Archive for August, 2011

Word Processing … LCD

‘LCD’ for “lowest common denominator”, that is.

I read an article today that reinforces something I’ve done for years … create and/or save  word processing documents in plain text format (ASCII). Why? To preserve compatibility with past as well as future word processing apps.

Here’s the story in part …..

Forget fancy formatting: Why plain text is best

by David Sparks,   Aug 11, 2011 8:00 am

Looking back through my old files, I’m amazed to see how many word processors I’ve used over the years. I’ve got document files in formats ranging from MacWrite to Pages and everything in between. The problem is, a lot of those old files are useless to me now: None of my current word processors can read them. That’s a shame; some of those old words were pretty good.

Although modern word processing programs can do some amazing things—adding charts, tables, and images, applying sophisticated formatting—there’s one thing they can’t do: Guarantee that the words I write today will be readable ten years from now.

That’s just one of the reasons I prefer to work in plain text: It’s timeless. My grandchildren will be able to read a text file I create today, long after anybody can remember what the heck a .dotx file is.

But that’s not plain text’s only advantage. Text files are multi-platform: I can bounce them among my Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Windows PC without breaking a sweat. I can also drop text into any number of programs for further processing. For these and other reasons, I now write everything—including this story—in plain-text format.

Here’s the complete article

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