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Notepad RTL Reading Order Gotcha Has Easy Fix

Notepad is one of those built-in Windows applications that seldom requires much thought or attention. It’s been around since the earliest days of Windows. (I remember it from the 3.0/3.1 days, which is when my Windows exposure began in earnest, circa 1990-1992.) Last night, I ran into something using Notepad I’d never seen before. It left me momentarily stumped: text appeared right-justified, but new text entry still went left-to-right. A quick Google search on “Windows 10 notepad opens with text at right” showed me that a built-in setting had somehow been changed. Notepad supports both left-to-right and right-to-left text alignment. A quick hop to an MS Community post entitled “Text Alignment in Notepad” also provided the fix. It’s a right-click menu option, which lets me say Notepad RTL reading order gotcha has easy fix.

Notice the right-click menu item “Right to left reading order” is checked. Uncheck this item, and all goes back to left-to-right normal.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

If Notepad RTL Reading Order Gotcha Has Easy Fix, What Is It?

Somehow, the normal left-to-right (LTR) text alignment in Notepad got reset to right-to-left (RTL). Simply unchecking the corresponding right-click item set things back to rights, so to speak. I was initially flummoxed when I saw this, because I’d never run into it before. Thus, I had no idea what was going on. But, as usual when Windows gets weird, a quick Google search showed me the way back to what’s normal for English (LTR). I’m sure users in other languages that run RTL will also benefit from this insight, though it will work for them in reverse.

I’m amazed that I ran into this for the first time nearly 30 years after my initial exposure to Windows. But it’s a big and wonderful world unto itself. And obviously, this won’t be the last such revelation for me (and my readers) as our Windows adventures continue. Cheers!

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