Text Vs. Binary Vs. UTF-8 Top differences

Here are the differences between Text files, Binary files, and UTF-8. These would help understanding files correctly for beginners.

Text Vs. Binary Vs. UTF-8

Text File

  • It contains plain text characters. When you open a text file in a text editor, it displays human-readable content. 
  • The text may not be in a language you know or understand, but you will see mostly normal characters that you can type at any keyboard.

Binary File

  • It stores information in bytes that aren’t quite so human readable. 
  • If you open the binary file in a text editor, it will not be readable.


  • UTF-8 is short for Unicode Transformation Format, 8-bit, and is a standardized way to represent letters and numbers on computers.
  • The original ASCII set of characters, which contains mostly uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, worked okay in the early days of computing. But when other languages were brought into the mix, these characters were just not enough. Many standards for dealing with other languages have been proposed and accepted over the years. Of those, UTF-8 has steadily grown in use whereas most others declined.
  • Today, UTF-8 is pretty much the standard for all things Internet, and so it's a good choice if you have to choose a character set for a project.

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