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7.2 / 4 November 2014
|License||freeware/commercial depending on version|
NoteTab is a freeware/commercial, multi-file, full-screen text editor for MS Windows. It was developed by Eric Fookes of Fookes Software, Switzerland. The program's name refers to the fact that it was one of the earliest text-editors to use a Tabbed Document Interface. The first version, known as Mini NoteTab, was released in 1995; version 5 was released in 2006, version 5.7 in 2008, version 6 on 4 May 2009, ver 7.0 in March 2012, 7.1 in October 2012. Before version 5, the latest version of NoteTab Light was 4.95.
NoteTab's tabbed interface can simultaneously handle an unlimited number of text files up to 2 Gb in size. It is highly customizable, with more than 90 commands available on a user-configurable toolbar. The search-replace string substitutions are very fast in large files, with display quickened by waiting until after update.
Some of the more unusual features are the "paste board", "outline documents", the "clipbook", "clipbars", counting of words/patterns, and powerful support for search-and-replace of text strings. Text can be searched using regular expressions to match subpatterns and recombine the matched substrings in any order, such as reversing dates "May nn" as ("nn May").
The paste board is one of the most powerful (and unusual) features. The user chooses a document to "use as paste board". Thereafter, any text copied to the Windows clipboard is appended to the pasteboard document. The resulting combined text can then be used as any other text, and searched to reuse clippings from days or weeks ago.
Outline documents provide hyperlinked headings within a text document, which can be accessed directly by clicking in a side pane; the outline documents can be read in any editor.
NoteTab has its own macro language, called "Clip". The clipbook displays a library of clips (clickable macros) in a side pane. These could be anything from pieces of boilerplate text to HTML tags to "mini-applications" complicated scripts written in the scripting language. A selection of clip libraries is included with the software and others can be downloaded from the Web. Some special uses include custom (user-defined) functions and macros suitable for running from the user-defined clipbar (see below).
Variable names used in the "Clip" language allow embedded variables, which in turn allows dynamic naming and renaming on the fly. The only shortcoming in NoteTab's macro programming language are lack of local variables, and the limitation of one command per line, and one line per command (commands may not be broken into several lines). Some people may find the symbolism used to mark variables, functions, and commands within a script irritating. These symbols provide lightning-fast parsing (execution) of the macros.
Clipbars are user-defined buttons that appear on a toolbar, for example to execute custom scripts and wizards.
The search and replace features of NoteTab are much more powerful than most text editors, and include regular expressions and a hierarchical search/replace of text in folders on a disk drive. Since version 5.0, NoteTab uses Perl Compatible regular expressions powered by PCRE.
NoteTab provides built-in functions for accessing external command-line programs and utilities, including the piping of information.
Light, Standard, and Pro
The software exists in three forms:
- NoteTab Light (formerly Super NoteTab) (freeware)
- NoteTab Standard ($20) (as of Version 7.1 this item is no longer available separately)
- NoteTab Pro (€39.95) (as of Ver 7.1 this includes both NoteTab Pro and NoteTab Standard)
There are 30-day trial versions available for Standard and Pro.
NoteTab Light is completely free for all users, with no time-limit, nag screen, appeals for donations, etc. It lacks some of the features of NoteTab Standard. For example, you can read Outline and EBCDIC files but not write them; the disk search facility is present but not disk replace; and the clipbars, customizable menu shortcuts, spell checker and thesaurus are not available. (These "commercial features" can be "turned on" once from within the software, and be used for up to 30 days.)
NoteTab Standard includes, among other features:
- disk search/replace (i.e., change the contents of files without opening them)
- customizable menu shortcuts
- read and write EBCDIC files
- text templates
- text-to-HTML conversion, and tag-stripping
- regular expression handling, including multiline regex
- search/replace tokens, for simple tasks that would otherwise require regex
NoteTab does not currently include support for Unicode documents. NoteTab only has syntax highlighting for HTML documents and NoteTab clip/scripts; and not for other languages. Clip language does allow local variables. All defined variables are global in scope. There is no provision for compiling macros.