You’re not supposed to know this, but thanks to a recent social media blunder, it’s now public knowledge: Tabs are apparently coming to Windows Notepad. A Microsoft senior product manager revealed in a now-deleted tweet that Notepad, Windows’ lightweight word processor, will eventually allow users to open and edit multiple notes using tabs.
The tweet was published late last week and quickly removed. The product manager declared in it, “Notepad in Windows 11 now has tabs!” This was followed by a loudspeaker emoji. The text was accompanied by a screenshot of a tabbed version of Windows Notepad that read, in part, “Confidential: Don’t discuss features or take screenshots.” Whoops.
It doesn’t take a detective to piece together these context clues. Microsoft is clearly testing tabs for Notepad, though we don’t have many more details because this was clearly not intended to be made public. Windows 11 was released just over a year ago, so Microsoft is unlikely to save the feature for a future operating system. Tabs are likely to arrive in Notepad with a future version of the current operating system, with Windows Insiders being the first to test the new feature.
To put it mildly, Notepad is a word processor for minimalists. As a writer, I can’t imagine ever using Notepad; it lacks the features required for serious projects, and if I just want to scribble something down, a desktop sticky widget will do the trick while remaining in a fixed location on my desktop. As a result, I’m perplexed as to why Notepad tabs would be celebrated. However, every computer user has their own preferences, and Notepad appears to be useful for some. Indeed, our colleagues at PCMag published a few Notepad programming tips back in 2017 that are still relevant, and some of them may be a little easier with tabs.
Microsoft appears to be obsessed with tabs in general. It was confirmed in April that Windows 11’s File Explorer will eventually include tabs, making it easier to search for and sort items without opening a million separate Explorer windows. The feature became available in October, shortly after the Windows 11 22H2 update.