I do most of my writing and coding in a plain text editor. On many machines, this means Notepad. I think Notepad is one of the greatest applications of all time. So Zen and perfect in its simplicity.
While working with plain text, I am often required to convert text content between Notepad and Wordpad. Wordpad is also a great text tool, but the rich-text formatting doesn’t translate well into the plain-text format used by Notepad.
For example, while working on my latest project in Google Docs, I take advantage of the “Save to txt file” option in order to take a copy of my work with me on the road. As expected, however, the saved txt file is in rich-text format and thus looks like a garbled mess when opened in Notepad.
Although I could work directly in Wordpad and avoid the formatting discrepancy entirely, I don’t like the way Wordpad “jumps” to the last “point-of-edit” after each save. And I save my work a lot, so Wordpad is out.
Here’s the rub: any .txt file can be opened and edited by either Wordpad or Notepad. When the .txt file is encoded in rich-text format, opening the file in Wordpad retains the formatting (spaces, breaks, characters, etc.), but it becomes a garbled mess of “text soup” when opened in Notepad.
Fortunately, I have found an easy fix for this that I want to share with you (and myself for future reference). Converting the rich-text formatting into plain-text formatting is as easy as opening the .txt file in Wordpad and then explicitly saving the file via “File > Save”. After that, open the file in Notepad and the text will be well-formatted and ready for further editing.
Click, click — Done! :)