Microsoft Notepad gets spell checker and autocorrect 40 years after launch

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

Notepad’s spell-checking feature is nearly identical to what Word or Edge uses to highlight misspelled words, with a red underline to clearly indicate errors. I say nearly identical because when you right-click on a misspelled word in Notepad, the spelling submenu doesn’t automatically expand like 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 embraced the way spell-checking works in Word, especially since the company showed off the ability to right-click and instantly select the correction in Notepad during beta testing. Microsoft Word got its first spell-checking feature in 1985, when it was originally known as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix and MS-DOS systems. Microsoft originally created Notepad, which was first known as Multi-Tool Notepad in 1983, to be a simplified version of Word.

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

You can enable or disable spell checking based on the file type in Notepad for Windows 11. So, if you don’t want to see corrections in files like .md, .srt, .lrc, or .lic, you can enable them in the Settings menu. Microsoft has also added AutoCorrect to Notepad, which means that typos are automatically corrected when spell checking is enabled. AutoCorrect can also be disabled in Notepad’s settings.

Leave a Comment