UTF-8 default isn't in the Windows 8.1 Notepad, either. As expected...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/07/17 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/07/17/10434782.aspx

There are some people who think I have a lot more power than I actually do.

I know a lot of important people, and knowing them helps me know that I'm not really one of them myself.

One particular windmill I have tried to tilt at for years now was decided yet again to not be in my favor.

The issue? The one I talked about a few years ago in my blog UTF-8 default isn't in the latest Notepad, either,

It would be a great default to change to, but I was unable to generate any interest in making the change in Windows 8.1.

Or in any version of Windows we've ever shipped that I've tried to get the change made in....

Now I know that I can't get email programs to support EAI, and I accept that limitation as a reasonable side effect of not owning any actual email program.

But the fact tat I can't talk people into simple changes that would make everyone's life easier is a serious reality check on the limits of my power of persuasion.

Which isn't to say that I won't try again next version.

Maybe next time I'll convince 'em!


Alex Cohn on 17 Jul 2013 8:48 AM:

Notepad is so crippled, it's almost useless as a .txt and .log handler anyway. And we have Notepad2 that gives us so much power - I never had a reason to look back. I see Notepad as an exercise in building a Win32 app around a single Text control, and all the features beyond that are "too little, too late".

parkrrrr on 17 Jul 2013 9:18 AM:

One reason why UTF-8 might be a bad default is that people use Notepad to edit all manner of configuration files and the like, not all of which would take kindly to finding a BOM at the beginning.

Doug Ewell on 17 Jul 2013 11:13 AM:

I'm curious whether there was anything to the decision not to make UTF-8 the default, other than the circular argument "default behavior in the new app might be different from the old app."

cheong00 on 17 Jul 2013 7:45 PM:

@Dong: If your company uses multilingual sofeware that aren't use Unicode, saving files in UTF-8 by default will make them corrupted.

For example, one of my ex-company have printing system that has control system running on Japanese version of Mac G3 servers. CIFS translation is not supported there so that if you open the process file with notepad, delete a file on the list then save, and found your file be saved in UTF-8, you'll find the system can't find a brunch files later. (The software can handle \n gracefully so editing in notepad is okay)

Upgrading the server would mean to dump the current line of printing machines they use, which would mean a half million dollars. So despite the machine is 10+ years old and difficult to get support, things were somewhat in inertia.

When saving file with characters that's not in current code page, Notepad will now issue an warning that suggest you to save in one of the Unicode formats, but I think you'll get no warning when save in UTF-8. The current appraoch is the least problematic one.

IMO, it'd be good to have option to choose which one is default in the menu, though.

Jan Kučera on 18 Jul 2013 3:16 AM:

Would you have more luck with Visual Studio saving/ability to save code in UTF-8 by default?

Lionel on 18 Jul 2013 4:38 PM:

Please keep pushing for this!

Joshua on 22 Jul 2013 9:30 AM:

@parkrrr: Exactly.

At least it would finally get people to stop editing PHP in notepad as then enough files get broken they figure it out.

Jamie on 22 Jul 2013 7:59 PM:

Could you at least try and convince them to make the Windows 8 spell checker work in Wordpad? It's a shame that Windows 8 has an integrated spell checker but which is not present in the one application that would be most useful, Wordpad.

cheong00 on 31 Jul 2013 8:09 PM:

Oops... another half months is past and no new post...


Hope there's nothing serious happening.


Yuhong Bao on 1 Aug 2013 7:45 PM:

Personally what I want more than an UTF-8 default is the options to save as UTF-8 without BOM and as OEMCP that was mentioned in a blog post before.

Roman on 21 Aug 2013 5:42 PM:

How sad. Thank you for trying though. It was about time to do this at least 5 years ago, maybe 10.

(although quite honestly this is only a problem on other people's computers. I replace mine permanently with Notepad2 and never, ever see notepad's ugly, flickering face again. Yes; I have a pet peeve about its flicker on resize. In this bloody day and age!)

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