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Say, for example, that there's one process that's writing to a file. While the process is running, I opened the file in notepad. The process keeps writing to the file.

Other than closing and reopening the file, is there any way for me to "refresh" the data that notepad is showing?

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migrated from Jan 15 '11 at 1:17

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Use Notepad2 (F5 refreshes) – Jesse Jan 13 '11 at 17:12
Use a Windows port of the Unix tail command – Tim Robinson Jan 13 '11 at 17:14
Get Notepad++!!! – Mateen Ulhaq Jan 15 '11 at 1:31
up vote 15 down vote accepted

While it isn't possible with notepad, there are many notepad replacements. They usually have this feature. Notepad++ is my personal favorite, and the one I'd recommend.

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Notepad2, like stated in the comment of the question, is much more like regular notepad, but with all the advantages of Notepad++. – Chuck Jan 18 '11 at 22:24
And I still have to google for it. – Rob Mar 20 '12 at 14:21


Here are some more words to make the answer long enough to go beyond the 30-character minimum.

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+1 for the second paragraph :) – Michael Lowman Jan 13 '11 at 17:11
Humorous, yes, but not as helpful as your comment. – JYelton Jan 13 '11 at 18:11

No, however if you use other Notepad alternatives like, Notepad++ it will notify you if the file has been altered since opened.

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You can even set it to auto-update, if you wish. It's all in the Tools->Settings->Misc section. – Mateen Ulhaq Jan 15 '11 at 1:32

Other than closing and reopening the file...

You don't have to close the file. Use file>Open or Crtl+O to reopen the file. That way you don't have to open a new instance of notepad.

Other than that, I agree with everyone else. Use a different editor.

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If you want to watch a file as it is actively being written to, then you want a program capable of following it such as baretail.

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Baretail is a great program, but better is the free PSPad, which I use for all kinds of text file editing, including programming and it has syntax highlighting for a couple dozen different kinds of programming languages/file types, which is really nice. It also has an autorefresh, and the refresh rate is settable in the settings (I like 3 seconds).

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