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Difference Between Notepad and Wordpad

notepad_iconNotepad vs Wordpad

There are a few other options when it comes to word-processing aside from Word which is the most feature packed application, The two other options are Wordpad and Notepad each with their own pros and cons. Wordpad is a lightweight version of Word that allows a reduced amount of formatting. It is best for handling files of the RTF (Rich Text Format) extension and text files. Notepad, on the other hand, is simply a text editor and is the most lightweight of all. It is only capable of the most minimal formatting like fonts and sizes. You do not have options for the paragraph like alignment or even add bulleted lists. As such, Notepad is used with text files only.

RTF is the preferred format for Wordpad since it uses keywords that can be embedded into the document itself in order to create a little bit of formatting. All these characters are saved in plain text in the RTF format. When Wordpad opens an RTF file it recognizes all these keywords and takes them out of the final output. Since Notepad expects that the file it opens is only in plain text, all the characters that RTF files use to format documents would also come out creating a jumbled output.

Notepad has a little feature that stems from its simplicity. When you copy a portion of text from another formatted document like a web page and paste it into Notepad, it immediately strips all the formatting and only the unformatted text appears. Wordpad does not do this since it strives to retain as much formatting as possible.

In general, Wordpad is used to create formatted documents that can be opened by any word processing program since documents created in Word are often incompatible with other programs. Notepad is used with files where formatting isn’t really necessary and is generally counterproductive to the nature of the file. An example of this type of files is a configuration file like those used by PHP or Apache to store their settings. Text files are the simplest files and can therefore be opened by all word processors and even in the command line.

Summary:
1. Wordpad has more features than Notepad
2. You cannot open RTF files in Notepad but you can with Wordpad
3. Wordpad tries to retain as much formatting as possible when pasting portions of text from other windows while Notepad just strips all the formatting
4. Both programs create files that are compatible with almost all word processing programs


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