WordPad has been a familiar tool for Windows users for decades ever since the launch of Windows 95. Shipping free with all Windows operating systems, it has been the staple rich text editor for millions for over twenty years. It allows anyone to work on and create rich text documents for personal, educational, and professional purposes without resorting to plain text software, like Microsoft’s Notepad.
Since Windows 10 build 18980, WordPad is now considered to be an “Optional Feature” that comes with the Windows 10 OS. While that may seem to be a negative it has made installing and uninstalling WordPad much easier.
Just in case you are not familiar with it, we’ll show you how to install WordPad on your Windows PC so that you can enjoy this handy software. Also, in this article, we’ll show you how to use WordPad and provide a detailed overview of its features.
For the record, WordPad has typically shipped with Windows installations since Windows 95. If you haven’t looked for WordPad on your system yet, skip ahead to see how you can find or run it.
For older versions of Windows, it is slightly trickier as there are no more official download sources available for WordPad.
No matter what version of Windows you use, running WordPad should be almost exactly the same. Just follow these steps:
The most important benefit of using WordPad over simple text editors, like NotePad, is it’s rich text editing capabilities. You can apply all the text styling you are most used to, such as using bold, italic, underscore, highlights, and other tools. Of course, you can change the font family and size too.
You can also format the text itself into paragraphs, lists, and alignment, as well as adjust the margins.
Another significant advantage of using WordPad over NotePad is that it allows media in documents. Being able to include images in your document or even Paint graphics means you can dramatically improve the visuals.
Thankfully, WordPad supports a number of different text document formats that are compatible with most other platforms and text processing software. WordPad’s default format is.rtd (Rich Text Document). However, these documents can be imported into Word and Google Docs, for example.
It’s also possible to save documents in the “.docx” format, which is the default format for Word documents. If you need it, you can directly save it in the plain text (“.txt”) format.
Unless you’ve removed WordPad from your Windows machine, the good news is that you should already have it installed. WordPad is a superb text editor that allows you to create documents with rich formatting, media, and styling. It has all the most important functions but is much simpler to use than its big, premium brother, Microsoft Word.