Microsoft Dev Leaks A New Notepad Feature Windows 11 Users Are Going To Love

windows 11
Juggling a bunch of windows can be a pain, even with the UX enhancements in Windows 11. Microsoft is helping to reduce the clutter with the recently released tabbed file explorer, and now it appears another core app is getting tabs. According to a now-deleted Tweet, Microsoft is on the verge of releasing a version of Notepad with tabs.

The image appeared in a Tweet from a Microsoft engineer, with the text "Notepad in Windows 11 now has tabs!" Although, the use of present tense is questionable—the image is clearly marked as an in-development build with "Confidential Don't discuss or take screenshots" in a banner at the top of the window. Tweeting a screenshot seems like it would run afoul of that, but it does give us a glimpse of a future yet to come. 

The tweet only lasted a few minutes before it was deleted, but Windows Central managed to grab the screenshot before that. It shows about what you'd expect: there's a standard Notepad window with the addition of a tab row similar to the one added to Explorer a few months ago. Thus, you can have multiple text files open at once in a single window. That's handy if you need to bounce between files and don't want a stack of windows cluttering your screen.

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The updated Notepad app with tabs as tweeted by a Microsoft developer. Note the internal confidentiality warning.

Microsoft has been toying with tabs in its core apps as far back as 2018 with its "Sets" project that would have added tabs across Windows 10. However, that feature never came to fruition. Slowly but surely, it looks like tabs are finally happening in Windows 11. First Explorer, now Notepad, and there are plenty more places in Windows where a tab could make more sense than a new window.

Since this image is still emblazoned with a warning not to share, an official release is probably still a way off. However, Microsoft has decided to stop the practice of bundling up features in one or two major Windows releases every year. Instead, it will release new features as they are ready. So, Notepad tabs could appear in a Windows update in early 2023.