When you click the View Source command in Internet Explorer 8, it uses the built-in viewer, which is part of the Developer Tools in Internet Explorer 8. The built-in viewer lets you dynamically refresh the view source window, increase or decrease the text size and lists other standard options.
The new viewer does not allow editing the source though. Previous versions of Internet Explorer use Notepad as the default source editor, which lets you modify the source before saving. To set Notepad as the default view source editor in Internet Explorer 8 (and previous versions), use the instructions below.
Changing the View Source Editor in Internet Explorer
Method 1: Using the Built-in Option in IE8
Internet Explorer 8 includes a built-in option to change the default view source editor. The setting is provided in the Developer Tools.
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Press the F12 button to start the Developer Tools
3. From the File menu, click Customize Internet Explorer View Source
4. Select one of the following options:
- Default Viewer
If you choose Other…, you’ll be prompted to select the executable file of your preferred text editor. Use this option to set your third-party text editing program (e.g. Notepad+) to set as the default source editor.
Method 2: Manual Registry Edit
1. Launch Regedit.exe and navigate to:
2. Create a subkey named View Source Editor
3. Under View Source Editor, create a subkey named Editor Name
4. Select the following key:
5. Double-click (default) and set Notepad.exe as its data
Note: If you prefer a third-party text editor (such as Notepad+, Notepad Lite etc), type the full path to the executable.
6. Exit the Registry Editor.
Download viewsrc_ie8.zip, unzip the file and extract the contents to a folder. Double-click the file viewsrc-notepad.reg to set Notepad as the default View Source editor. To restore the original setting (built-in viewer as the default), run the file viewsrc-default.reg.
Note: The above REG files can be used with previous versions of Internet Explorer as well.
(Last Updated on March 22, 2009. Article modified for IE8 Final.)