I’ve mentioned in a few talks that I long-ago renamed NOTEPAD.exe to N.exe as I have a tendency to “Windows-R, N, Enter” and I wanted to save a least a few hundred “otepad’s” a day.
I’m also a big fan of starting a drag-drop operation, and without releasing the mouse button, doing an ALT-Tab, bringing my app up, and then releasing the mouse button and completing the drag. A lot of people don’t know you can do this.
Anyway, the point was that Notepad is kind of lame, and hasn’t really changed in a while. Sure, there’s lots of other Text editors out there, yada yada yada, but really what I want is a better Notepad. No fancy toolbars, just Notepad++.
Now I’m using Notepad2 by Florian Balmer. I’ve even renamed it to N.exe. It’s really very nice. It has lots of nice features, but here are the ones I care about:
Long Line Indicator
Show Line Endings (CR vs. CRLF)
Transparent Mode (great with Always on Top)
Configurable Syntax Highlighting (all the obvious languages included)
Zooming with Ctrl+Mousewheel
It’s definitely going on Scott’s Ultimate Tools List.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
This is nice, too: http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/seichert/archive/2004/04/30/12462.aspx
It replaces Notepad in the system protected files.
With it you can configure your Windows Key to open the programs or execute the line you want. Oh, and it is freeware.
Which allows you put all of your favorite app right at your finger tips.
Ctrl+R then an alias you need. For me, NotePad2 is just np
It is a registry mod that lets you specify shortcuts to type in the Run dialog.
what I do, which I think you'll find is preferable, is create a folder in my start menu called Keyboard shortcuts. I then copy shortcuts in there to commonly used programs, and associate a keystroke with them. So, on my machine, the following works:
ctl-alt-C : calculator
ctl-alt-D : dos window
ctl-alt-G : google
ctl-alt-M : media player
ctl-alt-N : notepad
ctl-alt-Q : control panel
ctl-alt-O : outlook
I think you'll find that much easier than renaming things!
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Also, if you're not into changing application names (or the app won't work correctly w/a changed name), you can always make a shortcut to it. I have a "tp" shortcut in my %windir% that points to TextPad. What's nice about this approach is that you can create a folder, put it in your path, and fill it with shortcuts (that have tiny names) pointing to apps all over your drive(s). WinKey+R + [tiny name] and you're off to the races.