Some say that plain text is best. Who am I to complain? When something as simple as 140 characters is enough on Twitter to convey a message, or 160 characters for a mobile text message? We can communicate a lot with very little â€“ and a very simple medium: plain text.
So why are there so many contrasting opinions about using rich text in communications? Especially email?
Email has become one of those communications tools that seem to raise the ire of the â€œplain text is bestâ€ crowd. Some folks just donâ€™t appreciate the HTML emails or fancy formatting others put into their signatures. Iâ€™ve seen some folks get downright angry towards these emails, and you can always tell who these folks are as their replies always come back in plain text.
While I wonâ€™t pretend to understand the controversy, I do think the plain text crowd is more â€œno nonsenseâ€ and just likes to get about their business. Whereas the rich text crowd probably tends to be heavier on the creative side, and likes to communicate with a bit of aesthetic value.
As we move further into the future, of course, rich text becomes easier to integrate into more communications mediums. The utility of plain text will remain though, as the lowest common denominator for any publishing platform as their job is to simply distribute information â€“ and all that really needs is text.