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Home / Technology / After 33 years, Notepad finally shows all text files properly | News and opinion

After 33 years, Notepad finally shows all text files properly | News and opinion



Microsoft has decided to fix one of the longest running problems of Notepad: corrupted text files from other operating systems.


  Windows Notepad 2018

Notepad has been around for as long as Windows, originally shipped with Windows 1.0 in 1985. However, it took Microsoft 33 years to fix one of the most annoying problems of Notepad: Not all text files can be displayed correctly.

That may sound ridiculous, but it was frustrating for anyone trying to open a text file in Notepad created on a Unix, Linux, or macOS system. The text output is garbled, and all because of line endings.

As Microsoft explains on its developer blog, Notepad currently supports text documents containing three types of end-of-line characters. They are Windows End of Line (EOL) characters, carriage return (CR), and linefeed (LF). If the text document uses these, the output in Notepad will be formatted perfectly.

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Text documents created on Unix, Linux or macOS, other formats use end-of-line characters. When you try to open them in Notepad you will see a disfigured mass of text like the one shown above.

The latest version of Windows 10 Insider includes the updated version of Notepad with additional line end support. The text editor can now handle Unix / Linux line endings (LF), Macintosh line endings (CR), and Windows end-of-line (CRLF) threads, so all bases are covered. The status bar even shows you which line ends the file uses.

If, for some reason, more line end support is not desired, you can disable Microsoft in the Windows registry. Simply navigate to [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftNotepad] and set fWindowsOnlyEOL to 1. After that, non-Windows text files will still be displayed in garbled form.


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