Plain text

Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope
Example of Plain text and formatted text.

Plain text, Plain-text, or Plaintext is any text, text file, or document containing only text. Unlike a rich-text document, a plain text file cannot have bold text, fonts, larger font sizes, or any other special text formatting. The picture is a visual example of plain text vs. formatted text.

Most associate plain text files with the file extension .txt on Microsoft Windows computers, however, can be any non-formatted file. To view a plaintext file, a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad is used. However, all text editors including Microsoft WordPad and Word can also be used to view plaintext files because they have no special formatting.


If you view a non-plaintext file in a plain text editor, such as Notepad, it contains garbage and another character you may not recognize.

Ciphertext, Cleartext, Nontabular, Paste special, RTF, Software terms, Text, Unformatted text