An ASCII text file is a file that contains only characters, numbers, punctuation, tabulation marks, and carriage return characters. These files are often referred to as text files and can be created and edited using programs such as MS Notepad. They are commonly identified by the .txt file extension, but can also be saved with other extensions, such as .bat, .cmd, or .ini.
Usage of ASCII Text Files
ASCII files are most commonly used for login scripts and other batch files, as well as for storing operating system and application configuration data. In the past, configuration settings for Microsoft Windows 3.1 systems were stored in ASCII files known as INI files. While more recent versions of Windows store configuration data in the registry, many UNIX operating system versions still use ASCII files for configuration parameters.
A Brief History of ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) was first used by telegraph operators in the 1960s, and has since become the standard for computers to convert binary data into alphanumeric and punctuation characters. ASCII text files are used for everything from grocery lists to program scripts. It is important to note that there is no one-to-one mapping between bytes and characters in a binary file, which makes maintaining formatting of files created with a word processor challenging.
What is an ASCII file?
An ASCII file is a text file that only contains characters, numbers, punctuation, tabulation marks, and carriage return characters.
What are some common file extensions for ASCII files?
The most common file extension for ASCII files is .txt, but they can also be saved with other extensions such as .bat, .cmd, or .ini.
What are ASCII files used for?
ASCII files are commonly used for login scripts and other batch files, as well as for storing operating system and application configuration data.
ASCII text files have been used for decades as a standard for storing plain text data. While they may seem simple, they are incredibly versatile and still widely used today for various purposes, from system configuration files to storing simple lists.