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Difference between Rich text and Plain text

Last Updated : 10 Aug, 2022
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What is Text.:- Collection of words or letters is called as text.

This is a plain text-Geeks for Geeks

This is a rich text- Geeks for Geeks

It is clear from the above two types of text that what we are dealing with now lets see them one by one in detail and the difference between them.

Plain text is a text with no styles attached or embedded with it. It is just a plain text i.e. simple text. It was created by American Hardware Designers in the 60s 70s. And the files with plain text are saved with .txt or .TXT extension.

Advantages of plain text –

  • if you write something in plain text then whenever you open that file on any machine then the end result will be same that is it will show the text as it is on every system. Unlike rich text if you format the text and add the styles to it then it might create problem if the end person doesn’t have suitable app for it then it will distort its styles as a result it will leave a bad impression on the user.
  • It is fast and flexible as it doesn’t uses styles and formatting therefore it is fast and flexible.
  • file size of plain text format is less as compared to rich text format.

Disadvantages of plain text –

  • In the todays era almost 90% of the  word processor uses rich text format.
  • It looks very basic i.e. without styles.
  • To read the plain text it becomes boring sometimes.

Examples of plain text –


Rich text is a text with styles attached or embedded with it so whenever you are copying the rich text and pasting to editor which support rich text then it will automatically include all the styles formatting spacing etc. Rich text format was created by Microsoft in 80s and they discontinued the development of rich text in 2008..Rich text files are usually save with .rtf or .RTF extension.

if you paste the given rich text in notepad or editor with only plain text format then it will look like the above image as the plain text editor will only include the text without styles and formatting.

Advantages of rich text –

  • In almost 90% of word processors supports the rich text format.
  • It looks interesting that a text with styles like the text given below in green color Geeks for geeks rather than simple text as it include styling and formatting as a result developer learn how to style and format the text.
  • To keep the end user connected to the text without getting bored.

Disadvantages of rich text –

  • If the rich text file is opened in word processor which do not support rich text then it doesn’t looks good to the user as the formatting might not support the word processor.
  • file size is large as compared to plain text as it includes styles and formatting information with it
  • it is also bit complex to add the styles and formatting as it takes more time compared to plain text

Examples of rich text –


Difference between Rich text and Plain text :


 PLAIN TEXT                                                

                                        RICH TEXT    
1. Text with no Formatting Text with Formatting
2.  Styles are absent Styles are embedded with it.
3.  Files are saved with .txt or .TXT extension Files are saved with .rtf extension or any extension that supports rich text format like .docx
4.  Created by American Hardware Designers in the 60s,70s Created by Microsoft in 80s and later they discontinued the development in the year 2008
5. It is the default text format of notepad, command terminal etc It is the default text format of Microsoft Word , Google docx etc
6. Used in email,cryptography etc. Used in html webpages, Microsoft words etc. 
7. Example-Geeks for Geeks. Example GEEKS FOR GEEKS
8. Not used much as everywhere rich text format is used as it makes  formatting easy. It is used widely as it is makes the formatting a ease.
9. Whenever the rich text is pasted in plain text editor then it only includes symbols,spaces,line breaks. Whenever the rich text is pasted in rich text editor then it includes all the formatting and styles.
10. Whenever the plain text is pasted in rich text editor then it is pasted as it is. Whenever the plain text is pasted in plain text editor then it is pasted as it is.
11. File size is small as compared to rich text file File size is large as compared to plain text file
12. Compatible to all the word processors Compatible to only word processors which supports rich text format.


It all depends on the user that which type of text he/she would like to use like if he/she works more on docx and notepad++ then they should prefer using rich text. and vice versa.

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