Notepad for Chromebook

NotepadNotepad is the simple, built-in text editor that comes with Windows. It’s great for making quick edits to text files, coding, and making notes. Most of these things are easy to do on Chromebook, with one exception – editing text files. It’s actually kinda hard to edit a text file in local storage and resave it back to local storage. The fastest solution is to upload any text files to your Google Drive, and edit from there – there’s lots of apps for that, and we’ll show you some below.

Text

Text is a native (“v2”) app, so it runs directly on your Chrome OS device, and hence works great offline. It’s a plain and simple text editor – no syntax highlighting yet, but it’s fast and functional.

Text
Text

Writebox

Writebox is a great app to pick up. It’s a text editor in the distraction free style (one document open, wide margins, large line spacing) – it opens and saves text files directly from your Dropbox or Google Drive.

Writebox
Writebox

Google Docs

If you upload a text file into Google Drive and head to drive.google.com, you will be able to open your text file with it. However, you may get a slight frowny face when you realise that it actually creates a separate Google Docs file, and any changes you make will be made there rather than the original .txt file. Therefore, you can use it to open and read files (but not really edit them) and it creates a bit of a mess on your lovely Drive.

Google Docs text
Opening a text file in Google Drive
Google Docs text
Google Docs viewing a (converted) text file

Write Space

Write Space is a full screen, distraction free style editor that works offline. It’s not quite a regular editor – you can’t save files with it, you just copy all the text and paste it somewhere else – but it’s great for making some crucial notes when you’re offline. You can open files using the “Import” function shown below. (For the technical amongst you, it saves your text to HTML5 local storage.)

Write Space editor
Write Space editor

Write Space import text

Scratchpad

Scratchpad is Google’s built-in note taker for ChromeOS, similar to the sticky notes in OS X – you’ll find it in your apps menu. Just start typing, and everything you do saves straight away as a Google Doc file in the root of your Google Drive. Simple! The files save down as regular Google Docs files, so you can edit them either from Docs or from Scratchpad.

Scratchpad
Scratchpad

Drive Notepad

Drive Notepad is a text editor that’s built to open and save text files directly back to Google Drive, which is great – but it’s a bit flaky. Not recommended yet.

Drive Notepad
Drive Notepad, failing

Chrome

Oddly, you can use Chrome itself as a simple text editor. Open up a new tab and type this in the URL field / Omnibox:

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

You’ll get a very simple, no formatting bit of space to write text in. If you need something super fast that will always work, save this as a bookmark and use it when you’re in a jam.