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What is a Text File?

What is a Text File

A text file is a computer file that is a kind of non-executable, digital file and has only text. It can have numbers, letters, symbols, and/or a combination but does not contain special formatting such as italic text, bold text, underline text, pictures, etc. A text file identifies with the .txt file extension in Microsoft Windows computer. A given picture is an example of a text file.

A text file is also called ASCII files or flat files and is used to store structured and standard textual data or information, which can be readable by humans. There are various different formats available to define the text file, as well as the ANSI for Windows-based operating platforms and the ASCII for cross-platform usage.

In a Windows OS (operating system), a text editor like Word or Notepad is used to create a text file with the extension of .txt. Except for simple text, the source code for virtually all programming languages like PHP or Java is also written and stored by a text file. With the help of changing the file extension, the created file can be converted into a related programming language; for example, .txt to .php or .cpp.

Types of Text Files

Generally, a text file is that avoids images and other non-text characters and contains only text. Normally, these files use TXT file extensions, but it is not necessary to use only TXT file extensions. For example, a Word file that is also known as a text file, but it will be in the DOCX file extension.

The plain text file is another kind of text file that contains zero formatting, which means do not use any types of formatting, like underline, bold, italic, color, special font, and more. There are multiple examples of plain text file formats that end in TORRENT, XSPF, THEME, XML, M3U, M3U8, SRT, IES, REG, BAT, PLS, AIR, STP, DIZ, SFM.

In fact, the text file with .TXT file format is a file that is used to hold standard textual and structured data or information. Humans can easily open, read, and modify this information with the help of using any supportive text editor. Examples might include a place to hold temporary information, logs generated by a program, storing step-by-step instructions for how to use something.

As compared to 'plain text' files, cleartext or plaintext files are different (with space). The data can be transferred or be said to exist in plaintext if file transfer encryption or file storage encryption is not used. Usually, this is used in terms of cryptography; however, it can be applied to anything that should be secured.

How to open a text file?

If there is no special formatting being used from the file, a text file can be opened by all text editors. For example, a text file can be opened by using the Notepad program in Windows, which also allows users to view and modify text files.

Notepad++ is another program that can be used to open text files. You need to install it once, then choose the option edit with Notepad++ by right-clicking on the file. Also, most mobile devices and web browsers are capable of opening text files as well. However, as most of them are not designed in a manner to open files with several different file formats or extensions, which are using, if you want to use those applications with the intention to read the file containing different file extensions, you might need to save file with .TXT extension.

Microsoft WordPad, Geany, Microsoft Word, TextPad, Notepad2 are some other text editors and viewers, which enables users to open, view, and edit text files. Additionally, TextMate and BBEdit are text editors that are used for macOS. KWrite text openers/editors, Leafpad, and gedit text editors are also available for Linux users.

Open any file as a Text Document

Even if a file does not have readable text, it can also be opened as a text document. It is useful to do that when you are not aware of the file extension, and the file extension is missing, or you identified the wrong file format.

For instance, with the help of plugging an MP3 audio file into a text editor like Notepad++, it can be opened as a text file. Through this process, an MP3 file cannot be played, but as a text editor is only able to render the data as text, so you can see it is made up of text form.

Indicating that it is a metadata container, the very first line should include "ID3" with the MP3s in specially, which would be able to hold information like an album, artist, track number, and more.

How to convert Text Files?

Although there may be many reasons to convert text files into other formats like XLSX, XML, HTML, CSV, PDF, and more, the main objective is to change the text file format to save them another file format. Most advanced text editors can allow doing that, but simpler generally only support basic export formats like RTF, CSV, and TXT; therefore, they are not able to do it.

For instance, the Notepad++ program has the capability of storing a wide number of file formats, such as KML, HEX, VHD, AU3, SH, BAT, HTML, TXT, NFO, TEX, PLIST, REG, URL, JAVA, XML, PHP, PS, ASM, SQL, CSS, CMD, and VGS.

Other programs that are used to convert a file to a text format can probably save with some different types of extensions, such as XML, TXT, CSV, and RTF. Therefore, when you want to rename a file to TXT format from a particular program, you need to back to the application that made the original text file.

Is your file still not opening?

Sometimes, you open a file and see jumbled text, which may completely unreadable. It can happen for the reason that when the file is not plain text. As it has been discussed above, the Notepad++ program allows you to open any file, but if you open an MP3 file in this program, you cannot actually use the file there. When you open a file in a text editor, and it is not opened as you want. So, this file probably can be in a format that is not supportable by this editor or can be explained in human-readable text.

You can use other popular programs that are able to work with a huge variety of formats if you are unable to open a file or do not know how a file should open. For instance, although Notepad++ is the best program to see the text version files, if the file is related to media that contains sound or video data, you can open your file into VLC or other media player.

Microsoft Windows text files

A common text file format is used by both Microsoft and MS-DOS Windows; two-character combinations: line feed (LF) and carriage return (CR), are used to separate each line of text. It is very common for various text editors not to automatically insert one on the last line, and the last line of text does not terminate with a CR-LF marker. If the filename extension (suffix of the name of the file) is .txt, it is regarded as a text file on Microsoft Windows. However, for specific objectives, many other suffixes are used for text files.

The text files that have file name suffixes have the souce code for computer programs; also, these files specify the programming language in which the source is written. UTF-8" encoding, ANSI, Unicode, OEM are used by most of the Microsoft Windows text files. Usually, ANSI encodings are known as single-byte ISO/IEC 8859 encodings in Microsoft Windows terminology, which is non-Unicode, legacy encoding, System Code Page in Microsoft Notepad menus.

Unix text files

A text file is defined by the POSIX as a file that includes characters ordered into zero or more lines. These lines are a combination of zero or more non-newline characters containing a newline character, normally LF. According to regional rules, a printable file is defined by the POSIX as a text file in which characters are in the form of printable or backspace or backspace.

Apple Macintosh text files

With the advent of macOS that was prior called Mac OS X, the data fork was considered a text file by the classic Mac OS system. Its resource was a fork that indicated the type of file was "TEXT." The text files in the Macintosh are terminated with the help of CR characters.

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