Windows Notepad gets spellcheck and autocorrect, after 41 years

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After more than four decades, Windows Notepad is getting a significant update.

First released in 1983 in MS-DOS, the simple text editor predates Windows itself and has been available in every version of the operating system since 1985. The program has remained largely unchanged over the years, but now it’s finally getting spell check and autocorrect features.

Microsoft announced the features back in April, initially rolling them out to Windows Insiders. According to Tom’s Hardware, the new Notepad is now available for all Windows 11 users.

Also: The best note-taking tablets you can buy: Expert tested

The features work just like in other word processors or text editing apps. Notepad underlines misspelled words in squiggly red, and you can right-click them if you want to see suggestions for the correct spelling. There’s also an autocorrect option that fixes mistakes as you’re typing, you can ignore a flagged misspelling for a whole document, and you can add custom words to the built-in dictionary.

For many people, the value of Notepad is that it’s a stripped-down text editor. It opens instantly, works quickly, and is perfect for jotting down notes. Windows 11 has brought several changes to Notepad, including a dark theme, autosave, AI with Copilot, and tabs, but it’s still very basic compared to other options.

Going forward, Notepad will have autocorrect and spell check enabled by default. If you’d rather keep Notepad in its most minimal form, you can toggle off these features in the settings menu or disable them for certain file types. In fact, spellcheck should be automatically turned off for certain file types associated with coding.

About a year ago, Microsoft announced that it was retiring Notepad’s word processing counterpart, WordPad. Like Notepad, this program has been present on Windows computers for at least 30 years. Microsoft’s injection of these latest features means that, unlike WordPad, Notepad is here to stay.

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