Notebook PEA - Text Editor with Password Encryption

Encrypted Notes

Protect your private notes with your password.
Notebook PEA provides a simple text editor to display and modify encrypted text files.

Unlike file encryption programs, the text is never stored unencrypted on your disk (except you explicitly decide to do that). The plain text exists only in the RAM.
Since Notebook PEA version 1.0 you can manage multiple text files in tabs, if you use the same password. Texts are only decrypted in RAM, if they are currently displayed.

Although there are many good programs for this purpose, the main weakness of password encryption applications - the key derivation function - is often rarely observed and most programs are using at best outdated or questionable standards. These key derivation functions are particularly vulnerable to custom hardware attacks.
Notebook PEA uses as default key derivation function Catena-Dragonfly which was given special recognition of the Password Hashing Competition 2015.

Unlike most other programs, Notebook PEA uses authenticated encryption (EAX mode) and thus provides confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the text.

Notebook PEA offers a simple text editor with some styling functionality, redo/undo and copy, cut, paste commands, the possibility to change the password or to store the text unencrypted. The text is handled in rich text format (RTF).

Notebook PEA 1.2:


Key Derivation Function: Catena-Dragonfly
Cipher (EAX-Mode): Threefish
Hash Function: Blake2b

Softpedia, download3k and FileCluster checked the Notebook PEA for adware, spyware, viruses, backdoors...

You can find downloads of old versions and a version log at the versions site .

If you're unhappy with the notebook PEA, take a look at the alternatives (other open source programs for similar purposes).

How to use

There is a manual for the Notebook Pea.
Take a look if you can't start or if you have problems to use it.
open Notebook PEA Notebook PEA (open)

Use cases

You can use Notebook PEA for any purpose where texts needed to be encrypted, modified and displayed. However for two scenarios Notebook PEA is not well suited: for communication and as password manager.

Self-Decrypting Archives for Communication

You can use self-decrypting archives like the Notebook PEA for communication, but this is a bad replacement for public key encryption, which is used for example in GnuPG for mail encryption.
There are mainly two reasons, why self-decrypting archives normally should not be used for communication:

  1. Most of the passwords are much less secure than (randomly chosen) cryptographic keys. Although it is generally possible to choose secure passwords, in practise this is very rarely the case. There are several password cracker programs (see Links) and it is very likely, that they will succeed for the vast majority of passwords - even if this would take a long time. In contrast, public key cryptography seems actually secure as long as the keys are long enough.
  2. You have to share the password. In public key cryptography you can publish your public key, but for self-decrypting archives you have to tell your conversation partner the password first.

You can store your passwords in the Notebook PEA, but there are many open source programs which are better suited for this specific purpose. Look for password managers.


Thanks to all who have improved, tested or reviewed Notebook PEA or other PEAs.


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Warning of a malicious fake version

Warning: xdowns.com and other Chinese-language websites offer a fake version of the Notebook PEA that contains malware.