Microsoft Notepad just got spellcheck in the year 2024

Who says you can’t teach old software new tricks?


It has finally happened. Microsoft’s text editor Notepad just got a spellcheck feature, more than 40 years after the software launched in 1983. For the history buffs, Ronald Reagan was still president in 1983 and Ghostbusters, then called Ghost Smashers, was an unmade script set to star Eddie Murphy. It was a long time ago.

Microsoft just rolled out the new spellcheck tool to the Notepad app in Windows 11 and it works how one would expect. It automatically checks spelling errors. The company began testing the feature, to whatever extent it required testing, back in March and now it has been quietly updating the software these last few days, as reported by The Verge.

Specifically, the feature works nearly the same as it does in Word or Edge. Misspelled words are highlighted via a red underline. When you right-click on the misspelled word a couple of times, you get a list of correct spelling options to change to. Microsoft has also added autocorrect to the mix, which automatically fixes errors. You get the gist. It’s 2024.

One interesting aspect, however, is that you can disable spellcheck on the basis of file type in Notepad via the settings menu. In other words, you can toggle the feature off for file types like .md or .srt. It’s automatically disabled with file types associated with coding, like log files. Also, it takes an extra click on Notepad to replace a spelling error when compared to Word. As for Word, it first got a spellcheck in 1985. Ronald Reagan was still president and Ghostbusters had just proven itself to be a massive hit.

Microsoft is about to remove the WordPad app from Windows 11 later this year, so it’s beefing up Notepad to pick up the slack. Notepad has recently gotten a dark mode, actual tabs, a character count and, well, a virtual fidget spinner. It’s also been stuffed to the gills with AI, in the form of Copilot integration.