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What is a TXT File? What is it for and how to open one

June 27, 2022
What is a TXT File? What is it for and how to open one

TXT files are files that contain plain text. These files can be created with almost any word processor or editing program, but the TXT file format does not support features and functions such as tables, graphs, and bold or italic printing.

TXT text files are text strings. They are considered generic platform files and can be opened on almost any operating system, including mobile devices.

You can also read: How to Open CUE Files

Index of contents

  1. What is a TXT file?
    1. Other features
  2. How to open a TXT file?
    1. Step 1: Install Notepad for Windows
    2. Step 2: Check the version of Notepad for Windows and update it if necessary
    3. Step 3: Merge plain text files using Windows Notepad
    4. Step 4: Check for errors in the TXT
  3. conclusion

What is a TXT file?

The TXT extension means “text file” and replaces the old name “flat file”. This computer file is structured as a series of lines of text. The end of a file is usually indicated by a special symbol placed after the last line of text as an “end of file” marker.

This type of container contains plain text, but it also has other properties. TXT files are used to store information and avoid the complexities inherent in other file formats.

Corrupted data files can be easily recovered and the user can continue working with the stored information. The disadvantage of using TXT files is their low entropy, which means that TXT files require more storage space than other text files.

Other features

TXT files contain only minimal formatting, but conform to the format definitions of system terminals and word processors. TXT files are universal in that they can be read by any word processing program.

TXT files can use Unicode, which makes them more readable for users with different languages. ASCII text files can be exchanged and read on Unix, Mac, and Windows systems. The most used character set is UTF-8which differs from ASCII byte order and is ASCII compatible.

This is a small and incomplete list of programs that can open TXT documents:

  • memo pad
  • TextEdit
  • WordPad

How to open a TXT file?

Failure to open TXT files can be due to various reasons. Please note that all common problems with TXT files can be solved by users themselves. The procedure is fast and does not require the intervention of a computer expert. Below is a list of tips to help you identify and resolve file problems.

Step 1: Install Notepad for Windows

If you’re having trouble opening and maintaining TXT files, it’s probably due to a lack of proper software on your computer that supports TXT files. You can solve this problem by downloading and installing Windows Notepad or other compatible program like FB2 Reader, Raccoon Reader, READU.

One of the least risky ways to download software is to use the links provided by official distributors. Visit the website of Notepad Windows and download the installer.

Step 2: Check the version of Notepad for Windows and update it if necessary

If after installing Notepad for Windows you still have trouble opening TXT files, you may have an outdated version of the program. Check the manufacturer’s website to see if there is a newer version of Notepad for Windows.

Sometimes software developers introduce new formats instead of those already supported by new versions of their applications. If you have installed an older version of Notepad for Windows, the TXT format may not be supported.

All file formats that were handled well in previous versions of a given program should also be able to open with Windows Notepad.

Step 3: Merge plain text files using Windows Notepad

If you have installed the latest version of Notepad for Windows, but the problem persists, select it as default tool to manage the TXT files on your device. This method is quite simple and does not vary much between operating systems.

Select the first application in Windows

  • Right click on the TXT file and select Open with.
  • Click Select another app and then select Other apps.
  • Finally, select Look for another app on this PC, points to the folder where Windows Notepad is installedcheck Always use this app to open TXT files and make your selection by clicking OK.
  • Select your first Mac OS application.

Select Information from the dropdown menu available when clicking on a TXT file

  • Look for the “Open With” option: Click the header if it’s hidden.
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Edit All.
  • Finally, you should see the message This change applies to all files with a TXT extension. Click Next to confirm your choice.

Step 4: Check for errors in the TXT

If after following the instructions in the previous steps the problem persists, check the TXT file in question. The file is probably corrupted and cannot be viewed.

1. Check the TXT file for viruses and malware.

If the file is infected, the malware in the TXT file will make it difficult to open. Immediately scan the file with an antivirus program or review the entire system to make sure it’s secure. Is the TXT file infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus program.

2. Make sure the file is not damaged or invalid

Did you receive this TXT file from someone else? Ask them to resend it to you. The file may not have been copied correctly to the data file and may be incomplete, so it cannot be opened. When downloading a TXT file from the Internet, there may be an error and the file may not be complete. Try to download the file again.

3. Check that the connected user has administrator rights.

The user may need administrator rights to access the files. Log out of current account and, enter an account with sufficient access rights. Next, open the file in plain text format.

4. Check that your device meets the requirements to open Windows Notepad

If your system is heavily loaded, it may not be able to handle the program used to open files with the TXT extension. In this case, close all other applications.

5. Check that your operating system and drivers are up to date

The latest versions of software and drivers may help resolve problems with plain text files, as well as ensure the security of your device and operating system. TXT files may work properly with updated software that fixes some system bugs.


TXT files are ordinary text files. Today you have learned about the TXT format, a type of text that can be opened by word processors and annotation programs. TXT files are text files without any formatting. There are many applications that support them on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. You can find more information about this type of format on our website.

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