Microsoft has finally updated its simple yet useful Notepad app for Windows with a feature that was missing for more than three decades - specifically after Windows 1.0 debuted along with Notepad back in 1985. This new change is none other than the extended line endings support that helps you correctly view text files created in Unix, Linux, and macOS right on the default Notepad app. It is a part of the current Windows 10 Insider build and is likely to debut on the next Windows public release.
Prior to the latest change, Windows Notepad was supporting only those text documents that had Windows End of Line (EOL) characters, particularly Carriage Return (CR \r, 0x0d) and Line Feed (LF, \n, 0x0a). This doesn't mean that Notepad users weren't able to open text files created on a Unix, Linux, or macOS machine. It did open text documents created in Unix, Linux, and macOS, but in an incorrect format. "This has been a major annoyance for developers, IT Pros, administrators, and end users throughout the community," acknowledged Microsoft's Senior Program Manager Michel Lopez in a blog post.
Microsoft has ultimately corrected this annoying issue by adding support for Unix/ Linux line endings (LF) and Macintosh line endings (CR) in addition to the existing Windows Line endings (CRLF). This enables Windows Notepad users to view, edit, and print their existing text files, correctly maintaining their current line ending format. The status bar on Notepad also starts indicating the detected line ending format of the currently open file. However, new files created within Notepad will continue to use the default CRLF format.
Pro users can opt out of the new behaviour and switch back to the original line ending support by making a registry key change.