Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Notepad

Notepad is a generic text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows that allows you to create, open, and read plaintext files. If the file contains special formatting or is not a plaintext file, it cannot be read in Notepad. The image is a small example of what the Notepad may look like while running.


If you need built-in features, such as a spell checker, grammar checker, font sizes, multimedia (e.g., pictures), etc., use a word processor and not a text editor.

How to open Notepad

Users who are using Microsoft Windows can run Notepad (notepad.exe) by following the steps below.

Windows 10

  1. On the Windows desktop, find the Windows Search Box.
  2. In the search box, type notepad.
  3. Click the Notepad option in the search results.

Windows 8

  1. Go to the Windows Start Screen.
  2. Type notepad.
  3. Click the Notepad option in the search results.

Windows 7 and earlier

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Run box, type notepad and press Enter.


  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Start menu, click Programs or All Programs, then click the Accessories folder.
  3. Click the Notepad icon.

How to create a text file using Notepad

Open Notepad and type the text you want in the file. Once done, save the file by clicking File and selecting Save. When saving the file, make sure the file is saved with a ".txt" extension.


On the Windows desktop or in any folder, right-click an empty spot. In the pop-up menu, select New and then Text Document. After this is done, a file should appear named "New Text Document". Double-click this file to open the text document, or rename the file to the name of your choice, and then open the file.

Can you insert a picture in Notepad?

No. Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support pictures. If you want to insert pictures, consider using WordPad instead of Notepad. Keep in mind that if a WordPad document contains pictures, it must be saved as an .RTF (rich text file), and not a .TXT (plain text file).

How to change the font in Notepad

Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support fonts and therefore the font cannot be changed. Windows users can use WordPad instead to get font support or should consider using a word processor like Microsoft Word.

Can you center text in Notepad?

No. Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support the ability to center text, alignment, or other formatting.

How do you print a Notepad document?

  1. In Notepad, open the document you want to print.
  2. In the file menu, click File, and select Print.

File-Print in Notepad

  1. Select the printer that you want to use to print the document.
  2. Click Print.

Select printer in Notepad

Where is Notepad on my Apple Mac?

Apple macOS does not include Notepad. Use the TextEdit program instead.

Notepad alternatives

Trying to create anything other than a basic plain text file can be difficult in Notepad. If you are looking for a free alternative to Notepad, we highly recommend Notepad++, which is an excellent free and open source alternative. Notepad++ supports syntax highlighting, regular expressions, autocomplete, and much more.

If you're using Microsoft Windows and looking for a rich text editor that offers text formatting, alignment, fonts, and images, consider WordPad. WordPad is also included in all versions of Microsoft Windows.

Editor, Software terms, Word, WordPad