The wonderful world of text files

They may seem like arguably the most boring thing in the world, but text files are actually quite brilliant. Honest.

In a world where we are far from short of options when it comes to getting words out of our heads and onto a computer screen, the humble text editor has become one of the biggest app categories on both of Apple's App Stores, with the Mac and iOS alike seeing almost as many text editors as they do flashlight apps. With all that choice, it's often difficult to know which to use.

And that's where the brilliance of the '.txt' file comes in to play.

![The humble .txt][]

I recently tweeted that I was testing just about every editor I could find, especially on iOS. What I found was a lot of options, many offering similar features and functionality, and ultimately I couldn't decide which I preferred to use. Which should I choose to be the home of my expertly crafted prose?

Then it dawned on me that I didn't need to choose. At least, not yet.

See, I always use Dropbox as my syncing method, and it's a prerequisite for any text editor that I use. It also means that, once I tell all the editors to save their files in the '.txt' format, they can all edit each other's files. It's true cross-application compatibility, and it's all made possible by the simple text file.

If you ever wondered why people like apps that don't force users to sync content to its own servers, using its own proprietary file format, then this is why.

So, I can write in Markdown, using any text editor I like, and it all gets synced across every device I own.

As for which text editor I will use long term, I figure I'll end up gravitating towards one more than the rest, and I'll then have my answer.

There's a method to my madness, after all.

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