Microsoft’s Notepad gets spellcheck and autocorrect 40 years after launch

July 8, 2024
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Microsoft is finally rolling out spellcheck and autocorrect for its Notepad app in Windows 11, more than 40 years after the simple text editor was first introduced in Windows in 1983. The software giant started testing both features in March, and has now quietly started enabling them for all Windows 11 users in recent days.

The spellcheck feature in Notepad is almost identical to how Word or Edge highlight misspelled words, with a red underline to clearly show mistakes. I say almost identical because when you right-click on a misspelled word in Notepad the spelling submenu isn’t automatically expanded like Microsoft does in Word, so you have to click again to see a list of correct spellings.

It’s strange that Microsoft hasn’t fully adopted the way spellcheck works in Word, especially given the company showed off the ability to right-click and instantly select the correction in Notepad during the beta testing phase. Microsoft Word first had a spellcheck feature in 1985, when it was known originally as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix and MS-DOS systems. Microsoft originally created Notepad, which was first known as Multi-Tool Notepad in 1983, to be a stripped down version of Word.

You can easily disable Notepad’s new spellcheck and autocorrect features.
Screenshot by Tom Warren / The Verge

You can enable or disable spellcheck on a file type basis in Notepad for Windows 11, so if you don’t want to see corrections in files like .md, .srt, .lrc, or .lic then those can be toggled in the settings menu. Microsoft has also added autocorrect to Notepad, which means typos are automatically corrected when spellcheck is enabled. Autocorrect can also be disabled in Notepad’s settings.

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