online QDA logo - Home Page



Bookmark and Share

Plain text and RTF

Plain text

This is a minimal standard. It does not include information on different fonts, colours, font sizes, bold, italic and roman text and line justification. Plain text includes just characters and a limited range of punctuation marks and symbols. Save your files as plain text or as plain text with carriage returns.

(In MS Word select Text Only with Line Breaks from the Save as Type pull-down menu. This uses a .txt extension.)

Make sure the line length is less than 80 characters. This is made easier if you put the file in a mono-spaced font like Monaco or Courier before adjusting the line length with the ruler. N.B. plain text (sometimes called ASCII text files) are compatible with RTF too. So if all you have are plain text files, you can use them instead of RTF files. You will just not have retained any fonts, sizes, colour etc.

Rich text format (RTF)

This format allows you to retain different fonts, colours, font sizes, bold, italic and roman text and certain aspects of layout such as how lines are justified. It is best to do all this formatting work in your word processor before introducing the files into the program. In the word processor, save the files as type RTF. (In MS Word this is an option in the pull-down menu at the bottom of the Save As dialog and gives the file a .rtf extension.) In an RTF file words in a paragraph wrap to match the available space. There are carriage returns only at the end of paragraphs.