I love Notepad! It is my favorite editing tool. It is fast and simple. So,
why would I write a replacement program?
CryptPad is intended to be nearly the same as Windows 7 Notepad. The primary purpose of the program is to provide optional file encryption. This
is valuable for files which contain sensitive information. Unlike many other
encryption solutions, this one only encrypts and decrypts one file at save and
open. There is never a decrypted version of the file stored unless the operator
specifies to remove the encryption. The file can be stored multiple places and
moved freely always in encrypted form. Anyone who knows the encryption string
can read the file with this program. I now use CryptPad to edit everything where I would have used Notepad.
Only ASCII is supported in the encryption functions. Non-ASCII characters will
not be encrypted. My apologies to those whose language is not based on ASCII.
The encryption algorithm is not particularly sophisticated but it is completely
effective to block the curious and prying. This is not intended to be a high
Because of the importance of maintaining multiple passwords for better security, I have a file with all the passwords in it that I use. This is also a security risk unless the file is encrypted. I have examined many encryption solutions and none does exactly what I need. I need to be able to transport and store an encrypted file anywhere I want. Encrypted drives are not what I need. It must never exist in decrypted form. Therefore I need a simple editor which opens, decrypts, edits, encrypts, and saves a file.
Using the code
I am providing the complete VS2010 project zip file with complete source code
for CryptPad, the encrypting Notepad replacement program. The program is
compiled with the .NET framework version 3.5, which is included automatically
with the Windows 7 OS. The program has only been well used and tested with the
Windows 7 OS.
The program has barely been used with the Windows 8 OS (Yuck!).
The program has not been tested with Windows Vista or XP. Unfortunately, the
.NET framework version 3.5 is not installed in Windows Vista or XP so you will
need to install it to use the program in Windows XP.
Program installation is recommended for a CryptPad directory under the
Documents directory for an individual user. The Program files directory can be
used for an administrator install for all users. "Open With" can be set to
default to CryptPad for .SAFE files.
You might choose to set default to CryptPad for .TXT also to take advantage
of the additional editing functions. A REG file is provided which contains all
kinds of settings I use to make CryptPad the default editor. These have been
used and tested on Windows 7.
Additional details about the program:
I hope you find the program useful and the source code instructive for picking up some ideas. I am interested in any problems you may find in the program and in particular any incompatibility as a Notepad replacement. I am also interested in your ideas about improving this simple program. I have learned a lot by examining the code of others.
- Version 126.96.36.199 released 2013-03-17:
- Handle ANSI, UNICODE, and UTF-8 files. Provides conversions.
- Version 188.8.131.52 released 2013-03-15:
- Changed the program icon from a generic icon to a custom design.
- Added the "Edit" option "Transpose" to switch the character to the left and
right of the cursor. I don't know how often you have a problem with transposing
characters as you type but it happens to me a lot.
- Added registry file to automatically use CryptPad for selected file types.
- Version 184.108.40.206 released 2013-03-08:
- Added the QuickCrypt function.
- Required the encryption string to be at least four characters. Strengthened
the checksum and encryption header. Corrected loss of the '~' character.
Scrambled the encryption string. Incompatible with version 1.0 encryption. You
must copy and paste the plaintext of existing encrypted files from the version
1.0 program to the version 1.1 program and save with new encryption.
- Corrected some confusion with the initial directory on a "Save As" after a
command line open.
- Finished the Replace function, corrected dialog inconsistencies, and improved
- Changed Edit menu option "Capital&ize" to "&Initial Capital"
textbox.MaxLength from 32KB to 15MB. Generate an error and fail the
open if the file size is greater than 10MB. Generate a warning if the size is
greater than 5MB.
- Version 220.127.116.11 released 2013-03-01:
- These are the new and changed features compared to Notepad.
- Only ASCII is supported in the encryption functions. Non-ASCII characters
will not be encrypted. The initial encryption algorithm is not particularly
sophisticated but it is completely effective to block the curious and prying.
This is not intended to be a high security solution!
- Automatic random password generation for websites. The sophisticated password
would be stored in the encrypted file so you don't have to remember it. A
typical line or sequence of lines in the file would have the website address,
the email address/username, and the password for a quick and simple copy and
paste to login.
- The file is held open to reduce accidental multiple change problems. Read
share only. Therefore, a read-only option is allowed on open.
- The secondary purpose is to provide some enhanced functionality for general
- Uppercase, lowercase, capitalize selection conversion.
- Word wrap toggle remembers cursor location. Unlike Notepad it does not jump
you to the beginning of the document.
- Replace All leaves the last changed selection highlighted instead of jump to
- Go To works with word wrap on though the meaning is changed to wrapped line
- The default directory for "Open" and "Save as" is initially the documents
directory and becomes the directory of the last opened or saved file in the
- The Verdana font at 12 point is used in all program controls. This provides
higher visibility for easier readability.