Christopher Phin says:
Over many years of talking to developers, we’ve learned it’s almost never as easy as “surely”! Of course, we’d love to see some text conversion options added to Automator for exactly these kinds of purposes – batch exports to more robust file types. If you don’t already use the fantastic writing app Scrivener, you might consider converting your files to that next time you’re braving the process – it saves projects in what appear to be a proprietary format, but if it’s basically a disguised folder; if you right-click and choose ‘Show package contents’, you can browse all the files that make up your project. Poke around and you’ll discover that it saves files as RTFs, so they should be future-proof. Alternatively, you can also use its ‘Sync with External Folder’ feature, which saves all your project files in a folder you specify – again as lovely, well-supported RTFs.