I am tired of relying on notepad to view the source of webpages. I needed a viewer with a little more functionality than notepad. I dug around on the net for a while and found a GREAT freeware text editor (since it's freeware I think I can mention it... mods correct me if I'm wrong) The editor I chose is PSPad. (Don't want to get into a discussion about text editors, just relaying my find.)
Now for the good part. I found instructions on how to change the default editor on Google after a few tries. In order to change the default program you need to edit the registry on your machine. Don't forget to back it up first in case something goes wrong. Here's what to do...
Change the following key in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -SOFTWARE --Microsoft ---Internet Explorer ----View Source Editor -----Editor Name Set the default string in the "editor name" key to: e:\program files\pspad\pspad.exe (w/ your program's location)
This worked like a charm for me. I did forget to close IE while making this edit the first time so it didn't take. Make sure to close IE when doing this.
There are some text editors out there that will make these registry changes for you. I've been a longtime user of NoteTab (there are free and paid versions). That program will offer to make itself the replacement for NotePad system wide.
If you want to make a change like that you can also go to:
Control Panel ¦ Folder Options ¦ File Types (tab) and change the program that opens .TXT files, and any other text based files you like.