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Appy Text for Windows 10 is your new best Notepad replacement

While basic, Microsoft's Notepad app is much beloved, but it's still fairly old hat in 2017. A good, alternative lightweight text editor is still desirable, and Appy Text might just be the best alternative yet for Windows 10.

It's free to download, handles Markdown as well as plain text, and has a bunch of neat features for premium users if you're prepared to throw a few bucks the developer's way.

Appy Text

The main user interface is bare-bones, exactly as a good text editor should be. Distractions are your enemy and Appy Text hides them out of the way.

By default, you get a small menu bar on the screen, which you can either move to the bottom or just have it disappear into the hamburger menu. This menu handles simple things like saving and printing as well as more advanced features like focus mode and time travel.

Focus mode makes everything disappear. No tabs, no hamburger, no icon to preview your Markdown code. Just a box and your words. Time travel is an interesting addition since besides a basic undo function, it also allows you to revert to the original version of your work with a single click. Not necessarily useful for everyone, but someone out there will love it.

Appy Text

The settings available to you are pretty expansive, considering we're talking about a text editor. There are basic options like changing the theme between a handful of different colors, a font changer, text size and the ability to optimize your words per line to make it easier to read.

This, when enabled, will put all your text in a column down the center of the window. Alternatively, when disabled it fills the window with much longer lines. My tip is to leave it on, it really does make it easier to read back your text in a hurry.

Beyond just making it look better, one of the most useful tools for Markdown writers in Appy Text is a split screen view that offers a live preview of how your code actually looks. There's even the option to set a custom CSS stylesheet for previewing in HTML, just to make sure you're actually seeing what exists.

Appy Text

There is only one small issue with the app, and that's your words will disappear sometimes if you change any of the visual settings mid-writing. They haven't actually gone, so just keep calm, save, and reboot the app. Hopefully, it'll get worked out in the future.

On the PC, in free or Premium forms, Appy Text is a no brainer if you're looking for a solid, yet minimal text editor that was actually designed for 2017. The added bonus comes for phone users since you can use it on there as well. Nothing is missing, it's just a smaller screen.

I'm completely sold on using Appy Text as my daily writing tool and have been using it for a couple of weeks now to churn out all of my articles before uploading them. The premium features are worth it, especially if you value a dark theme and auto saving.

But the bottom line is this: Put down Notepad, pick this up instead.

Download Appy Text from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

22 Comments
  • This one definitely feels like it was designed for macOS. Developers generally gives that much attention (especially UI part of the app) only to macOS when they develop apps for mac.
  • Thanks so much for the high praise. I'm not a macOS user myself but I know where you're coming from as I've a similar perspective when it comes to the attention to detail apps on there generally have. I recently did an interview when I express these views: https://medium.com/user-camp/less-is-more-winning-in-the-windows-store-f....
  • b
  • LOL what?  Are you serious?  No good UI examples in windows?  hahahaha.  I've seen plenty of good and bad examples in ALL platforms, desktop, tablet, or mobile.  I have a degree with a specialty in human-computer interface.  
  • I agree there are great examples of apps with good UI in the windows 10 app store
  • Expensive for what it is, £3.49 for the 'premium' features. I'll stick with notepad++
  • I will give this app a try. I use Notepad2-mod mostly. Free, open source, small 795 KB, dont need a store or extra bs runtimes.
  • Notepad++ is a super application, and I appreciate if having an environment that is primarily tailored for writing isn't a priority, then it's the more appropriate option. I personally prefer the amazing Sublime Text for what it's worth. As for the price to get the Premium features, I'm a one-man indie shop doing this in my (little) spare time and thought this is a fair price to charge for the extras. In the interview I linked above, I do share some of the pricing rationale:
    I’ve rejected ads thus far because I know it will spoil the writing experience for free users. When I decided to make the app free with an optional in-app purchase, my aim was for the free version to match the utility of Notepad, and for the IAP to help one-up it. Introducing ads for free users may make it inferior to write in than Notepad. That’s not something I’ve been willing to concede, even though I’m aware it would not only bring in money I would otherwise not have made, it would also incentivize more free users to go Premium.
    Having said that, I know price is a sensitive issue, especially when there are a lot of great free alternatives with many admittedly offering more in terms of a feature set for less (and as noted above something nothing). The monetisation strategy is something I'll continue to review carefully. In the meanwhile, my goal is continue making improvements to the app to keep adding value to a Premium purchase.
  • I once used Notepad on Win 2000, to open a 2GB log file.  It almost crashed the system, but chugged away and got it done.  Later versions have been even better at doing this.  If any application out there is advertised as a Notepad replacement, I expect it to handle extra large log files just as well. Notepad++ is still my preference on a Notepad replacement.
  • Unfortunately there are limitations at play when working in a UWP app and, to be more specific, its RichEditBox control. Please see https://stackoverflow.com/questions/45448618/richeditbox-performance-slo... for a relevant shortcoming that I hope gets addressed by Microsoft urgently.
  • Notepad++ is still the best for log-files. And you can set your own syntax rules to highlight your logifles. For notes however, i use onenote. I really love the instant sync and inking on my Dell XPS.
  • Pretty much always use OneNote for anything I would have used Notepad for in the past.
  • This and this and this and this and this!
  • Appu text is neat! I don't regret buying it.
  • You close and restart/relaunch apps, you don't reboot them. SMDH.
  • I'm using AppyText and really like it. But the thing that stops me using it as a notepad replacement is that I can't add it to the Open With or Send To menus for all files like I can with notepad. I think it's a limitation with UWP apps, to fix it the UWP app would have to list all the possible file extensions as supported.
  • Exactly. Please tell me what file extensions specifically you'd like to have support added for, and, if UWP allows, I'll add to a future update.
  • The UI takes up too much space. I wonder if application developers keep old hardware around to test their apps. Grab a laptop with a 768p screen and see how vertical screen real estate the title bar and tab bar takes up. It's like a Microsoft Ribbon Bar, except without any of the benefits... Why would I pay for something I can recreate literally in seconds for free by running the MFC AppWizard in Visual Studio? The AppWizard app will actually be more useful [and usable] than this, as well...
  • There is a setting available to customise the UI on start-up to be full-screen so there's no top UI present. In addition, I can look at reducing the height of the top bar. At the moment, it's primarily at the current size to be touch-friendly. But perhaps it's too touch-friendly, and warrants a new settings so that you reduce it if you want.
  • Still cannot buy it on Windows Stores or in-app purchase. Already sent feedback but still no response from Microsoft support. I try to ask the Bot in their website and still no charm. I hate that stupid Bot...😡💀
  • Hmm weird. Are you having similar problems when trying to purchase anything else from the Store too?
  • I'd recommend VSCode (also for your Markdown work), a beautiful alternative to the other extendable editors like Atom, Vim and such.  That finally is a MS product that actually does get supported well by the community that embraced it.