NotePad and WordPad on Windows 10 – Difference and When to use?

NotePad and WordPad on Windows 10

NotePad and WordPad are two different applications that can be used to create a text file in your microsoft computer. Although both may seem like similar applications to a layman, there are several differences between the two of them.

You should choose which application you should use for your tasks based on the different functionalities they are designed for. To understand the difference between both the applications, you need to understand these things about both.

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Microsoft Wordpad

The windows 10 version offers both the notepad and microsoft word as in-built tools. Microsoft word is more popular of the two choices given by Microsoft.

Wordpad has been around for many years, however the main difference between the two is that this is a word processing application which is more capable of performing many functions that  a text editor like NotePad cannot perform.

WordPad is a very toned down version of Microsoft Word. When you use this app, you can view and create files using a format called rich text format or rtf. This helps you achieve some rich-text editing tools that are not available in the other application.

There are several font options and paragraph settings that are available on WordPad to make the text appealing and readable. This tool also gives you the ability to insert pictures and objects in your file, making the overall file more presentable and it can be used as a visual as well.

However, there aren’t any features that are more advanced than this.

You miss out on all the features that Word would be able to provide, such as the ability to create table and to perform complex formatting, design and spell check along with many other features you come to expect from Microsoft Word and other applications.

WordPad is a good choice for basic content that only includes paragraphs, listings, and images.

You can create print documents with specific formats with this application, when you don’t have the Microsoft word processor or any other text application installed on your computer. You can also use it to open unformatted text documents or `.rtf’  files.

The advantage of using WordPad is that it does have many features that are far more advanced than the other alternatives that are available when you don’t have the suite of Office applications to open documents.

You can access the web version of Microsoft Word and Google Docs through this application along with  others. The app works well when you need to edit simple text files.

One of the drawbacks that WordPad has as compared to NotePad is that you can save unwanted formats while trying to use this application.

Despite the fact that Wordpad is still available on Windows 10, the app becomes an optional feature from the 2-04 version and you can remove it from your installation using the Settings on your computer.

Microsoft NotePad

Notepad is a great application for text editing that has been available on microsoft computers for 30 years. It is true that you can use the app to write any kind of text, mark separate paragraphs and change the font settings through this application, however, it doesn’t provide any sort of rich-text formatting tools or change visual elements.

This means you won’t be able to find options to customize text, insert pictures, and paragraph settings that you come to expect from word processing applications.

Notepad is a great choice to modify configuration files required for the operation of Windows 10 or applications, as using a word processor can break the content structure and insert unwanted formatting that could potentially render the system or app unusable.

Despite the lack of word processing functionalities, this tool has been so popular for generations since it is still a powerful tool. If you create a plain text file, Notepad will usually save the content using a “.txt” extension.

This container doesn’t include any style, tags, links, or special characters, making it one of the best options to view and write code, such as HTML, batch files, making this an ideal text editor for engineers and coders.

The text-only nature of this application provides great simplicity to the interface and  Notepad is a well-suited application to write scripts. There are certain batch files that you can run in Command Prompt or more complex scripts which you can save using this application.

It is a great tool to view and write programming codes such as create HTML files, edit configuration files, and reviewing log files. This application is made to make programming more straightforward and is meant for people who value simplicity more than visual functions.


This information and comparison will help you decide which application you want to continue using for you or do not want to invest in an entire office suite if your work does not require more than just a text editor.

Both these applications are available for free and can be uninstalled. The one that does not meet all your requirements can simply be removed from your drive hassle-free.