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The best free programs
for reading txt-files on Android smartphones

  Max Petrov July 2013

      The books in my electronic library of classical Russian literature are old, they are in the .txt format and in the encoding DOS (it is the kind of Russian encoding). There is no need to search of their replacements in other formats (for example, .fb2*) and encodings, because to the writer idea the type of electronic format does not add anything, and it's offensive - then I would have to collect my library again. Since my telephone works on Android, I think my aspiration is quite understandable. I'm looking for an Android phone reader for .txt files.

      The choice is not very big. I managed to download six free programs for Android, the possibility of work with .txt of which follows from their descriptions (in parentheses are given the names of the installation packages):
      AlReader (AlReader.apk),
      CoolReader (cr3-3.1.2-33-arm-armv7a-x86-mips.apk),
      EBookDroid (ebookdroid-x86-1.6.6.apk),
      FBReader (FBReaderJ_ice-cream-sandwich-2.0beta8.apk),
      Kingsoft Office (kingsoft_office_android.apk),
      Moon+ Reader (zthMoonReader.apk).

      The programs EBookDroid and Moon+ Reader are not suitable for my task. EBookDroid does not see .txt files at all, and cannot open .fb2 files. Moon+ Reader does not know the encoding DOS (it cannot be installed manually), such books look like a canvas covered with question signs. In addition, Moon+ Reader is obsessive with its propositions to buy it in the form of a pro-version.

      There are no specialized on .txt, available and free readers for Android. Multi-format readers are sharpened for .fb2, and a simple .txt they treat badly - they ignore or pervert even the minimal markup which can be met in .txt files (for example, margins in the text). The readers also have some artifacts, it means the selections of fragments, even insertions of phrases created by them, but which are absents in the original. CoolReader is the richest with the artifacts, FBReader is also not free of artifacts. The programs AllReader and Kingsoft Office did not give any artifacts.

      АlReader does not distinguish between lines and paragraphs in the source file. Therefore, it is suitable for reading .txt format, if in the file is poetry or the file obtained by means of conversion in the MS Word. Generally speaking, АlReader is not the reader for .txt, although this program opens confidently .txt files.

      CoolReader was the only one of six tested programs which is distinguished by its ability to jam the text. CoolReader could not open at all one .txt file, it has displayed blank pages without any words. The program has a lot of settings, some of them are obscure (font kerning and font hinting), and I'm not sure that for a book reading I should configure such things.

      FBReader copes with .txt, in my opinion, better than CoolReader, and many books in it look perfectly. At the same time, FBReader is characterized by: 1) big scale of the artifacts (FBReader is able to highlight by titles whole page of text or even more, and 2) the appearance of empty spaces, sometimes with a size of near a page. Among the unpleasant features of FBReader I would like to mention the enforced scanning of the directory books, which I created earlier on the memory card. FBReader scans slowly, it is impossible to disable scanning process just of this directory (in the settings there is a lock). Non-removable and unnecessary to the user operations, especially those which are running slowly, is a serious drawback of the program.

      Kingsoft Office is not positioned by the authors as a reader. This is an office for Android, moreover, the office which is fully-featured, professionally made, free and even without advertisement. As a reader of .txt, the program Kingsoft Office can still be used, because it remembers the position at which the file was closed, when it is reloaded, a bottom bar appears with the proposal to go to the corresponding part of the book. You can scroll the text by moving your finger across the screen. Simple .txt is displayed "as it is", reflecting the formatting of the source file.

      Based on results of my tests of readers, I leave two programs in my Android telephone: FBReader and Kingsoft Office. I delete the other four programs.

      The readers were launched on the telephone Alcatel One Touch 5035D.

      * fb2 is widespread Russian electronic book format.


Send a comment


Insert the digits:

   Ольга    31.01.2014    13:27
Спасибо большое! Благодаря Вашей статье скачала эти 2 программы и читаю txt на планшете.

   Александр    09.02.2017    07:12
Спасибо! Ваша статья - именно то, что я долго искал!
Всего Вам доброго, успехов!

   Сергей    14.12.2017    23:57
Спасибо. Актуально.

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