Windows 11 could liven up Notepad by adding tabs into the mix, at least if a leaked test build of the app is anything to go by – although not everyone is happy with that idea (we we will come back to this).
Windows Central (opens in a new tab) spotted a tweet from a Microsoft staff member that mentioned the arrival of tabs in Notepad and posted a screenshot of the preview version of the app showing the tabs in action.
This screenshot came with a clear warning not to discuss new features or take screenshots. So, as you can imagine, when Twitter discovered the leak, the tweet was quickly deleted.
It’s no big surprise to see the presence of tabs expanded even further in Windows 11, given that they recently arrived in File Explorer. For those who could use a quick refresher on tabs and how they work, tabs in File Explorer, or even Notepad, are the same as your web browser.
They allow you to open multiple web pages in the same browser window, and similarly in File Explorer, allow many folders to open in the same window. With Notepad, you will be able to open multiple documents in a single instance of the application.
Analysis: Fear of the Bloating Monster
While we’ve observed above that it’s not really surprising to see tabs coming to a different place in Windows 11, given Microsoft’s clear ambition to use them more outside of the browser, it’s admittedly somewhat surprising that they ended up in Notepad. It’s not exactly the most powerful app, after all, and in fact its core philosophy is to keep things very simple when it comes to noting and editing text.
However, Notepad has received a lot of attention in Windows 11, as users of the app will no doubt appreciate it. This includes a more modern look (rounded corners), font changes, and a dark mode, so in that regard, more redesign isn’t such a shock.
As to whether Notepad really Needs tabs, it depends on who you’re talking to. Some users are happy to see the feature coming – it’s in other similar text editors, they claim, and should have been in Notepad already – while others, well, they’re not. so enthusiastic. This latter camp is afraid that Microsoft will bloat the app with this change – and possibly more in the pipeline, given the way things have gone? What these folks fear is that Notepad will no longer just be a quick app to launch, taking longer to load for example.
However, we must remember that this change is still in the testing phase. Cynic types might even argue that this leak was leaked to gauge the reaction to the change, but regardless, just because a feature is undergoing internal testing doesn’t mean it will see the light of day in the final version of the application. However, it’s apparently a possibility for the future, that’s for sure.