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20091105th-flower-zoom-DSC09417Summary. When editing and then saving text files using the Apple TextEdit program, once viewed with Windows Notepad, the added lines will appear to have been appended to the end of the previous line with no line break (carriage return line feed). This is because the codes used for Apple Carriage Return Line Feed (line break) are not recognized by Windows.

Windows WordPad. To fix the file in Windows, simply open it with WordPad, then save it as text. When the file is opened in Notepad, the text will display as expected with line breaks restored. Windows WordPad apparently repairs the line break problem.

Apple Encoding Options. Apple TextEdit offers various text encoding options such as: Non-lossy ASCII, Western ASCII, Western DOS Latin 1, Western Mac OS Roman, Western Unicode UTF 16, and Western Windows Latin 1. Regardless of the text encoding used, after saving, any new line feeds (carriage returns) were not recognized by Windows. If the text file originated in Windows, only the new line breaks added by Apple will be ignored by Windows. The line breaks originally created in Windows will be retained.

Virtual Windows Computer on Apple. To edit text files in the Apple environment, using a virtual computer with VM Ware Fusion on the Apple will work fine. Note that this isn’t necessary in most instances. Only when issues arise with editing text files.

Microsoft Word as a Text Editor on Apple. Using Microsoft Word as a text editor will work well when needing to edit files between the Apple and Windows platforms. Word has the ability to preserve the CR/LF (Carriage Return / Line Feed).When saving the document, simply choose Plain Text as the format. After clicking the save button, you will be prompted for specific settings for your file. Choose MS-DOS Latin-US (DOS) as the text encoding. The default setting for ending lines will be CR/LF (to end the lines with a Carriage Return and Line Feed).

Text Files as Data Files. Sometimes text files are used as data files for programs to read and write to. In such cases, it’s common to use Tab characters to mark the end of fields and CR (carriage return) to mark the end of a record. For this reason, a file with a Carriage Return only (and no line feed) may look messy, but a program can still read it and determine where one record ends and another begins.