Updated: 10/11/2021 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Notepad

Notepad is a generic text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows that lets you create, open, and read plaintext files with a .txt file extension. If the file contains special formatting or is not a plaintext file, it cannot be read in Notepad. The image shown here 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 and 11

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type notepad in the search field.
  3. Click the Notepad program 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 help you identify it, and then open the file.

Can you insert a picture in Notepad?

No. Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support pictures. 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

When first released, Notepad had no font options. However, with the new releases of Microsoft Windows, there are now font options that allow you to change the view of how text appears in Notepad.


Notepad is a plaintext editor, and plaintext files don't support fonts. When you change the font in Notepad, it changes how the font appears to you in Notepad. If the file were opened in another text editor or computer, it would use the font settings of that editor or computer. To change the font of the text in the file you need a rich text editor like WordPad or Microsoft Word.

To change the view of a font (style and size) in Notepad, follow the steps below.


You cannot change the font color in Notepad. Only black is available for text.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of the Notepad window, select Format, then select Font.
  2. In the Font window, select the desired font in the Font list.
  3. Additionally, you may select a style, like bold or italic, from the Font style list. You can also choose a different size for the text you type in the Size list.
  4. When you've finished your selections, click OK to save the changes.

Font settings in Notepad

Can you center text in Notepad?

No. Notepad is a plaintext editor and does not support the ability to center text, align text, or apply any 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++, an excellent free and open-source alternative. Notepad++ supports syntax highlighting, regular expressions, autocomplete, and 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, Note, Software terms, Word, WordPad