Windows TextPad vs Open Source Alternatives

Can you elaborate in what way any other software from your list cannot replace notepad.exe?

Not notepad.exe, I am referring to TexPad.exe from Helios Software in the UK. It’s not free software, but very reasonably priced.

The first reason is that I am using it since 2006 in Windows. The downside of the software is that it is not ported to Linux, and their macros cannot be edited and must be recreated. But the macros are fast and accurate.

My needs are block operations on text. Each of the Linux editors have some of the features, but they are clumsily accessed and implemented. They lack the finesse and speed of a compiled software.

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Looking at a couple of screenshots, it looks like Kate with a couple of plugins enabled. Could you name specific things you try to do in Kate but are way better/easier done in TextPad?

If there is access to Kate bug forums/reports and my conversations, (always as “ineuw”) perhaps it would explain that Kate and other Linux editors are code editors, not real “text” editors. Their comparable features are complex and slow to use.

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Code is a type of text and it’s just natural that the more advanced a text editor becomes, the more it is suited for coding. If you want a faster and faster and faster car, eventually you will end up with a racing car. So you cannot just get a civilian car with top speeds, without it being a racing car.

Could you name a specific example of how TextPad can do something more efficiently or better than Kate?

@ineuw If the solution with wine works for you, that’s great, but out of curiosity, I’d like to know a bit more, if you don’t mind.

When you refer to “macros”, do you mean the addons which you install or the ability to record your own sets of commands?

When you say, “their comparable features are complex and slow to use” or “clumsily accessed and implemented”, I’d really like to know some examples of these features. You might not be the only person affected and whilst this would be a long shot, solutions could possibly be implemented at some point. This is the beauty of free software.

In several threads, I jokingly mentioned gnu/emacs, the Swiss Army Chainsaw of Editors. Despite my jokes, emacs is in fact the most powerful editor in existence. I personally just ceased to use it because I simply only need a relatively small subset of all these features.

It might be a bit much for you, but you can check it out here:

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TextPad has only dictionaries as addons or plug-ins. The keyboard macro recording and playback is integral to the software. Its playback accuracy and speed is very good. The downside is that the macros cannot be edited, so there is no accessible macro language. For such features I use AutoHotkey in Windows, and Autokey (Python) in Linux Mint.

The features I was looking for in Kate, did not exist as plugins. The discussions about which exist somewhere on Kate support pages.

It’s possible that one can find the features I was looking for, but for me time is of essence. Familiarizing on how to get the same things done with a different approach/concept, is not worth to spend the time. I know about GNU Emacs and it’s definitely not the way I want to go.

In general, Linux applications are more programmer oriented whereas Windows programs have a better user/consumer oriented approach. And I am a user/consumer.

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You keep saying the word features, but you fail to name those features other than that those features save time. I get the feeling you don’t like change and your completely comfortable with TextPad so anything else is wrong.


It is really a pity that you keep these features a secret.

Laziness is always a good reason for not changing habits. I can personally very much relate to this. However, I’d be careful to say this isn’t good when I just didn’t spend the time and effort as with my first approach.

Let me give you an example: Several times in this forum, I mentioned that I am very happy with my current Kubuntu Linux distribution. However, I never say that it were better than any other because I lack the same experience of using one over a period of more than ten years. I am very much aware of the fact that I use it because I am an intrinsically lazy person and because it’s sufficiently adequate for my needs.

Let’s put it like this: Do you expect us programmers to take your needs seriously if you don’t even tell us what they are?

Most Windows/MacOS programs are made to make money whilst Linux/BSD programs are usually designed to enable people to do what they need: MS-Word was always (and still is) total crap when it comes to write books or scientific papers, that’s why Donald Knuth created the TeX system which still is the gold standard for these tasks in terms of usability and output quality.

Of course, the first thing a programmer does is to enable oneself to do one’s work in the most efficient way. However, the most efficient ways of automated text manipulation are sed, Perl and regular expressions. Why would we reinvent the wheel, unless someone asks very nicely or pays for it?