Make TextEdit in Mac OS X Behave More Like Windows Notepad
Many longtime Windows users have grown to rely on the Notepad app for it’s plain text editing simplicity, for everything from writing little code blocks to just serving as a easy way to strip formatting and styling from anything copied into an open Notepad document. As a result, many Windows switchers to the Mac platform look for something that behaves similar to Notepad, but it turns out that such an app already exists in OS X and thus there is no need to download a third party app for most basic Notepad-like needs. Instead, just make a quick settings change to the TextEdit app that ships with every version of Mac OS X to turn it into a plain text editor.
How to Set TextEdit to Default to Create Plain Text Documents
- Open TextEdit and pull down the “TextEdit” menu and head to “Preferences”
- Go to the “New Document” tab and look under ‘Format’
- Check the box next to “Plain text” to set all new documents to automatically default to be plain txt files
That’s it, now anytime you hit Command+N or launch a new TextEdit file, it will default to be a plain text file. It also simplifies the TextEdit appearance a bit by removing the formatting option buttons across the top of an open file window.
That also means anything pasted into a new empty TextEdit file will have formatting pulled out automatically, without having to use any of the tricks to strip the styling from pasted text, and without having to convert an existing RTF to a plain old TeXT from the menu options.
TextEdit is really an under appreciated an unloved app in OS X, and it can serve many more functions than people give it credit for, able to function as a basic word processor, quick outliner, even working as a decent HTML source viewer that’s light weight. Of course, for any advanced text editing needs, you’ll want to step up to an app like TextWrangler or BBEdit, two excellent choices for code and raw text editing, or an app like Pages or Word for word processing and report creation.