A report on Plain text

Text file of The Human Side of Animals by Royal Dixon, displayed by the command in an xterm window

Loose term for data that represent only characters of readable material but not its graphical representation nor other objects (floating-point numbers, images, etc.).

- Plain text
Text file of The Human Side of Animals by Royal Dixon, displayed by the command in an xterm window

12 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Editors like Leafpad, shown here, are often included with operating systems as a default helper application for opening text files.

Text editor

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Editors like Leafpad, shown here, are often included with operating systems as a default helper application for opening text files.
A box of punched cards with several program decks.
Emacs, a text editor popular among programmers, running on Microsoft Windows
gedit is a text editor shipped with GNOME

A text editor is a type of computer program that edits plain text.

Formatted text

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In computing, formatted text, styled text, or rich text, as opposed to plain text, is digital text which has styling information beyond the minimum of semantic elements: colours, styles (boldface, italic), sizes, and special features in HTML (such as hyperlinks).

ASCII chart from a pre-1972 printer manual

ASCII

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Character encoding standard for electronic communication.

Character encoding standard for electronic communication.

ASCII chart from a pre-1972 printer manual
ASCII (1963). Control pictures of equivalent controls are shown where they exist, or a grey dot otherwise.

To simplify matters, plain text data streams, including files, on Multics used line feed (LF) alone as a line terminator.

The first 216 Unicode code points. The stripe of solid gray near the bottom are the surrogate halves used by UTF-16 (the white region below the stripe is the Private Use Area)

UTF-16

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Character encoding capable of encoding all 1,112,064 valid character code points of Unicode (in fact this number of code points is dictated by the design of UTF-16).

Character encoding capable of encoding all 1,112,064 valid character code points of Unicode (in fact this number of code points is dictated by the design of UTF-16).

The first 216 Unicode code points. The stripe of solid gray near the bottom are the surrogate halves used by UTF-16 (the white region below the stripe is the Private Use Area)

It is also sometimes used for plain text and word-processing data files on Microsoft Windows.

Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator

Unix

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Family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, whose development started in 1969 at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.

Family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, whose development started in 1969 at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.

Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator
Unix System III running on a PDP-11 simulator
Version 7 Unix, the Research Unix ancestor of all modern Unix systems
Ken Thompson (sitting) and Dennis Ritchie working together at a PDP-11
The Common Desktop Environment (CDE), part of the COSE initiative
Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, principal developers of Research Unix
Photo from USENIX 1984, including Dennis Ritchie (center)
Plan 9 from Bell Labs extends Unix design principles and was developed as a successor to Unix.
Promotional license plate by Digital Equipment Corporation
HP9000 workstation running HP-UX, a certified Unix operating system

Unix systems are characterized by various concepts: the use of plain text for storing data; a hierarchical file system; treating devices and certain types of inter-process communication (IPC) as files; and the use of a large number of software tools, small programs that can be strung together through a command-line interpreter using pipes, as opposed to using a single monolithic program that includes all of the same functionality.

E-text

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General term for any document that is read in digital form, and especially a document that is mainly text.

General term for any document that is read in digital form, and especially a document that is mainly text.

An e-text may be a binary or a plain text file, viewed with any open source or proprietary software.

This screenshot shows the "Inbox" page of an email client; users can see new emails and take actions, such as reading, deleting, saving, or responding to these messages.

Email

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Method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices.

Method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices.

This screenshot shows the "Inbox" page of an email client; users can see new emails and take actions, such as reading, deleting, saving, or responding to these messages.
The at sign, a part of every SMTP email address
When a "robot" on Wikipedia makes changes to image files, the uploader receives an email about the changes made.
Email operation
The interface of an email client, Thunderbird.

Most modern graphic email clients allow the use of either plain text or HTML for the message body at the option of the user.

A stylized iconic depiction of a CSV-formatted text file.

Text file

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Kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines of electronic text.

Kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines of electronic text.

A stylized iconic depiction of a CSV-formatted text file.

"Text file" refers to a type of container, while plain text refers to a type of content.

Tim Berners-Lee in April 2009

HTML

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Standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser.

Standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser.

Tim Berners-Lee in April 2009
Logo of HTML5
HTML element content categories

Most graphical email clients allow the use of a subset of HTML (often ill-defined) to provide formatting and semantic markup not available with plain text.

Rich Text Format

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Proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft Corporation from 1987 until 2008 for cross-platform document interchange with Microsoft products.

Proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft Corporation from 1987 until 2008 for cross-platform document interchange with Microsoft products.

Because RTF files are usually 7-bit ASCII plain text, they can be easily transmitted between PC-based operating systems.