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Text File

Definition - What does Text File mean?

A text file is a type of digital, non-executable file that contains letters, numbers, symbols and/or a combination. It enables the creation and storage of text without any special formatting.

Text files are also known as flat files or ASCII files.

Techopedia explains Text File

A text file is used to store standard and structured textual data or information that is human readable. It is defined in several different formats, including the most popular ASCII for cross-platform usage, and ANSI for Windows-based operating platforms. It lacks text formatting abilities, such as text alignment, bold text and font styles.

In a Windows operating system (OS), a text file is created using a text editor, such as Notepad or Word. It has a file extension of .txt.

Besides simply text, a text file is used to write and store source code for virtually all programming languages, such as Java or PHP. The created file can be converted to the respective programming language by changing the file extension from .txt to .php or .cpp.

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