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There are endless replacements for Windows Notepad -- freeware text editors designed to be light and easy to use, and many of them have features that aren't duplicated elsewhere. One of the most convenient editors I've seen is an application called JujuEdit.
JujuEdit is a text, hex and Unicode editor that can open and edit regular text files or binary files. It works with ASCII, UTF-8 or UTF-16 encodings and even supports big- and little-endian format 3- or 4-byte character sets (for files taken from Unix machines that use such formatting.) It also has Perl-style regular expressions for search-and-replace operations, bookmarking for quick reference to part of a document, anti-aliased font displays and syntax highlighting to improve readability for HTML or XML files.
The most interesting and genuinely useful feature of JujuEdit is its nondestructive editing mode. When a file is opened in JujuEdit, you can edit it directly as is -- not converted to some other format. This means that if you have, for instance, inconsistent CR/LF line endings or other odd formatting problems, the document can be edited and saved with JujuEdit without trashing the inconsistencies. Also, it means that a document can be edited in its native format (ASCII, UTF, etc.) without being further mangled by the editor imposing its own quirky document-conversion structures.
JujuEdit has another special feature that improves on this behavior even further. If you use the Open From Disk option, the file will be browsed directly on-disk -- and not loaded into memory. Anyone who has ever used Notepad to try and open a 50 MB text log knows how agonizing it is to wait for the program to load; JujuEdit can open a file like that instantly.
The program has a few limitations. The first is that it cannot yet open or browse any file larger than 2 GB. This does not create a problem for most people, but it is worth keeping in mind (the text editor's author plans to deal with it in a future release).
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!