Plain text, the media type text/plain, is a format that contains readable characters, without separate structure or formatting data. The characters can in principle be displayed in any encoding. Traditionally this was mainly ASCII, nowadays mostly UTF-8 and possibly UTF-16 are used. There is no (standard) way to indicate the encoding of text files within the file. Reading text files with an encoding other than UTF-8 can cause problems, especially when it comes to the display of diacritics and non-standard characters. Ensure that plain text is supplied as UTF-8 or, if there is no alternative, provide a clear indication of the encoding used, possibly in an accompanying file.

Preferred formats

Non-preferred formats