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Internet Explorer View Source Editor

I think Microsoft should come up with a better view source editor than notepad.exe. If you’ve been using Firefox or Safari to view source, you will not want to use IE 7. I hope IE 8 will have a HTML source viewer that can match Firefox and Safari.

Why Would You Want to View Source?
Viewing the source code of Web page is part and parcel of the Web design process. You can also learn how other people’s Web pages achieve certain effects by viewing their source codes.

Changing IE7 View Source Editor

So how do you change the Internet Explorer default source editor to your favorite text editor?

There are 2 ways:

1. The Difficult Way

Go to Thea Burgur Blog at


You will have to tweak your Windows registry using regedit.

Start > Run > enter regedit

Then search for the following entry:

|_ Software
|__ Microsoft
|___ Internet Explorer
|____ View Source Editor
|_____ Editor Name (Default) = C:\WINDOWS\NOTEPAD.EXE

Edit and change the path to your external text editor e.g. C:\Program Files\Notepad2\notepad2.exe

If you are not familiar with using RegEdit, watch the following video.


2. The Easy Way

Go download a copy for the free View Source Editor. Run the program and enter the path to your favorite text editor.

View Source Editor

My favorite text editor is PSPad, a freeware programmer’s editor. However, you may like to try a smaller text editor which loads quickly… I recommend you to use Notepad2.


Notepad2 – A Microsoft Notepad Replacement

Notepad2 is small, light-weight and fast text editor which is more powerful than the default Microsoft notepad.exe.

You can download Notepad2 for free at:


Notepad2 screenshot
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Mike 6 Oct 2011, 1:39 am

    Thanks for the lead! View Source Editor is great!

  • ZioBill 12 Nov 2010, 10:22 am

    Yes, uff, UltraEdit (as happened even to me) only to take a look at source is overkill,
    thanks for the hints.

  • Tony Scholefield 25 Jun 2010, 9:16 am

    Thanks for the tip. I have been meaning to change my source editor from UltraEdi (set by my company’s SOE) to notepad (call me a dinosaur if you like) for a while and finally found out how. I might have a look at notepad2 though.

  • JW 4 Mar 2008, 6:43 pm

    Check out fiddler and notepad++ too…

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