I just want a text editor or similar software where I can write text and organize it on categories, and also having the ability to expand and collapse, on the following format:

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I'm using Windows. Free software preferred. Good to have bold and italic formatting options. File format to store the texts in can be anything.


4 Answers 4


I can recommend MemPad for Windows.

It allows organizing your text into categories. Categories can be moved, renamed, or deleted as you see fit.

It is freeware and portable.

MemPad screenshot from author Image source: MemPad author Horst Shaeffer

  • Hm, that's the help page which has an index. Are you sure the app itself offers the features requested? The linked page doesn't mention that.
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 22:21
  • @Izzy The "index" are the categories. The left pane contains the categories and the right pane contains additional details. It will allow the OP to accomplish their goal of "writing text and organizing it into categories". Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 22:28
  • Rather looks like an "ordinary structured index" to me. What if I had two (or more) texts by the "Internet" tag? Well, OK if you say so. It's for Marcus to decide, not for me – I'm not even on Windows ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 22:57
  • You would just create 2 nodes under Internet. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 22:59
  • So it's an index, not a tag (one node per text, not one note per tag – as both texts should be "tagged" with the same "Internet"). Thought so. But as I wrote: whether it still fits is not for me to decide ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 6:10

Any decent text editor aimed at programming can do this, if you give your file the right extension. Don't program? Pick any extension your editor supports (ie, .c, .java, etc). If you do program, pick an extension for some language you don't work in :)

I do Java and PHP, so I named my test list test.list.c so the syntax highlighting and code folding features kick in. Each category that needs a sub is coded like a function, with opening and closing brackets. The brackets can be expanded and collapsed individually or (depending on editor) all at once.

All that said, my personal favorite is Geany. Light, does the code folding you want, both Free and free, and cross platform (Linux, Mac, and Windows).

Here's a snippet of a screen shot of a demo I just did - Category 2c has sub categories, so it is collapsed (see + sign on margin), Category 2 has the sub categories but it is expanded. Note - nothing I'm aware of will renumber/reorg the lists...

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Notepad++ has this capability.

Folding Text:

  • Under the menu "Language" - menu item "Define your language..."
  • In the tab "Folder & Default" is a group called "Folding in code"
  • Create your own "Open" and "Close" Key combinations and your good to go.
  • More info on Stack Overflow (link)

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Try Dynalist, it has a freeware version, Windows, iOs, Linux and Android apps and usable in the browser. Supports outlines, tags, markup, checkboxes, linking, synchronisation between your devices and much more.

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