When a file contains "text", i.e. strings of characters, the way in which the text is formatted, details of font, style, page breaks etc. are generally specified in that file. Thus pages from files in most formats may be added to an IDF document using the FILENAME attribute in a FILE element.

Files in 'plain text' format (extension typically .TXT) do not include this formatting information. Furthermore, plain text files are not paginated: each line of text is allocated a line number instead. EscapeE can treat plain text files as PCL, thereby applying default formatting and pagination for you: just set FILETYPE="PCL".
To add text as a plain text file however, you must set FILETYPE="TEXT", include formatting information (e.g. FONT, ALIGN), and if the text is likely to run onto another page, set PAGE="NEXT".

Alternatively, text from a plain text file can be placed in a document using the TEXT element. Specify a FILENAME; formatting details will be taken from the TEXT tag – or if undefined there, from the tag of its parent container element.

When adding a short piece of text (just a few lines, no page breaks) to a document, it may be more convenient to insert the text directly into the IDF code using the TEXT element rather than via a file.

A single line of text (no page or line breaks) can be added to a document using the STRING attribute of a TEXT element.