2 Minimalist Text Editors You Have Probably Never Heard Of [Windows]

Craig Snyder 14-10-2012

minimalist text editorSometimes, the simplest of programs turn out to be the best ones. If you’re anything like me, time often comes when you don’t want to have to wait for the few seconds that it’ll take for Photoshop to load up. If it’s a simple resize or edit, I’ll just use Paint. If I need to jot down a note, sometimes it’s not worth the extra wait to bring up Evernote. I’ll just toss it in a Notepad file. Advantages are obvious with these small applications when you’re an impatient person like me.


Aside from being preferably based on brisk loading times, some applications just don’t require too many resource-intensive features. Minimalist applications are tiny and clean, and as long as they get the job done then you won’t find me complaining. Text editors can be a great example of this type of software, and in this post I’d like to show you two of my favorite.


Caderno is pretty simple. Basically, it’s a juiced up Notepad.

minimalist text editor

New features include the following:

  • Tabs
  • Session management and crash recovery
  • Syntax highlighting for CSS, HTML, and more
  • Line/column indication
  • Portability

While these aren’t features that aren’t anything that haven’t been seen before, they manage to compact everything into a small package that keeps the look and feel of the original Notepad.


minimalist text

The screenshot above shows syntax highlighting with HTML. The features of Caderno aren’t hard to figure out on your own, and I can’t think of a reason why someone would want to use Notepad if this is available to you. It’s Notepad but better, without being obnoxious.

Caderno is available in an installation, portable, and U3 version.

Plain View

Plain View is more of a text viewer than a text editor. Though you’re able to edit text files with Plain View, the functionality really caters to being able to zip through text files all at once and see the content within each.


minimalist text

Upon running Plain View, click the icon (the only one that exists, really) and select a folder that has the text files that you’re attempting to check through. Highlight that folder name and hit Enter, and you’ll be taken to a screen that displays all of the text files in that folder.

The editing features are pretty lackluster, as all you’re able to do is really click and edit in completely plain text. But, if you have a folder full of text files and you’re looking for something important in one of those files, this is absolutely the way to do.

minimalist text editor


Plain View works on all versions of Windows, past and including Windows XP.

This program works with any number of text files (to my knowledge), but remember that if you’re opening a folder with 1000 text files then you should expect the program’s performance to suffer a pretty good hit.

In such small packages, these two applications are able to provide what the originals should have for us. Let me know what you guys think of these applications in the comments!

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  1. Jeremiah Iliffe
    October 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

    None of these are as good as options available on Mac, I can't remember their names of the top of my head though.

  2. Myst Gunn
    October 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I'll try Caderno, looks interesting.

  3. Kao Vang
    October 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Notepad++ is great but it is far from minimalist as this article is focused on.

  4. Joe
    October 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Ive always used editpad lite as my replacement for notepad. Its got a ton of great features but keeps a somewhat minimalict look. I like the tab feature and how it deals with editing code.

  5. Norbert Gruszfeld
    October 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

    minimalistic funcions are awelible in notepad, whats the point in looking smowere else?

  6. Brian Mok
    October 15, 2012 at 3:31 am

    What about Vi/Vim?

  7. Joel Lee
    October 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Caderno would've been awesome back in my programming days. Now, I find I have no reason to boot up a text editor except to edit config files once in a while.

  8. Edwin Williams
    October 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Informative! I'll give this a look!

  9. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Good for minimalists but I prefer Geany and ProgrammersNotepad. They are a compromize between minimalistic and bloat.

  10. Alex Perkins
    October 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I use Gimp instead of photoshop.

    • Adrian Rea
      October 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

      You use GIMP as a text editor?! :D

  11. Scott
    October 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I like Jarte:

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2012 at 1:14 am

      Wow, nice find Scott. What I like about Jarte that it's also portable. Seems pretty cool. Will give it a try. Thanks

  12. Grr
    October 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Caderno looks good . Never heard abt Session management and crash recovery. Will give it a shot.

  13. Scott
    October 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I use DocPad once in a while (like if I compose a longer message board comment and don't want to risk losing it if my browser crashes). DocPad is the only free text editor I found so far that has a built in spell checker (not the greatest, but it works). Notepad ++ is great, too, but I could never get the spell checker properly installed despite several attempts. :-/

  14. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

    My favorite is TED Notepad. Very small, complete, and portable. Used to use Metapad, which is also great, but lack support for Unicode-if you're not going to type in languages that use non-Latin characters, use this!

  15. Adrian Rea
    October 14, 2012 at 9:11 am

    just a quick update, I have now used PlainView and I find it really good. My only concern is that it was made3 verion 1.0 in 2005 and looks like it has not been touched since. I would love it if the code was reviewed to bring it up to date and maybe make it even quicker. Very useful

  16. Adrian Rea
    October 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I agree that notepad++ feels better for general text editting and I think it does have the edge on Caderno, however Plainview does look really interesting to skip through many files so quickly from a folder it will make some of my tasks much quicker, thanks

  17. Hiren Patel
    October 14, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I will try this :)

  18. Raj Sarkar
    October 14, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I think Notepad++ is better.

  19. Gjergji Kokushta
    October 14, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Similar to Caderno, check Notepad2

  20. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 14, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Thanks, will check these out.

  21. Anonymous
    October 14, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I use paste to evernote option from evernote's icon in notofication bar. Easy.

  22. Meena Bassem
    October 14, 2012 at 2:45 am

    crap, notepad++ is much better

    • Félix S. De Jesús
      October 14, 2012 at 2:47 am

      Agree with you!! ;)

    • Anonymous
      October 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      I agree comletely

    • Alex Downs
      October 15, 2012 at 2:10 am

      Totally agree, but Notepad++ is totally NOT minimalistic lol

    • Craig Snyder
      October 23, 2012 at 3:19 am

      I don't think anyone will be disagreeing with you there, but these are some very lightweight alternatives!