BabelPad (Unicode Text Editor for Windows)





Overview

BabelPad is a free Unicode text editor for Windows that supports the proper rendering of most complex scripts, and allows you to assign different fonts to different scripts in order to facilitate multi-script text editing. It also provides many useful features and special utilities for processing Unicode text. BabelPad supports the most recent version of the Unicode Standard, currently Unicode 10.0 (released June 2017).



Summary of Features

These are some of the key features of BabelPad. For more information see the BabelPad Help pages (currently under construction).



Download

BabelPad is free to download and use for personal or commercial purposes. However, if you do find BabelPad useful you are welcome to make a voluntary payment via PayPal (a single payment covers both BabelPad and BabelMap). BabelPad is distributed as a single executable file (no installer). Simply download the zipped file, and then unzip the file BabelPad.exe to the desired location on your computer. BabelPad runs on Windows 2000*, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.


Software Version Download Link Voluntary Payment
BabelPad 10.0.0.1 (2017-07-17) Download
BabelMap 10.0.0.1 (2017-07-17) Download

* BabelPad requires GDI+ (gdiplus.dll), which may not be installed on systems running Windows 2000; if this is the case you may download it directly from Microsoft (here), and copy the file gdiplus.dll to the same location that BabelPad.exe is run from.

The latest version of BabelPad runs on Windows 2000 or later, but an unsupported old version of BabelPad (supporting Unicode 4.1) that runs on Windows 95/98/Me is available for download here.



Security

You may have heard that the CIA is able to deploy a "malware-laced" version of BabelPad. Let me first of all emphasize that BabelPad.exe has not been compromised, and there is no suggestion that BabelPad has any malicious functions that can be exploited by the CIA or anyone else. In fact, the CIA exploit does not refer to the version of BabelPad you can download from babelstone.co.uk, but specifically refers to BabelPad Portable, which is a repackaged portable version of BabelPad that is distributed by a third-party, and which is neither endorsed nor supported by me. As BabelPad Portable installs BabelPad.exe in a sub-sub-folder that the user is not intended to access, a malicious actor can surreptitiously plant a fake version of a system dll in the same directory as BabelPad.exe, with the result that when BabelPad is run it loads the fake dll rather than the real one, and the fake dll is then able to carry out nefarious activities on behalf of the person who planted it. See BabelPad Portable Hijack on WikiLeaks for further details of the exploit.

As the ordinary version of BabelPad available from babelstone.co.uk is distributed as a single .exe file with no installer, it is much harder for a malicious actor to trick BabelPad into loading a fake system dll. BabelPad is distributed as a zip file named BabelPad.zip which contains only a single file, BabelPad.exe, which the user unzips and puts in any directory they like. To be safe, follow these simple rules:

  1. Only download BabelPad from babelstone.co.uk. Do not download from any other website or accept BabelPad distributed on physical media (such as CD or USB stick) unless you are 100% certain that the source is reliable.
  2. Do not accept BabelPad.zip if it contains any files other than BabelPad.exe, especially if it contains any file with a dll extension.
  3. Unzip BabelPad to its own directory (e.g. C:\Users\Me\Documents\BabelPad), and regularly check that no other files have mysteriously appeared in that directory.


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