What is "ASCII Text Format ?"

Tom-G

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I am going to submit a resume for a job, but the ad states that I should send the resume in "ASCII text format." I don't know what that is and I don't want to disqualify myself by failing to comply with their request.
Can you be so kind as to let me know what that is, please?
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RicP

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Tom, this is just a plain text file that you would create with a vanilla text editor like "Notepad" on Windows.
Essentially it means that they do not want a special Word Processor format like Microsoft Word.
If you DO use Microsoft Word to create your resume use the File...Save As Text menu to save it to your hard drive. Then you can send it to them as a plain text attachment.

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Tom-G

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Thanks for the information, Ric! Would it be all right if I simply copied the text of my resume in the word file and pasted it in the body of the e-mail (from Eudora or Hotmail)?
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RicP

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Maybe.

Sometimes Word will copy the text out of the document as RTF(Rich Text Format) kind of a simplistic HTML, which you wont see if you paste it into a mail reader that supports it, but it is NOT ASCII

Best best is to do a Save As... in Word and save as Plain Text. Then open up the plain text in Notepad and then you can copy & Paste it ok into your email reader

Good luck
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Steven K

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OK, well, being that the majority of my work is related to different types of text formats and compatability, I feel obligated to supply a long, meaningless description.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is a text format in which characters are stored. ASCII characers are natively 8 bit in size (dont ask about the 7 bit implementations of ASCII, its a big mess). As such, there are a total of 256 possibilities for ASCII characters (0-255). This is also known as the characters decimal ASCII value. The character 'a' has an ascii value of 97 (in base 2, a value of 01100001) If you divide this up into hex, it comes out to 61 (0110 and 0001). So, when you type something into Notepad, it stores the characters Raw ASCII value and that's it. Because there are only 255 available values, ASCII isn't all that useful outside of nations that use the standard western alphabet.
Enter Unicode, by far the most popular format for most of the non-English speaking countries. It's what WinNT and 2K natively support. Unicode characters are 16 bits; as such, a Unicode character can have 65,536 combinations. You can save a Notepad document as standard ASCII, or Unicode (at least you can in NT and 2K, dunno about 98).
OK, then there's the evil, infernal Multi-byte character set. Unfortunately, the software that my company writes uses MBCS and not Unicode (although we are pushing hard to switch to Unicode). MBCS is just what is sounds like; characters can be several bytes long. Smaller characters will only be one byte, larger ones will be 2 bytes, really large ones will be 3 bytes. Sounds like a good idea, right?
In theory, it is. The only problem with MBCS is that in order to save documents as MBCS, you have to have the appropriate language pack installed, and have your OS set to that language (pain in the ass using Win2K in Japanese).
MBCS works by toggling the most highest bit. If it is on, then the OS knows that the character has an additional byte. It if is off, then the character's bytes stop there.
Anyway, hopefully someone found this interesting (or not).
 
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A little correction to Steven's meaninless statement.
Not all non-English speaking countries use Unicode (actually, no European) since all additional characters such as Cyrillic or German umlauts fit into 255 characters along with English alphabet.
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Graeme Clark

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Tom, I would paste it into Notepad first to make sure the formatting isn't terribly screwed up. You're not going to have things centered and bolded of course, but you may get some extra spaces and tabs in there that make it look ugly. I keep my resume up to date in a Word DOC and a simple TXT file for this very purpose.
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Steven K

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Andriy is correct... It just depends on the country and language.
BTW in case anyone is interested in Unicode, heres a link to a chart.
Unicode Character Chart
Also keep in mind that an unsigned char can have a value between 0 to 255. A signed char can have a value between
-128 to 127 (because the most significant bit in a signed char represents the positive or negative sign, thus allowing only half of the positive values. If the most significant bit is on, then the number is negative).
 

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