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plaintext

[′plān‚tekst]
(communications)
The form of a message in which it can be generally understood, before it has been transformed by a code or cipher into a form in which it can be read only by those privy to the secrets of the cipher.
(computer science)
Data that are to be encrypted.

plaintext

(cryptography)
A message before encryption or after decryption, i.e. in its usual form which anyone can read, as opposed to its encrypted form ("ciphertext").

plaintext

(1) (plain text) Text that contains no formatting. See text email.

(2) (plaintext) Data about to be encrypted. Plaintext can be viewed by any application that supports the file format. Contrast with "ciphertext," which is encrypted data. The reason "text" is in both terms is because the early forms of encryption dealt with communicating text messages. Today, all kinds of data are encrypted, including the contents of an entire storage drive. See cryptography.


Plaintext Becomes Ciphertext
In this secret key example, the XOR operator turns plaintext into ciphertext and back to plaintext. In practice, XOR may be used but in combination with other mathematical operations. See XOR.
References in periodicals archive ?
Plain Text A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A Cipher Text
Furthermore, the plain text format can be read by humans and all electronic platforms in it's compact and direct form - without conversion and special software.
By default any plain text copied to the Windows Clipboard is automatically stored in Clipboard Magic.
Many people turn off everything but plain text to shorten wait time for graphically rich Web pages.
Computer viruses have to be "executable code"--not plain text.
Worldwide e-mail allows you to send and receive both plain text and binary documents, such as formatted text, graphics and sound files.