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How to Create a Plain Text File on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Create Plain Text Files on Mac

Creating a plain text file on a Mac is quite simple. This guide will show you two different methods on how to do this. These methods don’t require any special software and utilize the built-in TextEdit application on your Mac 🍎.


Create a Single Plain Text File

The first method involves creating a single plain text file. Here’s your step-by-step guide:

  • Open the TextEdit application on your Mac.
  • Click on ‘New Document’ to start a new file.
  • Write down your text in the new document.
  • Locate the ‘Format’ option in the menu bar.
  • Under the ‘Format’ menu, click on ‘Make Plain Text‘.
  • Close and save the document. Now, you have a plain text file on your Mac 😀

Set Plain Text as Default

If you frequently need to create plain text files, it might be convenient to set this as the default format in TextEdit. Here’s how you can do this:

  • Start the TextEdit application on your Mac.
  • Navigate to the ‘TextEdit’ menu and select ‘Preferences’.
  • In the ‘New Document’ section of the preferences, switch your default format to ‘Plain Text‘.
  • Now, every time you open a new document in TextEdit, it will automatically be a txt file 📖.

Conclusion: 🏁

That’s all there is to creating plain text files on a Mac! These two methods should cover your needs, whether it’s creating a one-off text file, or setting plain text as your default. The process is quick, easy, and doesn’t require any third-party software. Try these methods out and get creating 💻.


A plain text file is a file that contains only text without any formatting such as bold, italics or different fonts. It’s widely used for configuration files or programming scripts.

Plain text files are an essential part of operating systems and applications, they’re used for configuration, data storage and script writing. They’re also universally readable across all platforms.

You can easily create a plain text file using TextEdit, the default text editor on Mac. To do this: Open TextEdit, go to ‘Format’ > ‘Make Plain Text’, then save your file with a .txt extension.

In TextEdit, write your text, then go to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Save’. In the save dialog box, select the ‘Plain Text’ option and then give your file a name.

The default text editor on Mac is TextEdit. It allows you to create both rich text files and plain text files.

Yes, other than TextEdit, you can use text editors like Sublime Text, Atom, Visual Studio Code, Vim etc. to create a plain text file.

Yes, a plain text file can contain any symbols or special characters that are part of the ASCII or Unicode character set.

Yes, plain text files are universally readable and can be opened on any operating system that has a text editor.

Open the rich text file in TextEdit, then go to the ‘Format’ menu and select ‘Make Plain Text’. Save the file with a .txt extension.

No, plain text files only contain text and cannot include images or other multimedia elements.

The most common file extension for a plain text file is .txt.

If you save a rich text file as a plain text file, all formatting (like bold, italics) will be lost, and the file will only contain the plain text content.

You can double click on the file to open it or right click on the file and choose ‘Open With’ > ‘TextEdit’ or any other text editor of your choice.

Yes, you can use any name you want, but it’s recommended to use a meaningful name so you can easily remember what’s inside the file.

Yes, you can save the file to any location, including the desktop, documents folder, or any other directory you have access to.

Open the Word document, then go to ‘File’ > ‘Save As’, and choose ‘Plain Text (.txt)’ from the ‘Format’ dropdown menu.

Yes, you can use the ‘nano’ or ‘vi’ command in the Terminal to create a plain text file.

Yes, Word can open plain text files. However, Word will display the file with its default formatting, which might not be the same as how the text appears in a plain text editor.

Yes, plain text files are widely used for writing code in various programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, C++, etc.

You can open a plain text file in a web browser by simply drag and dropping the file into a new tab or by using the ‘Open File’ option in the browser’s menu.

No, plain text files don’t support password protection. If you need to secure a file, consider using formats that support encryption, like PDF, or zip the file with a password.

Practically, the size of a plain text file is limited by the storage space on your device. However, very large files may be difficult to open in some text editors.

Yes, you can print a plain text file. Just open the file in any text editor or word processor and go to ‘File’ > ‘Print’.

Most text editors have a ‘Find’ or ‘Search’ function that you can use to search for text within a file. Usually, this can be accessed with ‘Ctrl+F’ or ‘Cmd+F’.

Just open the file in a text editor, make your changes, and save the file.

In a plain text file, you can use the Tab key to create indents, but unlike a word processor, text editors don’t support multiple tabs like in a spreadsheet.

Yes, you can write HTML code in a plain text file and save it with a .html extension.

Yes, you can attach a plain text file to an email like any other file.

Yes, you can upload a plain text file to any cloud storage service like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

Yes, you can use various tools and services to convert a PDF into a plain text file. However, the results might not be perfect depending on the complexity of the PDF.