A text file is a simple file type that contains plain text in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format. By using ASCII format, the file can be read on any number of operating systems, including Linux, Unix, Macintosh and Windows. Text files can be opened in any number of plain text editors and word processors. Data files are often written in the same language and can also be edited by the same programs. Sometimes, saving a text file as a data file allows for more compatibility when editing between different system types.
Launch the program called Notepad by double-clicking on the Notepad icon or by finding it in your list of programs. You can usually find it under the "Accessories" heading.
Click on "File," then choose "Open." Open the file that you want to convert to a data file.
Make any changes you want to make to the file, then choose "Save As..."
Find the "Save as Type" option in the menu box. From the dropdown menu choose "All files."
Delete the default name in the "File Name" field, including the extension. Type in the name of the file you want to save and add .dat to the end of the file name. Click save.
Close the file. To open it again, use Notepad to open the .dat file.
Things You'll Need
Windows operating system computer
File to convert
Do not save text files as data files just for fun. Data files are used by many programs and this can cause problems if they are saved in incorrect locations.
Do not attempt to edit data files from other programs. This can cause fatal errors if done incorrectly.
Text files can also be converted to data files using WordPerfect, Microsoft Word and other word processing programs. Notepad, however, is found on every Windows machine, while these other programs may need to be bought or purchased if they do not exist on the machine.