Document File Formats

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Rich Text vs Plain Text Documents

Main menu:

File > File Options > Document Format

Compact layout:

File > File Options > Document Format

Classic layout:

File Tools Panel > Options > Document Format


Word processing documents can be categorized into two basic types: rich text and plain text. Rich text documents combine text with formatting information in a way that allows the text in those documents to use any mixture of fonts, fonts sizes, font styles (bold, italic, etc), and paragraph styles (centered, bulleted, etc). Rich text documents may also contain non-text content such as images. File formats used for rich text documents include RTF, DOC, and DOCX.

In contrast, plain text documents contain only plain, unformatted text. Plain text files are usually saved using the TXT file name extension, but many other extension are used as well depending on the plain text file's intended purpose.

Jarte displays the current document's format type in the status bar's format indicator. The status bar's format indicator displays for rich text documents and for plain text documents. You can convert from one document type to the other by clicking the format indicator.

Rich Text File Formats

RTF File Format

The RTF file format is recognized by nearly all word processor programs including Word and WordPad. As such, it is the recommended file format for documents created using Jarte.

DOC File Format

The DOC file format is the format most commonly used by Microsoft Word. There are different versions of Word's DOC format:

Opening Word 95 DOC Format Files

Word 95 is an old DOC file format that is no longer encountered very often. Jarte needs a special Word 95 converter file in order to open Word 95 files.

Opening Word 97-2003 DOC Format Files

Word 97-2003 DOC file format is a commonly encountered file format produced by Microsoft Word. Jarte needs a special Word 97 converter file to open Word 97-2003 files. The necessary converter file is built into Windows XP, but must be added to Windows Vista and above if not already present.

Saving in Word DOC Format

Jarte uses a special compatibility flavor of DOC format when saving documents in DOC file format. This special flavor of DOC format is recognized by all versions of Microsoft Word and WordPad. Jarte requires no special converter files to open or save files using the compatibility flavor of DOC format.

DOCX File Format

The DOCX file format is the latest Microsoft Word format. It was introduced with the release of Word 2007. Jarte can open a DOCX file, however, any editing changes made to the file must be saved using RTF or DOC file format. Jarte requires the installation of Microsoft's Office Compatibility Pack in order to open Word DOCX files. The Office Compatibility Pack is already present on computers which have Word 2007 or above installed, including trial editions of Word.

Other File Formats

Jarte does not support other rich text file formats (e.g., WordPerfect, Microsoft Works, etc) at this time.

Plain Text File Format

Plain text files are universally recognized by all word processors and text editors. They are often used for special purposes or in situations where formatted text is unsuitable. TXT is the most common file name extension used for plain text files, but many others are used as well.

Associating a File Format to Jarte

Main menu:

File > File Options > Create File Associations

Compact layout:

File > File Options > Create File Associations

Classic layout:

File Tools Panel > Options > Create File Associations


Jarte allows you to associate the RTF, DOC, DOCX, and TXT file format types to the Jarte program. When one of those file types is associated to Jarte, double clicking on a file of that type will cause Windows to automatically open the file in Jarte.

Note that File Associations is disabled if Jarte is being run from a portable drive, such as a USB flash drive. Jarte can be forced to allow file associations in that situation by changing the value of advanced setting Allow Portable File Assoc to "1".

Windows Vista and Above

Windows Vista introduced a new method of associating programs to file format types. Jarte's File Associations command does not try to make the association itself. Instead, the command is actually a shortcut to Windows new Default Programs window. In that window you will see check boxes allowing you to associate Jarte to the RTF, DOC, DOCX, and TXT file format types. The check boxes are a bit unusual in that they can only be checked. The check boxes can not be unchecked after you have clicked "Ok".

The only way to disassociate a file format type from Jarte in Windows Vista and above is to create a new association between the file type and a different program. This can be done most easily using Jarte's File Properties feature:

1. Open a file of the file format type you wish to disassociate from Jarte.
2. Select the File Properties feature.
3. Click the Change button in the Properties window and then select the program to which you wish to associate the file type.

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