I'm looking for a solid text editor for Windows 10. Preferably one that is open source, can handle large files (like a few hundred MB), and does not use Java or Cygwin.

It's for a co-worker who's not a developer. So features like project management, git integration, syntax highlighting or regular expressions are not necessary.

We have tried Atom for a while but noticed it's quite slow with larger files.

I know there's many alternatives such as Notepad++, Sublime, Bluefish, et cetera. But I have little experience with them myself and would love to hear other people's experience with these (or others) and then make an educated choice.

  • 2
    I routinely use Notepad++ and like it, but it's really very heavily weighted toward being a programmer's editor, and has many of the "not necessary" features you mention. How large is "large" that Atom's performance is impaired? Jan 26, 2021 at 11:12
  • @JeffZeitlin Thanks, I have tried Notepad++ very briefly myself but that was a long time ago. Is it easy to ignore or disable (or at least move out of sight) the typical programmer's features? "Large" in this context would be several hundred MBs. Or roughly speaking anything between 100 MB and 1 GB.
    – RocketNuts
    Jan 26, 2021 at 12:52
  • I am using notepad++ myself, for quite different purposes. If you use it on a .txt file, you don't see any highlighting, except if you apply an optional spellcheck! I don't know what is the maximum file size that it can handle, as I never attain its limits in practise. To be tested.
    – Damien
    Jan 26, 2021 at 14:55
  • There was a time when Emacs was considered large, but these days it's probably one of the smallest applications I use. It's very programmer-friendly but there is a large cohort of non-technical folks who learn to use it. It doesn't particularly get into your way until you need the frills. I have no idea whether it works on Windows 10 (or how "works" is defined on Windows generally).
    – tripleee
    Jan 26, 2021 at 15:03

4 Answers 4


CudaText editor. It's FOSS. Regarding your wishes:

  • that is open source: check
  • can handle large files: check, just use option "ui_max_size_open" to change the limit
  • and does not use Java or Cygwin: check
  • features like project management: check
  • git integration: missed
  • syntax highlighting or regular expressions: check

CudaText look

  • It has no Git integration because it is not an IDE, it is just an editor (very powerful)
    – Josem
    Feb 10, 2021 at 10:45

It's maybe a bit dated by now, but I have been using TextPad for many years now. One of the features they advertise is being able to edit "huge" files.

It has all the useful features you'd expect from a text editor, and then some. I've been trying to find a better one without success so far.

It is not free (but free to download and evaluate), but well worth its price.


You can use Notepad3 for that purpose. It's a very lightweigth Notepad clone that, while focused on being developer-oriented, it also has a simple and minimalist interface. Most developer features can also be disabled so you can end up with a simple plain text editor and not much more.

Notepad3 sample image

About your feature requests:

Preferably one that is open source

Yes, it's 3-clause BSD.

can handle large files (like a few hundred MB)

In my personal experience, it takes a bit of time opening large files, and can increase memory consumption quite a bit, but it works pretty well afterwards.

does not use Java or Cygwin

It requires neither of them.

project management

It doesn't includes any project management.

git integration

No integration with any source control system built-in.

syntax highlighting

It does syntax highlighting according to the file type (infered from the file extension), but can be changed to some other schema or disabled completely.

regular expressions

It can search by regular expression if you choose that option, but the default is a simple text search.



For Windows. Can handle VERY large (TBs!) files. No Java or Cygwin. No project management but includes Workspace feature. No git integration. Does include syntax highlighting and regular expressions (and other stuff, of course). Also has very good and sophisticated editing mode for CSV files. Very fast (to start, to open small and large files, to search, replace, etc). Free and paid versions. Propietary, not Open Source. Extensible. Not as pretty a user interface as UltraEdit but incredibly capable. Lightweight and fast.

Except for the Open Source part, seems to meets all the requirements. Perfectly suitable for the described use case.

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