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Windows 7 - How to Add Open with Notepad to the Right-Click Menu

Notepad is the basic text editor included in every edition of Windows. More advanced users use the tool regularly for editing many different types of files such as PHP or XML files. Many of these files which can be used with Notepad do not open with the program by default. Many users find it far more convenient to have an "Open with Notepad" option on the right-click menu for every type of file. This is particularly useful for users who need to quickly make small modifications to various types of files, such as XML files, rather than having them open in a web browser or another program. Absolutely any file can be opened with Notepad, although most file types, such as multimedia files and executable files, will only show unintelligible data.

If you're finding it a major nuisance to go through the regular, rather long-winded process of opening files with programs other than the default, then follow these steps to add this to your context menu.

Adding "Open with Notepad" to the right-click menu requires you to modify the registry. Novice users in particular should be very careful when doing this, since making a mistake can cause the computer to stop working correctly. Less experienced users who are not familiar with the Registry Editor may prefer to download a registry hack which does the job for you. Various third-party tweaking programs also add this feature, making it unnecessary for you to manually edit the registry.

Open up the Registry Editor by typing "regedit" into the start menu search box and pressing Enter. In the list of folders to the left, navigate to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell."
Right-click on the folder called "shell" and create a new key. Name this new key "Open with Notepad." With the new key selected, create another new key in this directory and call this one "command."
Edit the default value in the right-hand pane of the Registry Editor by double-clicking on the icon. Enter "notepad.exe %1." Close the Registry Editor. Your changes will be automatically saved.
The changes should appear immediately. From now on, when you right-click on any file in Windows Explorer, you'll see the option "Open with Notepad."


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