Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Have you ever found yourself staring at text in Windows Notepad, wishing you had a translator to make sense of it all? Well, wish no more! Microsoft has integrated its powerful Copilot AI assistant right into its Notepad app, letting you leverage AI to decode technical (or non-technical) text with just a few clicks.

From demystifying error messages to suggesting code improvements, here are three ways Copilot can supercharge your Notepad experience.

1. Decode Log Files, Error Messages, or Code Snippets

Microsoft announced a new “Explain with Copilot” integration that allows Notepad to interface with Microsoft’s powerful Copilot AI assistant. Now, instead of racking your brain when opening an indecipherable error log or code snippet in Windows Notepad, you can highlight the text, right-click, and select Explain with Copilot.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Alternatively, you can use the handy Ctrl+E shortcut. This will launch Microsoft Copilot and dock it right beside your Notepad tab. You’ll then be prompted to allow your data to be sent to a Copilot chat.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Once you’ve sent the text to chat, Copilot will help you understand what’s going on.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Whether you’re a seasoned programmer tackling a problematic system log or a newbie struggling with a script, Copilot can help out. It’s especially useful when working on systems without access to advanced code editors, as Notepad remains one of the best ways to view source code and output logs.

To get started, ensure you have the latest version of Notepad (11.2401.25.0 or newer) installed, as Microsoft is gradually rolling out this Copilot integration. Then, highlight your confusing text and let the AI do its magic!

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2. Write and Edit Code Faster (But Don’t Expect an IDE)

Notepad wasn't designed as a full-fledged code editor. As a developer, you can access far more robust tools like integrated development environments (IDEs) and dedicated text editors for Linux and other systems explicitly built for writing and managing code. Things like handling different newline formats have plagued Notepad for ages.

However, Notepad’s simplicity is also its charm for quick edits, personal scripting projects, or just tinkering around with code snippets you find online. And now, with “Explain with Copilot,” this humble little text editor packs a surprising punch.

While you wouldn’t want to build your next enterprise app in Notepad, the Copilot feature lets you leverage AI-powered code suggestions, automation for repetitive tasks, and even snippet generation—all within Notepad’s familiar, lightweight interface.

I tried one of PCMag's cool programming tricks. I grabbed the code online and then sent it to Copilot as above.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

After Copilot explained the code snippet, I asked if it was okay for execution. The AI assistant said it was good to go and explained how I could get it to run.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Here’s how it turned out.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Whether you’re a curious coding newbie or just need to make a quick fix without firing up a full IDE, give Notepad’s new AI sidekick a spin. Who knows, you might be surprised at what that unassuming app can do with a smarter Copilot riding shotgun.

3. Get AI-Powered Help With Any Text (Technical or Not)

While code and logs are obvious use cases, Copilot’s capabilities in Notepad extend far beyond just technical content. Notepad’s lightweight simplicity makes it ideal for quickly jotting down meeting notes, drafting outlines, or capturing thoughts as they occur.

And with Copilot’s integration, that simple text editor becomes infinitely more powerful. Working on a research paper or technical documentation? Highlight confusing passages and let the AI chatbot provide clarifying explanations and context. Dealing with legalese in a contract? Copilot can summarize the dense text (but keep in mind the 2000-character limit).

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

Between its unmatched speed for opening and lightweight footprint, Notepad has always been ideal for quickly getting words onto the screen. With Copilot’s AI smarts, it becomes an all-purpose text utility that can decode nearly any subject.

Copilot Enhances Notepad’s Simplicity With AI Power

Notepad has been a comforting constant in the evolving Windows ecosystem for decades. From Windows 95 to today’s Windows 11, this humble text editor has remained delightfully simple—a true rarity in our age of bloated apps and excessive features.

With a streamlined menu (just File, Edit, and View), instant loading times, and a stripped-down interface, Notepad is the app you fire up when you just need to get words on the screen quickly, without fuss.

Supercharge Windows 11’s Notepad With Copilot

And while Microsoft could have reinvented the wheel, the Copilot integration wisely keeps Notepad’s iconic simplicity intact. This AI assistant operates behind the scenes, ready to lend its smarts when needed but never intrusive or altering Notepad’s essence.

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The integration is entirely optional, allowing Notepad to remain your trusty, lightweight note-taking companion. But with a quick shortcut, Copilot unlocks powerful capabilities—decoding confusing text, suggesting code improvements, and even summarizing dense documents.

It’s a refreshing blend of nostalgia and innovation for long-time Windows users.

Criticisms of the Copilot and Windows Notepad integration

While the Copilot integration is a clever way to augment Notepad’s capabilities, the change hasn’t been universally celebrated. Some users argue that adding an AI assistant constitutes unnecessary bloatware for an app prized for its minimalism.

Moreover, since Copilot’s explanations aren’t directly embedded into Notepad’s interface, what’s stopping you from just docking the AI window separately and using it alongside the text editor as needed?

There are also concerns that Microsoft’s codeless AI integration could adversely impact Notepad’s trademark lightning-fast load times and lean performance footprint.

Ultimately, whether you view Copilot as a handy productivity-boosting sidekick or an unwanted codependency is up to personal preference. The integration is optional, after all.

However, if you’re seeking to decode complex logs, code, or text without leaving Notepad’s familiar confines, this AI-powered addition could be a game-changing time saver, providing a best-of-both-worlds blend of AI superpower and classic simplicity. Give it a try and see how it can streamline your Notepad workflow.

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Hi, I’m Mohamed. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.

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