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Notepad on Windows 11 is finally getting a character count

Notepad on Windows 11 is finally getting a character count

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Microsoft is also improving its widgets section in Windows 11 with the option to disable the feed of news.

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Screenshot of Notepad on Windows 11
It’s like Microsoft Word, but Notepad.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has been gradually improving its built-in Notepad app on Windows 11 in recent years, and now, it’s finally getting a character count. In a new Canary channel test version of Windows 11, Microsoft has added the character count at the bottom much like Microsoft Word’s count of the number of words in a document.

“When text is selected, the status bar shows the character count for both the selected text and the entire document,” explains Microsoft’s Windows Insider team in a blog post. “If no text is selected, the character count for the entire document is displayed, ensuring you always have a clear view of your document’s length.”

This is the latest addition in a line of changes to Notepad this year, with the app recently getting a new autosave option that lets you close it without seeing the pop-up save prompt every time. Microsoft has also added tabs to Notepad, a dark mode, and even a virtual fidget spinner.

The new widgets features in Windows 11.
The new widgets features in Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

Alongside the Notepad changes in this latest Windows 11 test build, the widgets section of the OS is also getting some improvements. You’ll soon be able to just show widgets and hide the feed of news and articles that appear inside the widgets screen. I’m personally glad you’ll be able to hide this because it’s typically full of low-quality news articles and junk that I don’t want to see inside a built-in feature in Windows.

As always, these features are being tested, and it’s possible Microsoft might make some changes here and there, but I’d expect to see these changes appear for all Windows 11 users in early 2024.