. Not huge, but large enough to slow down the search feature on most editors I've tried.

Moreover: According to their site ( "Large file support" is not available in the free version.

Thanks for the find. (That's the kind of entries that makes this site worth reading)
However, I'll stay with EditPad Lite which also never let me down so far.

I'm also dealing with log files of _gigabytes_ size on daily basis. And the reason to left this (otherwise great) editor about decade ago was exactly the restricted support for large files.

A reader interested in huge files can easily find my "research" on tools for their handling (not only editors but also readers) on Gizmo's site.

Looks nice but the idea of having to download an installer and then downgrade it after installation just turns me off it sorry.

I've used AkelPad portable for two or three years now, it's crammed with features but manages to stay very quick and light imo.

I'm using EmEditor for about decade. Column mode and TRUE UNICODE support, + tabs and full customization (of almost everything) were the reasons for me to choose this text editor.

Granted this is personal, but I can't use a text editor that doesn't let me customize the editing shortcut keys extensively. So I'm sticking with NotePad++. First thing I do on installing any text-editing or word-processing apps is create WordStar-like editing keys for max word-juggling speed.