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The most recent app for a Home windows 11 redesign? The standard notepad

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Enlarge / The new Notepad app looks a lot like the old one, with compressed menus and extra padding to make the menus more touch-friendly.

Windows 11 is out, but the process of updating the operating system’s built-in apps continues. Over the weekend, screenshots were leaked for an as-yet-unannounced redesign of the Notepad app, which currently looks and works more or less like it did since Windows XP came out two decades ago (although updates under the hood have added new features), such as support for the line ending style used in Linux and macOS text files).

The screenshots were posted and deleted by a “Microsoft engineer” but were kept by FireCubeStudios on Twitter, and they suggest Microsoft is not reinventing Notepad in the style of more advanced apps like Notepad ++ or Emacs. The screenshots show fewer menu options and a larger, more touch-friendly spacing between them, as well as theme options and the ability to set a different default font. Also listed is a “classic” mode for opening files, but it remains to be seen how this differs from the standard experience.

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The leaked version of Notepad appears to support dark mode (not shown here but implied by the

The leaked version of Notepad appears to support Dark Mode (not shown here, but implied by the “App Theme” option) as well as the ability to change the default font.

The incomplete state of Windows 11’s built-in apps was a complaint from our full review and prevents the operating system from feeling fully modernized and unified. The Paint app has been updated, but without the promised dark mode support. Updates to apps like your phone, Microsoft Whiteboard, some sort of media player, and (now) Notepad have been leaked or announced but not released. And other built-in apps like Wordpad still look like they did in Windows 7.

This is a minor complaint and far less bothersome than Windows 11’s new system requirements or some of the regression of the new system tray. But it’s good that Microsoft continues to work to make things look and feel more consistent across the operating system. If available, the app updates cannot be downloaded from Windows Update but from the Microsoft Store.

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