To do this assignment, simply create a one-line text file with the name of your home country and nothing else. Make sure you are creating a real text file, not, for example, an .rtf file.

Does the above sentence mean don't use rtf format file?

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    I think the original text misses one comma: Make sure you are creating a real text file, not, for example, a .rtf file. May 14, 2015 at 8:31
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    When he said "real text file" he meant what is called plain text file or ASCII file — a file containing only the ASCII characters for the words, nothing else. May 14, 2015 at 12:08
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    @BrianHitchcock I think that ASCII file, despite it is a commonly used term to indicate plain text, is not a synonym of it. Nowadays an UTF8 encoded text can be considered a pure text file, as long as it stores only the characters for the words. Many foreign languages can not be represented using ASCII characters (Russian, Arab, Korean glyphs among many others). All modern OS store plain text in UTF8 (that is a kind of superset of ASCII). Additionally rtf file format uses exclusively ASCII chars to store formatting commands, like HTML: they are actually ASCII files, but not plain text.
    – furins
    May 15, 2015 at 5:19
  • @Furin: good point. I guess I'm showing my age, referring to ASCII. But I'm so old I remember "EBCDIC". May 15, 2015 at 5:26

2 Answers 2


I can see where there could be some confusion - you might say to yourself, "Isn't rtf a real text file? After all, what could rtf possibly stand for if it doesn't mean 'real text file'?"

Well, an rtf file is a Rich Text Format file in which not only the text is included, but also instructions for formatting such as font, size, color,etc. Other examples include PDF, PostScript and HTML among others.

A pure text file would contain only ASCII characters.


Yes, it means don't use an rtf file or anything similar, use a real text file.

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