NotePad for Mac does not exist but if you’ve just switched to Mac from PC and need a NotePad equivalent, there are several alternatives for OS X. The most obvious choice is TextEdit which is the default text editing app for Mac. It’s free with any version of OS X but is very basic and there are other free and paid options out there with a few more advanced features. We’ve tried to focus on basic NotePad text editors here and avoided dedicated HTML editors for programmers. Here then are the top 5 alternatives NotePad for Mac alternatives.

Top 5 Alternatives To NotePad on Mac

Note that the following are in the order of free to paid options. There’s really no need to pay for a simple text editing app on Mac unless you need special formatting features or if you are programmer writing HTML.

TextEdit (Free in OS X)

TextEdit is the Mac equivalent of NotePad and is free with all versions of OS X. To find it, simply search for TextEdit in Spotlight or CMD click on your desktop and select “TextEdit”. TextEdit is useful mainly as a simple text editing tool but you can even edit HTML in it. To open TextEdit in HTML mode, simply select “Ignore rich text commands in HTML files” from the File Menu. Alternatively, to open in Plain Text by default just ensure that “Plain Text” is selected from the Format menu.notepad for mac - textedit

TextWrangler (Free)

TextWrangler is a very popular simple text editing tool and an excellent alternative to Notepad on Mac. It’s made by the same team that make made BBEdit which is for more advanced HTML editing and coding. TextWrangler is better for basic note taking although it packs plenty of advanced editing features that make it a very basic word processor. TextWrangler is also ideal for checking prefs, html or xml files of all types. To see the full range of differences, check the TextWrangler v BBEdit comparison list.notepad for mac - textwrangler edit

Tincta (Free)

Tincta is a very simple text editor for Mac. Excellent for taking notes or making lists, it can also be used for basic HTML coding. The most unique thing about Tincta is it’s terms and conditions which actually request you to take steps to reduce global warming in order to use it!

notepad for mac - tincta

NotePad ($0.99 Mac App Store)

Although NotePad isn’t free (not to be confused with NotePad for Mac below or the original NotePad on Windows), NotePad TXT Editor is just 99 cents from the app store and is suitable for simple documents or notes without any formatting. You can also open and edit Windows .TXT files with it.

notepad for mac - notepad

Apimac NotePad for Mac ($21.99)

Apimac NotePad for Mac is a slicker, more powerful solution which allows you to cut and paste snippets and drag text from other applications into it. It has various other useful features such as a Recents List and the ability to change fonts and text color. You can also protect notes with a password.

notepad for mac - apimac notepad for mac

SubEthaEdit (29.99 Mac App Store)

SubEthaEdit is a more powerful alternative to NotePad that’s fine for just taking notes but also offers the possibility to edit HTML too. One feature that’s a bit different with SubEthaEdit is the ability to collaborate on documents with other users over the web. SubEthaEdit also has a very slick interface for a note taking app that’s even won it an Apple Design award.

notepad for mac - subthaedit


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2 Responses

    • MacHow2

      Charlie, Sublime Text wasn’t included in this article because it’s more heavily focused on coding than writing. Most people that want an alternative to NotePad on Mac want it for note taking and writing rather than programming. Also, Sublime Text 2 costs $70 which, for those that just want a simple note taking app, is quite expensive.


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