How to Save Files in TXT Format in TextEdit on Mac

Last Updated: November 17, 2016

TextEdit – the default text editor on Macs, is quite good. In fact, if your only need from a text editor is to type out some stuff, format it a bit, and keep it, then TextEdit will probably fit the bill easily. However, there is one thing about TextEdit that can be annoying to most people. If you try and save a TextEdit document, it doesn’t let you save it as a plain text file. So, if you really want to use TextEdit, and save your files with the .txt format, here is how you can do it:

Create Files in TXT Format on Mac: Editing the Preferences

Apparently, there is a – kind of – hidden feature in TextEdit that will allow us to save our files in the plain text format. It requires us to go into TextEdit’s preferences, and tweak some settings. This is what we need to do:

1. Launch TextEdit, and go to “TextEdit -> Preferences“, or press “command + ,“.

textedit-preferences

2. Switch over to the “Open and Save” tab. We need to change two things here, first, check the checkbox next to “Add .txt extension to plain text files“; and second, change the “Saving files” encoding to “UTF-8“.

switch-over-to-open-and-save-settings

Once we have changed these settings in Preferences, we can save files in the plain text (.txt) format. Let’s try it out.

1. Launch TextEdit, and create a New Document.

new-document

2. Type some text into this document. Since we want to save a plain text file, we will not format the text in any way.

3. Now, go to “File -> Save“, or press “command + S“.

4. In the save dialog box, you will see the option “If no extension is provided, use .txt“. It will be checked by default, but if it isn’t, check it.

no-extension-use-txt

5. Choose where you want to save the plain text file, and click on “Save“.

Your file will now be saved in the plain text format (.txt), and you can now start using TextEdit to create plain text files, just the way one can do in Notepad, on Windows.

SEE ALSO: How to Get TouchBar Functionality on Any Mac

Save TextEdit Files in TXT Format

You can use this method to enable saving files in the .txt format on your Mac. This can come in handy, if you like taking notes and saving them in a .txt format, for easy perusal whenever you want. So, did you know about this handy tweak in the preferences for TextEdit? If not, what application were you using to create plain text documents on your Mac? Also, if you know of any other way to save files in the .txt format on Mac, do let us know in the comments section below.

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