Databases using this file format can be edited using any text editor. recfiles allow for basic relational database operations, typing, auto-incrementing, as well as a simple join operation.
Recutils is a collection of tools, like recfmt, recsel, and rec2csv used to work with recfile databases. Various software libraries support the format.
Data are stored in text files with empty lines separating records. Fields within a record are lines starting with their name and a colon; it is possible to wrap long entries. Multiple record types can be maintained in a single text file.