Since what seems like the beginning of time, the basic text editor built into Microsoft Windows has had real problems reading and speaking other people’s language, and specifically, the line break characters used by non-Microsoft operating systems.
But after decades of frustration, and having to download a real text editor to change a single line in a config file from a Linux box, Microsoft has updated Notepad to be able to handle end of line characters used in Unix, Linux, and macOS environments.
“Starting with the current Windows 10 Insider build, Notepad will support Unix/Linux line endings (LF), Macintosh line endings (CR), and Windows Line endings (CRLF) as usual. New files created within Notepad will use Windows line ending (CRLF) by default, but it will now be possible to view, edit, and print existing files, correctly maintaining the file’s current line ending format,” the company said in a blog post.
Notepad will additionally have a pair of registry keys: To control whether end of line characters are modified when text is pasted; and whether Windows line endings are forced when the enter key is struck, effectively disabling the new behaviour.
Over recent years, Microsoft has changed its attitude to Linux, and moved away from its famous line that Linux is a cancer.
The company is now a member of The Linux Foundation, sponsors the Open Source Initiative, and last month launched its first product containing a Linux kernel, dubbed Azure Sphere.