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. Kay said on December 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I’m going to give this a try just because the comments were so entertaining. And because Vladimir is a real person.

    1. Vladimir said on January 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      What impressions do you have about the program? :)

  2. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the review!

  3. Elben said on December 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I love it. Thanks for the review.

  4. chesscanoe said on December 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Notepad++ 6.5.2 http://notepad-plus-plus.org/ meets all my current requirements, but it’s good to see fresh ideas that may be useful for some users.

  5. rock said on December 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I love Notepad2-mod as Notepad replacement :)

  6. Yootub3r said on December 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I prefer Notepad++ for this. It is nice to see other alternatives though, but I always use Notepad++. It is as robust as any notepad editor replacement. A shame that Microsoft still has not updated Notepad, the way Wordpad and Paint has been updated.

  7. appvsgame said on December 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Wow! impressed with the screenshot. Hope this help us for simple html editing too

  8. anon said on December 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Net FW 4.0 for a notepad replacement, really?

    Yeah, I’d rather Notepad2-mod.

    1. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Poet is based on WPF technology, which uses DirectX rendering on a graphical adapter. This gives the opportunity to create a beautiful and smart interface with maintain of high performance. Just try it…

      I don’t believe, that your computer so slowly for .NET Framework support :)

  9. boomie said on December 17, 2013 at 9:24 am

    It’s not a “replacement” for a notepad.
    Notepad is a bare textbox on a form and its purpose is to display text which it does much better than any 3rd party “replacement”
    I’m willing to bet that this Poet thing, just like notepad++, are an absolute ass to work with log files on remote high latency shares, where notepad works wonderfully.

    1. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Try to use Poet for browsing of log files… and find any text.
      You will love it for powerful search functions :)

  10. Ken Saunders said on December 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I saw on his VK profile that Vladimir Makarevich is an A.I. entity and does not claim to be a carbon based being.

    1. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      So, I am astral AI entity and you can write to me on my vk profile. I will answer to you from another measurements :)

      1. Ken Saunders said on December 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        See, we can all relax now since Google hasn’t finished creating Skynet just yet and Vladimir does indeed exist.

        I didn’t doubt it for a sec.:)

  11. smaragdus said on December 17, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I totally agree. Of course Vladimir Makarevich is a fictitious demiurge, an imaginary poet of code, an illusion that exists only in my imagination since I need a way to visualize the spontaneous generation of code. However I would like it better if this spontaneous code nascency has never utilized the celestial powers of .NET.

  12. Ken Saunders said on December 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

    While Notepad++ has a compare plugin, the multiple views features is intriguing enough to check it out. At least for occasional use.


    1. Brandon said on December 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      you can have multiple views on notepad++ too, right click on a tab and select clone/move to another view, then you can right click on the separator and rotate it as well

      1. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        Yes, it is true :)
        But Poet has more powerful split view and docking features. Just try it…

      2. Ken Saunders said on December 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        Sweet tip. Thanks!

  13. beemeup2 said on December 17, 2013 at 5:32 am

    There are Notepad replacements for coders, and then there are Notepad replacements for actual note-taking and archiving. For the former, I prefer Sublime Text, but for the latter, I can find no better program than MemPad:

    Tiny, portable, and fully unicode. Features a searchable index tree which I like better than tabs, and an autosave function, which I consider mandatory in any note program. Keyboard shortcuts galore and everything can be saved in one file, making it easy to backup, transfer, sync, etc. It’s the perfect note-taking program.

  14. Helen said on December 17, 2013 at 12:56 am

    I don’t know. The domain is obscure and the program has no author.

    1. Vladimir said on December 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      You can use site-mirror http://poet.16mb.com/ ;)

    2. smaragdus said on December 17, 2013 at 2:08 am

      “The domain is obscure and the program has no author.”
      What do you mean?
      .by domain stands for Belarus.
      The author of this program is Vladimir Makarevich.
      If you have bothered to check ‘Contacts’ on Poet web-site you would have seen that the author of Poet has provided E-mail, Skype and a VK profile.

      1. Zeus said on December 17, 2013 at 6:51 am


        He means just that — the program *has no author*.

        Perhaps Poet is the result of some digital form of spontaneous generation. Maybe it evolved over millions of years, minute changes to code slowly forming the Notepad alternative we know today.

        Whatever the case, while I respect your belief in this “Vladimir Makarevich,” I think we can all agree, there’s simply no proof he actually exists.

  15. Karl J. Gephart said on December 17, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Sublime Text 3 FTW! :)

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