Microsoft Notepad gets spell check and autocorrect 40 years after launch

Microsoft is finally rolling out spell checking and autocorrect to its Notepad app in Windows 11, more than 40 years after the simple text editor was first introduced in Windows in 1983. The software giant began testing both features in March, and has quietly begun enabling them for all Windows 11 users in recent days.

Notepad’s spell-checking feature is nearly identical to how Word or Edge flags misspelled words, using a red underline to clearly show errors. I say nearly identical because when you right-click a misspelled word in Notepad, the spelling submenu doesn’t automatically expand the way Microsoft does in Word, so you have to click again to see a list of correct spellings.

It’s odd that Microsoft hasn’t fully adopted the way Word’s spell checker works, especially since the company demonstrated during beta testing that you could right-click and instantly select the correction in Notepad. Microsoft Word first included a spell check feature in 1985, when it was originally known as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix and MS-DOS systems. Microsoft originally created Notepad, first known as Multi-Tool Notepad in 1983, as a stripped-down version of Word.

You can easily disable Notepad’s new spell checking and autocorrect features.
Screenshot by Tom Warren/The Verge

You can turn spell checking on or off based on file type in Notepad for Windows 11, so if you don’t want to see corrections on files like .md, .srt, .lrc, or .lic, you can turn it on or off in the settings menu. Spell checking is also automatically disabled on log files and other file types related to encryption. Microsoft has also added autocorrect to Notepad, which means that typos will be automatically corrected when spell checking is enabled. Autocorrect can also be turned off in Notepad’s settings.

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