WordPad is a basic word processor that is included with almost all versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 upwards. It is more advanced than Notepad but more simple than Microsoft Works Word Processor and Microsoft Word. It replaced Windows Write.
WordPad has facilities to format and print text, but lacks intermediate features such as a spell checker, thesaurus, support for tables etc. As such, it is suitable for writing letters or short authorships, but underpowered for such tasks as long reports (which usually rely heavily on graphics) or large works of authorship, such as books or manuscripts.
WordPad natively supports the Rich Text Format, though it does not support all the authoring features the RTF specification supports. It uses Microsoft's RichEdit control, version 4.1 of which ships with Windows XP SP1 and later operating systems, including Windows Vista. Previous versions also supported the "Word for Windows 6.0" format, which is forward compatible with the Microsoft Word format.
WordPad for Windows XP added multilingual text editing. It can open Microsoft Word (versions 6.0-2003) files, although sometimes with incorrect formatting. However, it cannot save files in the .doc format (only .txt or .rtf), unlike previous WordPad versions. Windows XP Service Pack 2 disabled the legacy support for looking .WRI files for security purposes.
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2 and Windows Vista feature speech recognition as part of the operating system, therefore dictation into WordPad is possible. In these and later operating systems, the RichEdit control, and as a result, WordPad, support extensible third-party services (such as grammar, spell check etc) built using the Text Services Framework (TSF).
In Windows Vista, support for reading Microsoft Word DOC files was removed because of the incorrect rendering and formatting problems. For viewing legacy (97-2003) as well as newer (Office Open XML) documents, Microsoft recommends Word Viewer, which is available for free. Native Office Open XML and ODF support is planned for Windows 7 WordPad.
If you use the Windows WordPad program, this log provides the list of files you have recently opened using WordPad. You see this list on the File menu in WordPad. This option does not delete the files themselves. It only erases the list of files recently opened.
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