Formats of Text Files

Text files can be stored in different formats, encodings or codings. Each coding has different advantages and disadvantages, so that it depends on the desired purpose, which of the encodings is the most ideal for you. On this page, we introduce different storage formats of text files that you can also use in the programs TextConverter and TextEncoder.

Take in mind that UTF is an acronym for Unicode Transformation Format, while in ANSI format not all Unicode characters can be stored.

How to change the format of a file, you can read in the sections at the bottom of this page.


The ANSI format stores only the 128 ASCII characters and 128 extended characters. ANSI uses only 1 byte per character, but you can save only 256 different characters, so that not all of the Unicode characters can be supported. [more...]


The seldom-used and variable-length format UTF-7 only uses ASCII characters to store Unicode strings, so that you are able to work with Unicode strings also in 7-bit enviroments, where only ASCII can be transmitted and stored. [more...]


The UTF-8 format is the most common encoding for Unicode characters and is optimized for the display of ASCII characters. For this it needs only one byte per character, for all other characters variable from two to four bytes. [more...]

UTF-16 Little Endian and UTF-16 Big Endian

The UTF-16 format is optimized for the most commonly used characters from the Basic Multilingual Plane and encodes characters in a variable-length from two to four bytes. As Byte Order, Little Endian and Big Endian is allowed. [more...]

UTF-32 Little Endian and UTF-32 Big Endian

This format encodes each character using uniform 4 bytes, the byte order can be elected both as Little Endian as well as Big Endian. Because of the high memory requirements, this format is rarely used. [more...]

Change Encoding of Text Files

You can easily change the format of one or more files using the Text Encoder. Such a conversion from one format to another may be necessary, for example, if you would like to switch your website from ANSI to UTF-8, or if you want to read files of an unusual format and you need to change a large number of files. Simply proceed as follows:

With the program version Text Encoder Pro CL you can also change the format of files automatically via batch script and without graphical user interface.

Change Format of Text Files in the Text Converter

The Text Converter can also be used to change the format of files. Just follow these steps:

If you want to make other changes to the text files in your list additionally to the encoding, simply use the Text Converter as normal and use the following option additionally:

Also the Text Converter is available in a version for the command line. In this version you can execute the complete changes by script. All information can be found on the page of the Text Converter Pro CL.