Notepad, the default plain text editor that ships with every installation of Windows has a lot of limitations. From a low maximum text file size limit to barely any configuration options or advanced features such as syntax highlighting or proof reading.
What speaks for it is that it is really fast if you load text files into it that it can open. Most Windows users I know switch to Notepad++ or another Notepad replacement that does away with the program's limitations without sacrificing speed or convenience in the process.
Poet is another of those programs. It may not appeal to all Windows users as it depends on the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0. As long as the Framework is installed on the PC, it will work fine and does not require installation.
When you start Poet for the first time you will notice that it uses a slightly different layout than many other Notepad alternatives. The core difference is the sidebar on the right of the program's main text area that displays direct access to search, font and color settings.
Both Font and Palette define how text is displayed in the program. You can select any font type, weight, size, and also text and background colors among other things for the editing interface.
One tiny but helpful option is the ability to accentuate the current line, so that it is displayed in a color that is different from the regular background color: helpful if you need to find it fast.
As you can see from the screenshot above, it is using a tabbed interface similar to the one used by Notepad++. If you open multiple text files in the program, you will notice that their color palette and font can be configured individually.
There is more to the tabbed interface than meets the eye. You can drag tabs around, and also display multiple text files next to each other in the same program window. Options are available to either display them vertically or horizontally aligned, which can be great for comparing documents or using one as a source document.
You are not limited to two documents either. It is possible to drag and drop more than two text files next to each other so that you gain access to three or more at the same time in the interface.
The search feature falls right in line with that. If multiple documents are displayed in the editor, a search will highlight hits in all of them. Here you find the replace feature as well that you can use to replace select text in one or multiple documents.
The author has implemented a save all button for that purpose, so that you can save all documents at once that you have edited in a session.
The editor supports regular text files, but also many source code files. If you load a supported source code, its syntax will be highlighted automatically in the editor. Supported are, among others, PHP, C++, XML, HTML, CSS or Java.
The text editor for Windows offers a diverse feature set. From support for regular expressions over web spell checking to automatic encoding detection or plugin support.
The developer website offers a large list of features currently supported. While some features are still lacking in comparison to Notepad++, others excel the popular text editor already.
Poet offers a couple of interesting features that some users may find very attractive. Others may dislike the reliance on the Net Framework or the editor's memory hunger.
All in all, it is a program that may not be ready yet for prime time for many users, but one that you should have on the radar if you are not totally opposed to its Net dependency.