What Does WordPad Mean?

WordPad is a basic word processor available in every version of Microsoft's operating systems since Windows 95. It can be used to create and modify documents. Although slower to load than Notepad, it can handle graphics and rich formatting, unlike notepad, along with handling larger files. WordPad is well preferred for taking quick notes and text-based writing.


Techopedia Explains WordPad

Similar to other word processing applications, WordPad consists of the program and word processing engine. The program has a title bar, menu bar, toolbar, status bar, format bar, document ruler and selection bar. The .RTF extension is used by both WordPad and Microsoft Word. With each release, Microsoft has added more file format support for WordPad like .txt, .doc and .odt.

WordPad is preferred over Notepad for creating documents which need to be formatted. It can handle both formatted and plain text. It is simpler in features than Microsoft Word and can be considered as an excellent editor and mini viewer for Word documents. It is capable of changing font, character level formatting, margin creation and modification. It can insert sound files, charts and graphics into the document. Hypertext links can also be added and zoom in and zoom out feature is also available. Low system resource usage and simplicity are other benefits of WordPad.

However, WordPad is not considered as a full-featured word processor. It lacks intermediate features like spell checker or grammar analysis functionality unlike Microsoft Word. WordPad is not recommended for documents which have a lot of structured elements. It is also not recommended for configuration files or for editing HTML. It is slower to load than Notepad but faster when compared with other word processors of office suites.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…