Why doesn’t Windows Mobile have a mobile Notepad?

I’ve been relying on my PDA quite a bit while I’ve been travelling, and it’s frustrating when you have a file that you can’t open. MS Word on Windows Mobile is an okay text editor, but it’ll only open files with extensions like .doc .rtf .txt and so on.

I don’t want anything fancy – just the ability to view and make minor edits to text files! If I get emailed a file with an obscure extension, want to make a quick tweak to a settings or config file, view the source of something like a webpage, or anything like this, I’m basically stuck. You can’t click on them – you just get an error message that no application is associated with them. You can’t change the file extension to something MS Word will open because the Windows Mobile file explorer hides file extensions (you can rename files but not change their extensions).

My Internet access is a little limited at the moment so I’ve not had a chance to search if this has been done already – I figured it’d be easier to throw together my own version. It’s basically a TextBox control with File-Open and File-Save dialogs bolted on the front. It only took about 20 mins to write, and (as I’ve already got .NET Compact Framework 2) it’s very lightweight.

If anyone else thinks they might find it useful, you’re very welcome to give it a try. If anyone has any recommendations for lightweight Windows Mobile text editors, it’d be interesting to hear what people like.

4 Responses to “Why doesn’t Windows Mobile have a mobile Notepad?”

  1. James Thomas says:


  2. dale says:

    Hmmm… while I do love vi… it’s a little keyboard-centric for touchscreen stylus-driven devices! 🙂

    That said, I should go back to getting building up my command-line environment on Windows Mobile, cos a command-line driven text editor like vi (or even the old windows DOS-style EDIT) would fit in nicely with that.

    Perhaps I’m missing the point on what is essentially supposed to be my phone!! 🙂

  3. chris dalby says:

    I would think there must be a programme you can install that will do this. Have a search around the various mobile sites.

  4. Donny Bahama says:

    I’m a little late to the party here, but in case it helps anyone else, I use Resco Explorer… not only does it show you file extensions, but it allows you to rename *including* the extension. Better still, the (tap-n-hold) context menu has an “open” (fly-out) menu that lets you choose to open *any* file with WM’s Notes applet.

    All that said, if your text editor had MDI and search-n-replace, I’d be all over it. Been looking for a lightweight text editor with those two features for a while now and haven’t yet found one.