Since its earliest versions, Windows is bundled with a very useful text editing tool called WordPad. You can consider it a light version of Microsoft Word and a more advanced app than other simple text editors like Notepad. As new versions of Windows were released WordPad became more user friendly and received more features. This tool enables you to create, edit, view, and print text documents, you can use it to type memos, create quick reports and other simple documents. In this article we will show you where to find WordPad, how to use its interface, how to create & save a new document and how to print it.
WordPad Comparison: New Versions Vs. Older Versions
WordPad is included in all versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95. The application has always been a handy tool for quick and easy editing of documents.
In older WordPad versions you had an interface based on lots of small menus and buttons. The application had two toolbars: the Standard toolbar and the Formatting toolbar, each with its set of buttons for common commands.
The new versions of WordPad are a bit more friendly due to the ribbon bar, which was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007. WordPad first received its ribbon menu with the release of Windows 7.
Nowadays, this is how WordPad looks in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. As you can see, it is identical to the version found in Windows 7, except for a few minor visual differences.
In older versions of WordPad uncommon commands were hidden away in menus. If you wanted to insert the Date and Time in a document, there was no toolbar button available. You had to search for it in the Insert menu. In the new versions of WordPad this command is just a click or tap away, on the ribbon.
Another important addition to the new versions is the Quick Access Toolbar. It is located at the top of the WordPad window and contains a few important buttons: Save, Undo and Redo.
You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar by adding buttons like New, Open, Print or removing any of the existing ones. Just press the arrow placed at the right of toolbar and a drop-down menu will open. The buttons which are already found on the toolbar appear as checked.
Another way to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar is to right-click or press and hold any option in the ribbon and click or tap on Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
An important feature of the new versions is the ability to view and edit documents written in Open Office (.odt) and Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010 (.docx) formats. However, WordPad is no longer able to open the .doc format used by older versions of Microsoft Office. If you want to open this format, you will have to use Word Viewer.
Despite this restriction, the new versions of WordPad are quite good.
Where To Find WordPad
You can open the application using several methods:
In Windows 7, look for its Start Menu shortcut in the Accessories folder or use the search box to type "wordpad".
In Windows 8.1, the app is found in the apps view, in the Windows Accesories section. You can also simply start writing "wordpad" on the Start screen to get search results.
In Windows 10, things are a little different. Go to the Start Menu and press All apps.
Now, scroll down to the Windows Accesories folder and open it. There you will find the WordPad app.
The fastest way to launch WordPad in Windows 10 is to ask Cortana launch it by saying "Open WordPad".
Another way to launch it is to type WordPad in Cortana's search box.
Regardless of the method you choose to open WordPad, once it's launched you should see something similar to the screenshot below.
An Overview Of The WordPad Interface
The main WordPad window includes the ribbon which is similar to the one found in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. As you can see in the image below, everything is split into very well defined areas.
The main menu (named File in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10) offers basic options like creating a new document, opening an existing document, saving, printing and customizing page dimensions. The Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 versions look very similar compared to the Windows 7 version. They are just a little more flat and the name of the menus are displayed by default. The available options are the same though.
The first tab is named Home and it offers a number of customizing options, grouped according to their purposes.
The first section, called Clipboard includes a set of buttons which allow you to Copy, Paste or Cut items from your document. Of course, you can also use the keyboard shortcuts to perform the same actions.
Probably the most important sections of this tab are Font and Paragraph. They offer you the opportunity to change things like the text spacing used, the alignment, the font, size or color.
Next, there is the Insert section, where you can find options for inserting pictures, custom drawings, date and time or others objects (e.g. charts or different documents).
The last section, Editing, offers options like Find, Replace or Select all.
The View tab offers some displaying options like Zoom and the ability to Show or hide the Ruler or the Status bar. Also, you can customize Word wrap or the Measurement units.
How To Create A WordPad Document
To create a new document, open WordPad and write the text you wish.
For formatting, use the appropriate areas from the ribbon, shown in the previous section of this article.
When done, to save your document, go to the File menu and choose Save as. There are five options available for saving documents.
Select the format you prefer, provide the location of the file and type its name. When done, press the Save button.
How To Open A WordPad Document
To open a WordPad document, go to the File menu, and press Open.
The Open window shows up: choose the location where the file is found, select the document and press Open.
To open the most recent documents you worked with, go to the File menu. On its right section, you will find a list with all your Recent documents.
Simply click or tap the document you want to open. Learning to use the Recent documents list will definitely save you some time when working with WordPad.
How To Print A WordPad Document
If you want to print a document, open the File menu and go to Print. WordPad has three options for printing documents: Print, Quick print and Print preview.
If you select Print preview from the Print menu, you will get to see how the document will look before you print it. When you are done with the preview of the document, click Close print preview.
If you select Print, a new window is displayed, where you can choose the desired printer, page range and specify the number of copies you want to print. When done setting things up, press the Print button.
The Quick print option automatically prints the document using your default printer.
The new versions of WordPad included in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 have received some important improvements compared to its older versions, both in terms of usability and features. This app can successfully replace Microsoft Word for the casual user, providing all the basic tools for editing and viewing documents. Also, it can open ".docx" files that were created in Microsoft Word 2007, 2010 or 2013. This feature can be really useful if you import this type of files. If you have any questions or tips to share regarding this tool, don't hesitate to leave us a comment.