Tagged With plain text

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Plain text has long been a favourite here at Lifehacker, but over the years most people have moved away from it in favour of specialised to-do apps, notes apps, writing apps or whatever else. I still use plain text for just about everything, but never thought much about why I do. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that snazzy features aside, plain text is still king for portability and simplicity.

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Plain text file lovers, rejoice: web-based text editor MyTextFile offers plenty of space to store your notes and lists plus a revision history of the file in question. Sign into MyTextFile with your Google account to get your single editor window (which delightfully supports the Tab key inline). Enter and save up to 256KB of text (enough to enter Romeo and Juliet, the site assures) and MyTextFile will keep a history of file revisions for you. You can even switch into a full-screen mode for distraction-free text editing. While it doesn't offer folders or multiple files like (the ancient and stagnant) Yahoo Notepad, revision history plus the Tab key thing alone is worth checking out MyTextFile.

MyTextFile

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From managing our to-do lists and writing code to jotting ideas and keeping a grocery list, nothing beats a solid plain text editor. On Wednesday we asked you to nominate your favourite text editor, and over five hundred passionate comments later, we've whittled your nominations down to the most popular. Hit the jump for a look at the editors that made the list, and then vote for your favourite to crown the ultimate text editor.

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You don't have to be a programmer to appreciate the joys of plain text, and there's no better way to wrangle your text files than a solid text editor. Plain text files are appealing because they're searchable, lightweight, portable, and truly platform agnostic; plain text just makes life easier. With an abundance of excellent text editors available beyond your operating system's default, choosing the best program to manipulate and manage your plain text files isn't so easy. Luckily we've got you, our loyal readers. So for this week's Hive Five, we want to hear all about your favourite text editor. Hit the jump for details and to nominate your favourite.

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Windows only: Get grep-like power at the Windows command line using Find and Replace Text (FART), a simple utility that delivers on its name's promise. Perform batch find and replace operations over multiple text files throughout directories with FART in the Windows command window. The Hackszine blog outlines one practical FART usage example: stripping out UNIX line endings on a text file.

Let's say a Linux buddy of yours sent you a bunch of HTML files and they have Unix line endings that are barfing in Notepad. One simple command fixes the problem, replacing all the newlines with a full PC carriage return, line feed combo: fart --c-style *.html \n \r\n

FART is a free download for Windows only.

FART

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While there's something to be said for multitasking, a serial workflow—completing one task after another in order of priority—can be much more conducive to getting your work done. Splitting your attention between several tasks at once can slow you down compared to knocking off one focused task after another on an ordered list. Today I'm going to show you how to create a serial workflow platform with just a few simple tools that you probably already use: plain text, a couple handy extensions, and browser tabs.