Escape The Microsoft Word Trap By Converting Documents To Pdf And Txt: Windows Software: Accessible Web Host’s Internet 101.

If you’re like me; you’ve probably noticed that the number of file formats that Microsoft uses with its Word application keeps racking up with each new office release; the latest being 2016. This means that older versions of a Word Document are being viewed in compatibility mode rather than in just a regular old screen. To work on the Old file; one is advised to upgrade it to the latest and greatest document format. However, if you are just warehousing old files for future reference; the question must be asked, “What happens when Microsoft decides to stop supporting the older file formats?”

You might have noticed too; when it comes to more than one person working on a file, things can get a little dicey, especially if you and they don’t have the same version of Microsoft Word, or they have something like Open Office. Depending upon how the file is being used; differences in applications can become a real issue going forward, even if you are all working on the same Word supported DOC or DOCX file type.

Personally; since I do a lot of writing for this blog I’ve decided to convert all of my pre-existing word documents to the UTF-8 TXT file format. In the case of those files least likely to ever be changed again, the PDF format usually associated with Adobe will do just fine. I’ve yet to see a running list of variations on the UTF-8 and PDF file types and know that I can open them universally without issues.

Also, where the UTF-8 TXT file type is concerned; any formatting that needs to be done for this site can be easily handled via the WordPress platform AccessibleWebHost.com is run on. So, converting my files in this manner makes perfect sense.

As you may or may not be aware; TXT files aren’t exactly synonymous with terms like, “Spectacular Formatting.” The TXT file type allows for very basic text editing and document lay out, “Only,” and is considered to be more of a programmer’s tool when writing code.

For the files I want to keep, formatting and all; that’s definitely where using the PDF file type comes in handy. Of course, I’m talking about files that I will not be updating again in three days. However, regardless as to which editor you’re using, you will always need to work with the program’s preferred formats for those items you will be changing daily, if not weekly or monthly.

So, “To clarify,” how do I know which files I will be converting, if not generating, as TXT? This answer is rather simple. If the file contains…

  • Personal notes for myself.
  • Written text under development in collaboration with another party during the draft phase.
  • Text to be used on my blog.
  • Text as a part of a website under development.

These should all be UTF-8 TXT files. It should be noted here too that the UTF-8 version selection of the TXT file type is widely used by programmers; including those folks who built WordPress. So, it makes sense that text that is created using UTF-8 will work better in the WordPress editor than other options. This is because, under the hood, the computer spoken language is the same.

Therefore, we can cut down on the likelihood of there being strange symbols generated in the content we published to the web. So, “Yeah,” I’m saying it’s best to write content for a WordPress powered blog using a UTF-8 TXT editor.

For everything else in the Microsoft Word preferred format; if it hasn’t been changed in six months or more, “The PDF format it is!” At least this way; no matter what technological changes come down the line in future I’ll have a majority of my stuff still available because of my choice to make sure I’m using long standing universally accepted file formats that have withstood the test of time.

Author: Brian Schnabel

[brian@brianschnabel.com]: Awaiting your email: I’m the best web host for writers; plugin it all in here via Microsoft Word 2016, Windows 10, JAWS 2018 and the screen reader accessibility of WordPress 4.9.1.

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