Why plain text?# Feb 9, 2012
Some people have asked why saving documents as plain text files (.txt) is more futureproof than saving them as Big Office Program documents or some other format.
Plain text files been around virtually unchanged the dawn of computing and will likely remain around until the end of computing. Operating systems themselves and the programs and apps they run are written in plain text. The engines of the internet (html, php, perl, etc.) all made up of plain text files.
All major operating systems (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc.) support the basic viewing and editing of plain text files, either natively or with free (or at least cheap), plentiful, text editors.
Even if you never switch from one operating system to another there are big advantages to using plain text files. The Big Office Program format changes with alarming regularity. This years documents may not open in last years version. A older document may open but the formatting could be all messed up. Who knows who the dominant Office Program will be in 15 years and what formats they’ll support. Remember Wordstar and Wordperfect? It’s virtually guaranteed that text files will be readable 15 years from now.
Plain text files are the mp3 of the document world. They may not be as fancy as other formats but you can be certain that next years computer or gadget is going to open it.
Yes, Knowsynotes does include some ‘markup’ for embedding images and links to other documents but these are completely optional and even with these extra tags the file is still just plain text and fully readable and understandable. Editing the document in another editor won’t destroy the links and the objects that are ‘embedded’ are separate and available separately as well.