From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
TextPad logo
Developer(s) Helios Software Solutions
Stable release 7.6.0
8.0.0 / December 1, 2015 (2015-12-01)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Text editor
License Proprietary
Website textpad.com

TextPad is a text editor for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems.

First released in 1992, this software is currently in its eighth major version. It is produced by Helios Software Solutions.[1]


Key features include:[2]

  • The ability to maintain block indents
  • Automatic code indentation (see indent style)
  • Regular expression based search and replace, including multiline regex
  • Macro recording feature to facilitate complex text transformations and data processing.[3]
    • Macro feature supports multiple regex searches (and replacements) within a macro
  • Syntax highlighting (extendable to many different languages)[4]
  • Ability to call external programs (such as compilers)
    • Regex matching can be used to jump to a line number in a file given in the output from external programs (e.g. to locate the cause of a compiler error)
    • Automatic integration with Java JDK, if JDK is already on the machine
  • Large file support[3]
  • Support for editing multiple files, with tabbed document selection[3]
  • Block select mode
  • Synchronized scrolling of multiple files
  • Clip libraries – snippet management for reusable portions of text to insert into documents
  • Clipboard history – Allowing TextPad to function as a multiple clipboard tool
  • Bookmarking of lines, therefore allowing users to copy specific lines (e.g. log file error messages), and then paste them to another document.
  • Multi-lingual support: User interface is available in seven languages with spelling dictionaries available in ten languages.

Clip Library[edit]

The Clip Library is a TextPad sidebar that allows users to store small items persistently, and then use them easily. This is done by double clicking clip names in the Clip Library sidebar. In other editors such as Komodo, a clip library is known as "snippets".

TextPad comes with a number of pre-defined clip libraries, including ANSI characters, HTML characters and HTML tags. A very useful clip library is the Clipboard History. This is a list of previous Clipboard contents. So even though the standard Windows Clipboard can only hold one piece of information, the TextPad Clipboard History Clip Library can access a whole history of entries. See also clipboard managers.

You can create your own new clip libraries, and there are many clip libraries available.[5]


Helios Software Solutions offers support with TextPad, although it is requested that you "exhaust every other option" first.[6] There are also FAQ and Tips sections on their website which will solve most users questions. It is suggested that the best way to receive support is to post on the TextPad Forums, where most of the support is from the user community.[6]


A lot of the criticism about TextPad is related to the practices of Helios Software Solutions. After the release of TextPad 4.7.3 on June 4, 2004 the only statement that was released from Helios Software Solutions was that "TextPad is still in development". Almost 3 years after the release of TextPad 4.7.3, TextPad 5.0 was released on March 3, 2007. In the release announcement it was stated that TextPad 5.0 is the "first of a planned series of upgrades to TextPad this year." There have been regular updates since then.[7]

The release of TextPad 5.0, although a welcomed upgrade by many, received criticism. TextPad 5.0 was seen as "beta quality",[8] needing further development before release. Only a month after the release of TextPad 5.0, Helios Software Solutions released version 5.0.2 which either fixed issues introduced in TextPad 5.0 or reintroduced features from version 4.7.3.[9][10] The release of version 5.1.0 reintroduced other features from version 4.7.3 together with a German user interface.[11]

Another criticism is that, versions prior to 8.0, weren't Unicode-compatible, even though it offers UTF-8 and UTF-16 as encodings in which files can be loaded and saved.[12] Version 8.0 supports Unicode.[13]

TextPad lacks a real-time spell checker option for those using the product for editorial purposes.[citation needed]


Helios's program WildEdit is an interactive tool for power users to make the same changes to a set of text files in a folder hierarchy.[14]

Full-featured trial versions of TextPad and WildEdit are available for evaluation, but neither program is advertised as shareware.[15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]