Poet is a promising Notepad replacement for Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2013

poet text editor windows

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.

align text files

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.

What else?

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.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


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