Shortly after Windows 11 arrived, Microsoft made some key improvements in the Notepad app that haven’t seen much change since the Windows 95 days. Now, it may be introducing an even bigger feature, judging by a leak from a senior Microsoft product manager spotted by The Verge. “Notepad in Windows 11 now has tabs!” the person said on Twitter before the tweet was deleted several minutes later.
The screenshot included in the tweet shows two tabs, along with a note “confidential, don’t discuss features or take screenshots.” That warning clearly failed to do the job, but the screenshot indicates that tabs are in testing and may arrive to Windows Insiders sometime down the road.
Given how much we all depend on tabs in web browsers, it’s hard to believe they’re not more ubiquitous on other apps. Microsoft added that feature to File Explorer on Windows 11 earlier this year, helping reduce the sprawl across screens when you’re searching or copying files. The company did test tabs for Windows 10 apps some years ago but essentially abandoned that project.
Notepad is an old app, to say the least, having arrived in 1983 to help Microsoft sell people on using a mouse in MS-DOS. Considering it’s largely the same plain text editor it was two decades ago, it’s amazing it’s still used as much as it is. If you’re using Notepad so much that you need tabs, my hat’s off to you — but the feature is just a rumor until we see it released into the wild.