Plain Text/Source Code File Header


The plain text/source code (PT/SC) file header is a group of formatting parameters that may be specified in the body of a plain text file using a common humanly-readable syntax. This syntax is described in detail in an Internet-draft, but has not as yet been formerly adopted by any standards bodies. The primary purpose of a PT/SC header is to specify the tab-dependant formatting parameters to be used when displaying, printing, or editing plain text and source code files.


Programmers and plain text file authors are strongly encouraged to start using PT/SC headers now and when the text editor and IDE developers catch-on and begin supporting PT/SC headers, we'll all be one step ahead of the game. In the mean-time, we can at least help one another out by "documenting" the original formatting parameters by including PT/SC headers in our text and source code files.

Editor Developers

Developers of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), programmer's editors, and plain text editors are strongly encouraged to use the current Internet-draft to implement support for PT/SC headers as soon as possible. Sample C source code for parsing PT/SC headers is available here: ptsc_hdr.c. Note: if you are using a non-PT/SC compliant text editor, you may need to manually change your tab-stops to view the source code as intended. [sigh]


Questions and comments regarding the PT/SC header format may be directed to