Microsoft Quietly Adds Spellchecking and Autocorrect to Windows Notepad After 41 Years

Microsoft Quietly Adds Spellchecking and Autocorrect to Windows Notepad After 41 Years

Microsoft tested an updated Notepad app with integrated spellchecking back in March. Now, this enhanced version of its Notepad plain text editor has quietly rolled out to mainstream Windows 11 users.

Windows Notepad first appeared in 1983 and seemed like an app frozen in time for many years, with barely any discernible differences across generations of the OS. However, recent times have seen some significant advances.

Some of the biggest changes to Notepad in years were delivered under the auspices of Windows 10 and 11. Windows 10 delivered a handful of long-needed updates to the humble Notepad plain text editor app in July 2018. After several years of neglect, Notepad received wrap-around find/replace, text zooming, and line numbers with word-wrap enabled, plus some performance boosts with large files.

Windows 11, launched in late 2021, brought further enhancements. Among the best new features were dark mode compliance, auto-save/session restore, and a useful new tabbed interface for handling multiple files. Now, with an integrated spellchecker, users feel the app has seen substantial improvement.

The new spellchecking feature arrived without fanfare, but users of the latest Notepad on Windows 11 will instantly notice characteristic red wiggly lines under misspelled words. Spellchecking is enabled by default, and users can see misspelled words underlined, access the spelling correction menu, and adjust both spell check and autocorrect features. There is also a granular toggle function to turn off spellchecking for files using common resource file extensions.

While enhancements to essential Windows apps like Notepad are welcome, experienced Windows users hope to limit feature creep. This phenomenon is more likely now, as WordPad has been removed in fresh Windows 11 from Build 26020 Insider Preview’s Canary Channel onwards. WordPad, a ‘lite’ word processor, was cut after 28 years of service, with Microsoft suggesting users switch to Notepad or Word. Interestingly, spellchecking, once considered a premium feature, is now available in Notepad, which could be seen as a welcome surprise.

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