The world of computers is complex yet effortless. The statement depends on what you are doing on your machine.
If it’s gaming, you need to know a few workarounds; if you want to do office work, any word processor will do.
But if it’s taking notes on a ‘Notepad’… on a macOS computer, then it’s complex.
Windows users swear their loyalty to Notepad, a simple app always there when you need it.
As for macOS, it has a built-in notepad known as ‘TextEdit.’ While it is useful, it’s nowhere near as accessible as Window’s Notepad.
Now you would think, why do people need a notepad when there are superb note-taking apps. Well, notepads are for quick and urgent notes, say for noting down a phone number, or an email told hurriedly by your boss.
Note-taking apps are for taking lecture notes, meeting notes, and more.
So, keeping the use case in mind, I have found decent notepad alternatives for macOS.
Notepad for Mac; Notepad Alternatives
Even though TextEdit is the default text editor in macOS, it’s purely for basic usage. It is as barebones as Windows’ Notepad, but for people who want more, they choose Notepad++.
Unfortunately for Mac users, there is no version of Notepad++ for macOS. While I can’t magically create it for Macs, the following are some of the best Notepads.
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Love Sticky notes and Notepad from Windows? Consider Tot as an amalgamation of these two for macOS.
It is a straightforward and refined app that collects and edits your texts across iPhones, iPad, and Macs.
The developers address the app as a tiny text companion, and it is true. I have been using Tot since I got my MacBook Air, and it’s simply elegant.
Tot has a single-window design with simple formatting controls divided by seven color-coded dots, so hunting for a specific chunk of text is easier.
The app sits in the Menu bar. I like this feature as there’s less clutter in the dock.
Dark mode support makes this app as easy on the eyes as it is on a daily basis.
Other features include seamless syncing of text across iOS and macOS devices using iCloud and full support for rich or plain text along with Markdown.
- Menu bar access
- Akin to Window’s Sticky notes
- Separate notes by color scheme
- Not as easy to use as a Windows Notepad
- Updates sometimes erase notes
App rating: 4.6
Simplenote is an easy note-taking app. So what’s it doing on this list of notepads?
Well, this app will keep your work organized without any hassle. It is designed to keep you focused on whatever artistic thoughts you want to jot down.
The user interface is elegant, and its checklists feature will help you stay on top of your tasks.
With Simplenote, you can store your ideas, take notes, create to-do lists, and use it as a notepad.
This cross-platform app is easy (perhaps too easy) with the usage of pins and tags that lets you find anything you need with a swift search.
You can also collaborate with people by sharing notes.
Simplenote syncs across your devices for free, which means all your ideas are with you.
- Sync everything across all your devices
- Collaborate and share
- Stay organized with tags
- Log in with your email or WordPress.com account
- Too simple
App rating: 4.2
3. Sublime Text
Sublime Text is another great notepad alternative for macOS.
It is essentially a source code editor and debugger.
The app boasts a fan-favorite feature known as ‘command palette,’ along with autosave, simultaneous editing, and quick navigation.
Sublime Text has a minimalist-looking user interface, but it is rich regardless.
You can effectively edit your source code with the help of its advanced features.
Sublime Text is truly a fundamental app that includes context-aware auto-complete, tab multi-select, GPU rendering, powerful syntax highlighting, and many more features.
It’s a worthy app that can replace the native TextEdit notepad on Mac.
- Cross-platform support: macOS, Windows, and Linux
- Context-Aware Auto Complete
- Tab Multi-Select
- Not available on the App Store
Atom is a superb open-source text editor from the geeky world of GitHub.
When people use notepads, it’s basically for quick usage, as I highlighted in the introduction. But some users want more out of everything.
This is where Atom comes in, as it is the most customizable notepad for macOS.
Thanks to its advanced customization features, it is known for being a ‘hackable text editor for the 21st Century.’
With Atom, you can edit cross-platform, get smart autocompletion, find and replace text, take advantage of its built-in package manager, and collaborate with its well-known Teletype functionality.
The app is a coveted offering from GitHub. So if you want, you can work with Git and GitHub directly from Atom.
- Atom works across macOS, Windows, and Linux
- Smart and flexible autocomplete
- File system browser
- Built-in package manager
- Not available on the App Store
- A bit of a learning curve
Notebooks is a sorted macOS app that rightfully serves as one of the notepad alternatives.
The app stores every note as an HTML file on your computer, which may sound technical to people, but it is fairly easy to use. Also, you don’t need to learn HTML to use this app. That would be ridiculous!
Notebooks might remind you of Evernote but in a good way! You’ll find three panes – 1. notebooks, 2. documents in the notebooks, and 3. the current note.
To effectively use this app, double-click any note to open it in its window. This allows you to work on multiple notes at once, or you can even have a small window to the side when you simultaneously research online.
The user interface is akin to macOS’s native apps, so you’ll feel at home.
Notebooks’ simplicity and flexibility are its strong suit, which is why it graces this list.
- UI akin to macOS
- Notes stored in HTML format
- Three window panes to organize workflow
- Lags a bit
App rating: 4.7
iNotepad is one of the notepad alternatives for macOS. It is designed to let you write and organize all your texts and notes.
This app is developed to increase your productivity. By that, I mean you can write texts, add images, format them, and export them in multiple standard file formats.
I know this sounds too much for a notepad, but iNotepad is for those users who want the best out of an app.
There are quick clicks that make this app a productivity machine. You can double-click on the list to edit the various texts in separate windows while you continue to look up all the other ones in the main window.
To edit images, double-click on one of them.
The app will instantly find your texts and notes with convenient search tags, tools, and a navigable ‘Recents’ option.
Try this app now and manage everything related to writing texts on your Mac.
- Easily arrange, manage and organize tons of notes
- Quickly find that text you wrote last year
- Edit images on the spot
- Not available on the App Store
- To expensive
Pricing: $39.99; free trial
7. Notepad – Text Editor
Notepad – Text Editor is the last but not least notepad alternative for your Mac.
It’s a simple notepad replacement which may be a bit too simple.
The app is quite old – evident from its user interface, but it works and does the job as a notepad.
The app has some flaws. Prominent flaws!! Firstly, you can’t change the font size, and there’s also no indicator for the line the cursor is on.
But this text editor is a game changer! If you are looking for a simple text editor – even simpler than Simplenote, then you’ve hit the jackpot with Notepad!
- Edit any file’s text contents (.txt, .csv, .xml, etc.)
- Open any file by dragging/dropping on the Notepad dock icon
- Formatting is automatically removed when pasted
- UI is a bit old
- No rich text support
- No option to increase/decrease fonts
App rating: 4.6
Is there a NotePad for Mac?
TextEdit is *the* NotePad alternative for macOS, considering that it is Apple’s default text editor. It is a simple editing app that can be used to make HTML changes.
What is the best Notepad for macOS?
Tot and Sublime Text are the best Notepads for your MacBook. There’s a built-in ‘Text Editor,’ which you should check out before downloading these apps. It’s a basic notepad and gets the job done.
Is Notepad++ available for macOS?
Unfortunately, Notepad++ is Windows-only software. Atom software listed in this article comes close and supports cross-platform use.
These are the 7 Notepad alternatives for macOS.
Being a Windows user for 15 years, Notepad had me spoiled, and I took it for granted. It’s been four months since I’ve been using the M1 MacBook Air. While macOS is easier to use, there are some things I miss about Windows, a simple notepad being one of them.
Then again, no single app can suit everyone. Here’s where this listicle of 7 notepad alternatives comes to the scene.
Try a few apps from this and see which suits your needs.
Most are free, but the paid ones have a trial period.
I have included Simplenote in my use case I found it can act as both – a notepad and note-taking software.
For me, Tot is the best notepad for macOS, and it has the charms of Sticky Notes and works like a Notepad.
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