Wrap that Notepad (and change your font too)

Sometimes when you’re looking for something the old saying applies, “If it was a snake it’d bite ya!”

Well, I had one of those moments with Notepad today. I often use Notepad to remove formatting when I’m copying and pasting, or to make little notes, or for HTML coding but always found it annoying that each paragraph became one long line. Who wants to scroll and scroll and scroll to read something? Who wants to edit code if you must go on endlessly to read it?

Then I decided to look at the menu bar for Notepad. There it was, “Word Wrap”. Could it be? I checked it off and sure enough, the paragraph changed from one outrageously long sentence to a nice paragraph wrapped to fit my notepad window.

In Windows XP this is found under “Format”…


…while in Win 98/ME you can find it under “Edit”.


I’m scratching my head wondering why it isn’t the default setting? Only the geeks in Redmond know.

While we’re in the Format menu (in XP) or the Edit menu (in 98/ME), you probably noticed “Font” or “Set Font”. Yes, that’s right, you can change your Notepad default font too. No more looking at 10 point Times or “Fixedsys”. You can make it 16 point Arial for readablility if you want. Simply scroll down and click the font desired, then the size. A sample will show in the “Sample” window. When ready, click OK


One thing to keep in mind though: if you email the file to someone else, or try to open it on another computer, it will use the default settings of the other computer. No formatting is saved in a .txt file so it will again be one long sentence in 10 point FixedSys font or whatever setting is native to that Notepad (unless you pass this tip along to your friends 🙂

~ David

David Samuel Thomas

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