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.TXT File Extension

File TypePlain Text File

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CategoryText Files

What is a TXT file?

A TXT file is a standard text document that contains plain text. It can be opened and edited in any text-editing or word-processing program. TXT files are most often created by Microsoft Notepad and Apple TextEdit, which are basic text editors that come bundled with Windows and macOS, respectively.

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Screenshot of a .txt file in Microsoft Notepad
TXT file open in Microsoft Notepad

TXT files are simple text documents that contain little to no formatting. They are used to store notes, step-by-step instructions, manuscripts, and other text-based information.

Windows and macOS both include simple text editors that can save text documents as TXT files. Microsoft Notepad saves documents as TXT files by default, and Microsoft WordPad and Apple TextEdit can optionally save files as TXT files. When a WordPad or TextEdit user saves a document as a TXT file, those programs strip the document of its formatting (bolding, italicization, font style, alignment, etc.).

Users who need to create more complicated text documents, such as resumes, reports, letters, or flyers, typically do not save those documents as TXT files. Instead, they use Microsoft Word or Apple Pages to create and save their documents as .DOCX or .PAGES files.

NOTE: Various non-PC devices, such as smartphones and the Amazon Kindle, and web browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, also recognize plain text files.

Common TXT Filenames

New Text Document.txt - The default filename Microsoft Windows gives to new text documents created via the context menu (right-click on the desktop and choose New → Text Document).

README.txt - A text file commonly included with software installers that provides information about the software. Users should often read this file before using the software.

How do I open a TXT file?

You can open a TXT file in any text editor and most popular web browsers. Below, you'll find platform-specific instructions for opening TXT files.

How do I open a TXT file in Windows?

In Windows, you can open a TXT file in Microsoft Notepad or Microsoft WordPad, both of which come included with Windows. To open a TXT file in Notepad:

  1. From the Windows Start menu, select Windows Accessories → Notepad.
  2. After Notepad opens, select File → Open....
  3. Navigate to and open your TXT file.

How do I open a TXT file on a Mac?

In macOS, you can open a TXT file in Apple TextEdit, which comes included with the operating system. To open a TXT file in TextEdit:

  1. From the Finder or Launchpad, open TextEdit.
  2. In the file browser window that appears, navigate to and open your TXT file.

How do I open a TXT file in Chrome OS?

On Chromebooks, you can open a TXT file in Google Chrome Text, which comes included with Chrome OS. To open a TXT file in Google Chrome Text:

  1. Open the Chrome OS Launcher. Then, open Google Chrome Text.
  2. Select Google Chrome Text's Open button.
  3. Navigate to and open your TXT file.

How do I open a TXT file in my web browser?

The Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge web browsers all allow users to open TXT files. Keep in mind, however, that you will not be able to edit your TXT file in a web browser.

In Chrome and Firefox, you can simply drag and drop your file into a browser window to open it. In Microsoft Edge, you must copy and paste your file's location into Edge's address bar to open the file.

Open and view .TXT files with File Viewer Plus.

Programs that open TXT files

Updated 3/8/2021

About TXT Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.txt suffix is and how to open it.

The Plain Text file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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