57

What is the closest thing to Windows notepad on the Mac?

I'm using Leopard.

2
  • 1
    I've been looking for this exact same thing for a long time, but no one seems to know any tool like this. I don't need multi-file editing, rich text, HTML or code editing, colors or anything at all. I just want a plain Notepad-like app that will open any file without fuss and show it in any font I choose. There seems to be no such thing. – aalaap Aug 28 '11 at 7:27
  • There's always vi – Brian R. Bondy Aug 28 '11 at 16:54
71

TextEdit is included with OS X.

You can change it to Plain Text (Format > Make Plain Text) for non-RTF text editing, or make Plain Text the default (Preferences > Format).

12
  • TextEdit is even better—it's like Notepad and WordPad combined into one program. – hbw Jul 25 '09 at 0:21
  • 13
    Being better than Notepad is a pretty low bar. ;-P – deceze Jul 25 '09 at 0:24
  • 4
    One thing I miss is being able to open ANY file inside windows notepad. Like I could take a .gif file if I wanted and see the first 2 chars of that GIF file if I opened it in notepad. In TextEdit it tells me that the file is not a supported type. – Brian R. Bondy Jul 25 '09 at 1:10
  • 1
    I guess I can use commands like more or less to see this but being able to edit it with a GUI is desirable for me for some reason. – Brian R. Bondy Jul 25 '09 at 1:13
  • 4
    To open most files, just add the extension .txt to them. Also, if you need to work closer to the nuts and bolts, you'll want to: 1) Set "TextEdit > Preferences > New Document > Format" to "Plain text" and 2) Set "TextEdit > Preferences > Open and Save > When Opening a File:" to "Ignore rich text commands in HTML files" – username Jul 25 '09 at 1:42
5

If you want simple text editing, use TextEdit.

For code editing, one of the best choices is TextMate.

2
  • jEdit. Supports Elastic Tabstops, which you all must adopt. – Engineer Nov 17 '15 at 20:30
  • For code editing, the best light-weight text editor comes today is Sublime Text. – Himanshu Aggarwal Nov 24 '17 at 5:44
4

As already stated, TextEdit is the notepad of OS X (although a more powerful notepad that is). For more advanced stuff, TextMate (already recommended) is very nice. A nice free and famous alternative is Bare Bones's TextWrangler.

You can do pretty much with either.

1
  • Unfortunately they have discontinued TextWrangler. BBEdit includes the same features in a free mode. – O'Rooney Jul 4 '19 at 22:06
2

FYI - you can default TextEdit to plain text when it opens:

  • Goto preferences
  • Under Format, click on "Plain Text"

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA20406

Can't believe it took me this long to figure that out

0

Editra for Mac is simple, free, open-source, highly configurable. All in all, it's my favorite Windows Notepad replacement for the Mac.

0

I recommend Textmate, that works out-of-the-box just like notepad, plus you can activate (if you wish) more and more functions.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.