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5 Powerful Text Editors for Windows

5 Powerful Text Editors for Windows

We have always tried to feature great software here at Lifehack.org. You know, the stuff to keep you guys and gals productive. You can say whatever you want to about Windows vs. Mac OS X. Maybe you like OS X for its “simplicity” or prefer Windows because you are a hardcore gamer. Either way, no one can deny that Windows has a huge 3rd party software base that users can tap into.

Even though I am a Mac owner, I work in Windows 7, 8 hours a day at the minimum. I have 3 versions of Windows installed virtually on my Mac and a separate machine for a real installation of Windows 7. Programming on Windows is my thing and is what I do “professionally” so I tamper with text day-in and day-out. It’s important to have an awesome text editor to work with.

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Let’s take a look at 5 powerful text editors for Windows.

 

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The venerable Notepad++

    Notepad++ is an open source text editor that hosts a massive amount of features for everyday users as well as hackers. NP++ is written in C++ and for most text editing tasks it holds its own. There is text folding, excellent search features with regular expressions, support for syntax highlighting in every programming language you can think of, column editing, tabbed interface, conversions, and also a way for contributors to include plugins.If you are looking for a free (as in free beer) way of editing code and text, there may be no better than NP++ for Windows.

    TextPad

      TextPad is a paid application for editing forms of text. It isn’t as robust in the coding realm as NP++, but it is excellent for writing or plain text editing. TextPad supports a tabbed interface, search capabilities, macros for completing common tasks, document selection sidebar interface, spell checking, etc.It’s a simple, small-footprint editor and priced at $27 with a free trial.

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      E Text Editor

        With a tagline like “The Power of Textmate on Windows” it isn’t hard to guess what the E Text Editor is shooting for. Basically, E is a Textmate clone for Windows. Textmate is a super popular text editing and code handling app on Mac OS X that is beloved by many a coder.E supports Textmate snippets, bundles, version control, supports syntax highlighting for a ton of languages, has great search features, and can be used as a Unix scripting environment inside of Windows.There is a free trial while the full version is $46.95. Let’s hope that E doesn’t fall off the earth like its father app has.

        EmEditor

          EmEditor is a powerful unicode text editor that does one thing really well; handles and opens extremely large text files. I’m talking about files that are several gigabytes large. I’m not sure the magic behind this editor but it can open huge files and allow users to search them as they are still being opened.If you don’t have a need to open and look at large files, EmEditor is sort of ho-hum as it doesn’t give the user anything extra than Notepad++ does. But, if you need your text editor to stop crashing when you are opening 100MB+ text files, then EmEditor is what you are looking for.There is a free trial and the full license costs $39.99.

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          UltraEdit

            In my experience, UltraEdit is one of the most, if not the most, powerful text editing programs on Windows or Mac. It was introduced to my while working my current gig and I have to say it’s pretty insane what the thing can do.It has a multi-row tabbed interface, script browser, macros, XML manager (to help you navigate XML files), give you a function list when working with source code, code syntax highlighting and more. The one thing that may get to you is that the UI is rather cluttered; but that can be remedied.It’s hard to believe the UltraEdit only costs $59.95 for either Windows or Mac because of all the features that it offers its users.

            So, if you want to get some real work done on a Windows machine, these are the tools that you need to do it. If you want to get a lot of editing done for no price at all, I can’t suggest NotePad++ enough. But, in my experience, if you want a “professional grade” app for editing, UltraEdit may be the way to go. Either way, you are going to be using one of the best text editing apps that Windows has to offer.

             

            More by this author

            CM Smith

            A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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