Do you know the difference between plain text, styled text and binary?

I spent a good 15 minutes last week explaining the nature of “plain text” to a colleague who really should know the difference between plain text (ASCII, UTF-8/16), styled text (RTF) and binary (DOC).

It reminded me of this amusing rant : CVs and file extensions

It’s all about the ease with which one collates information and flows it into a larger piece (report, presentation, advertisement, etc). The most typical user story for me is receiving a report from a project manager or estimate from a developer and then incorporating it into a larger proposal.

My most dreaded situation involves MS Word documents with peculiar styling or odd WordArt objects – they’re the antithesis of clear, effective ideas neatly presented – and then having to stitch it together into a larger presentation or PDF.

Plain text is powerful, adaptable text.

Do you know the difference between plain text, styled text and binary?

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