[Windows] DocPad offers you a better alternative to Notepad

Looking for a program that is like Notepad but a little bit more robust? Well, DoctPad is just what you need. This is a free alternative to Notepad and performs all the same functions but offers more time-saving tools as well.


Main Functionality

The main function of DocPad is to allow for plain text editing just like NotePad. Unlike Notepad, however, DocPad also offers a number of tools that can save your time. With DocPad you can have customizable toolbars, use encoding conversion, case conversion, and much more!


  • Free alternative to your plain old Notepad
  • Offers many time-saving features, including (but not limited too) Statistics, Spell Checking, Print Preview, and more.
  • Light program that does not hog your system’s memory


  • Unless you use Notepad a lot, all the extra features of DocPad may go unnoticed


There are a lot of reasons to like DocPad. So, to start with, we are going to talk about what a lightweight program this is. Just like your original Notepad, DocPad is not going to hog your resources. It is easy to install and does not take up a lot of room.

Now, you may be saying: “Why use DocPad if it does the same thing as Notepad and their both lightweight?” Really, the true benefit of using DocPad is in the tools that it offers. For the most part, Notepad is pretty plain-Jane. It allows you to edit text, and that is about it. DocPad allows you to do that, but with a lot of time-saving tools that you just don’t get with Notepad.

People who are going to get the most benefits out of DocPad are the ones who use Notepad on a regular basis. You know what Notepad offers, and you want more. So let’s get into the different tools that DocPad offers: Print preview, search and replace, spell checking (works good), bookmarking, block indent or unindent, statistics, built-in calculator, character maps, calendar, file history, jump to line, keyboard macros, and a lot more.

It would take a while to sit here and go through all of the different features it offers, but you get the general idea. If you understood everything that I was talking about above (and it sounded helpful) then this is the program for you. If you are lost or don’t see why it would be of any use to you, then I would suggest sticking with Notepad


In general, when you download DocPad, you are looking for something that is more robust than Notepad. There are a ton of great features, and it can really make using a “note pad-like” program that much more enjoyable. It’s free, lightweight, and easy to use. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for an alternative to Notepad. If that is not a program you use a lot, then you can probably skip on this one without feeling like you are missing out.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 12.1

Supported OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7

Download size: 5.56MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

Is it portable? No

DocPad homepage

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  1. Mr.Dave

    @Mardel53: I use a clipboard manager called ArsClip that lets me paste things as plain text – no formatting – by simply using Windows key and V instead of Control key and V. The in-and-out-of-Notepad dance is no longer needed! ArsClip is free from joejoesoft.com, works great for my needs and might help you as well. (I’m not associated with them, just want to spread the word about a program I like)

  2. Mr.Dave

    Hey, go easy on Justin. The description on the Gammdyne site starts out with “DocPad is a free alternative to Notepad.” They started it!

    Either way, this looks like a fine program, will give it a shot. Notepad++ seems to be overkill if you’re not a programmer, and WordPad has it’s own limitations. At work I use Notepad all the time to store reminders that would otherwise end up as sticky notes on my desk. One big file, lots of history. At home I use Evernote and the “Sticky Note” widget on my iGoogle home page. There’s a great website called cozi.com that we use for sharing events, shopping lists, etc. in our family – well worth checking and free!

  3. Janet

    “The Spell Checker does not integrate with non-Gammadyne programs, nor with regular Windows editboxes” and will use approximately 4 MB of hard drive space…. Must be downloaded separately.

  4. Janet

    NotePro ia a similar program that was either reviewed or mentioned on dotTech, so there are probably other dotTechies like me who will wonder how this compares to that.

    Some impressive Pro’s for DocPad:

    1. The installer will not modify or install any system files, including DLL’s. It will not create any tray icons, nor any programs that launch at startup. It will not change any system settings or file associations. The installer only copies a small set of files onto your hard drive, along with a desktop and start menu shortcut.

    2. It automatically creates a restore point before installing!!

  5. Frank

    Dear Justin,
    you’re doing wrong comparison!
    DocPad is a WORDPAD competitor, not a NotePad one!

    I feel a bit sorry for you you are not computer affine enough to understand the huge difference.

    As I never use wordpad I cannot comment on that part.
    But regarding Notepad replacements!!!!
    There are DOZENZ if not hundreds. With syntax highlighting for whatever language etc (you see how wrong your comparison was?).
    Just to name my favorite: Notepad2 (www.flos-freeware.ch).

    Yours, Frank

    P.S. Don’t let me take you down, Justin! You’re great writing articles. Just have a look for what you’re writing about, please.

  6. AFPhys

    Justin: I really liked the way you wrote this review, especially the part leading up to, “If you are lost or don’t see why it would be of any use …” Keep up the good work!

    Aside from that, I simply love NotePad++, with all its bells and whistles, though this offering sounds interesting enough that I will try it out.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  7. DoktorThomas

    Download. Installed with ease. Composing. Misspelled word (en inglés); attempt to use spell checker leads to pop-up: “Module not installed”. Link provided to Gammadyne Spell Checking Module. (Really? Another spell checker program? How many does one need on one machine?)
    This leads one to believe most/some the features proffered are not in the original small download. So the question is, to get all of the hyped improvements over NotePad, will all the additional modules required make the DocPad code as large as WordPerfect? Or Word?
    So far, I like Corel’s Lightening more…
    Disclaimer: Not affiliated with Corel or its advertising agent(s); do not sell or distribute software.

  8. Mardel53

    Thanks for sharing this DocPad. I am very much impressed on what this program allows me to do over the NotePad that came with this computer. I for one rely on NotePad simply so I don’t have to find a piece of paper to write something down; I use it for copying and pasting items for the newsletters that I have to do each month. When people send me something in a format that just does not look good in my newsletter, I usually have to simply paste it into NotePad and then into the newsletter. With this new program, I now have the ability to do more with it especially the character map portion and spell check. Thank you so much!