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notepad replacement freewareLast time, I showed you some new portable apps Five New Useful Portable Apps For Your USB Stick Five New Useful Portable Apps For Your USB Stick Read More that have appeared on the PortableApps site but I have been looking for a long time for a portable MS Notepad replacement. Sometimes, when I am using another computer, I like to be able to fire up a notepad-type program to type some quick notes and even some quick articles (if inspiration strikes). True, PortableApps has the OpenOffice suite but to me, OpenOffice is a bit clunky when all I want to do is write a quick note.

So imagine how happy I was when Lifehacker profiled Jarte, a portable alternative for MS Notepad.  I downloaded it right away, tried it out and it is GREAT. With the whole folder weighing in at a puny 9,1MB, this can easily fit onto your USB stick.

notepad replacement

When you double-click on the Jarte program, it opens in a split second (no waiting for this little puppy). Unlike MS Notepad, it also has a range of options which you can enable or disable, such as writing in bold lettering, inserting hyperlinks, inserting pictures and tables and so on.   But as I said, you can easily disable all that and just have a simple Notepad-type program.

What is even cooler is that you can open tabs, just like in Firefox.    So you can start different texts all in the same window.

notepad alternative free


When you save your documents, you can save it as a Rich Text document (.rtf) or a text file (.txt).

Other features of Jarte include :

  • A spell check
  • Zoom in and out (I would imagine the only people who would use this would be those with bad eyesight). Go right up to 200%.
  • Word and character count. Good for writers and bloggers who need to keep count of their words.
  • Choice between Minimal, Compact and Classic Layout. There are also various toolbars you can show on the Jarte interface. Choose to be minimalistic or fully fledged.
  • There are various skins to choose from for your interface. I prefer the brushed metal but the wood is ugly as hell (in my opinion).

I haven’t yet found anything bad about Jarte. Everything seems to work as advertised. Do you use Jarte?  Do you use a similar app? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Arun Shivaram
    November 26, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    I've also been using Portable Notepad ++ for a long time.I don't find any convince features in Jarte to make replace Notepad++ with it. The second thing is it is too big than NP++. Size also matters when you are packing things on your pen drive .

  2. Twig
    November 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Agree with everything said above. I use Notepad++ for non-word processing editing.

    Has anyone tried OJot? This will do RTF files and if you want to talk portable, this baby is 600k!!

  3. Ryan
    November 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    +1 for Notepad++ portable. It is amazing. Lots of plugins and built-in language support. NP++ is also open source and integrates with portable apps dashboard. My NP++ portable folder is 2.48 MB (2.69 MB on disk).

    It looks to me like NP++ is a better replacement for Notepad, whereas Jarte seems to be more designed for actual word processing (per the LH article it is based on wordpad).

  4. darth_indy
    November 26, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Well, you know, PortableApps also has Notepad++ - I've used it for a long time, when I don't want to fire up OpenOffice Portable. All the features that you've mentioned for Jarte are either built-in to Notepad++ or are available as plugins (I can't remember which are which anymore, since I've added a few plugins) plus things like code syntax highlighting, which is pretty much a basic feature for notepad replacements now.

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