Things You Never Knew Notepad Could Do


Plain old boring Notepad, the text editor that comes with Windows, is not quite as stodgy as you might think. It has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. Here are three things you might not have known Notepad could do.

Create a log file with an automatic date and time stamp

You can create a file that adds the current date and time each time the Notepad file is opened. For example, this could be used to create a log of any changes you make to your computer.

1. Open Notepad.  
2. Type .LOG on the first line (don't forget the period at the front), and then press ENTER to move to the next line.
3. Save the file in a convenient location with some descriptive name.

When you next open the file, you'll see that the date and time have been added to the end of the log, just before the place where new text can be added. Every time you open the file, a new date and time will be added.

Add date and time to notes with a keyboard shortcut

Instead of an automatic procedure, there is also a way to add the date and time manually with a keyboard shortcut. If you are like me, you may collect snippets of information from Web sites, email newsletters, and other files by copying and pasting into Notepad text files. To help keep track of the information, you can add the date and time when you add an item by placing the cursor where you want the date entered and pressing the function key F5.

Go to a given line

When you have a file open in Notepad, you can send the cursor to a particular line by pressing the keyboard combination Ctrl+g and then entering the line number you want. To use this feature, Word Wrap has to be unchecked in the “Format” menu. Useful for editing scripts and HTML.

Also note the related tip from Rhiannon.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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