How do I encrypt text with openssl?

The openssl CLI tool is a bag of random tricks. One of them is the enc command. Here’s an example of encrypting and decrypting some text:

$ echo 'super secret message' > plain.txt
$ openssl enc -k secretpassword123 -aes256 -base64 -e -in plain.txt -out cipher.txt
$ cat cipher.txt
$ openssl enc -k secretpassword123 -aes256 -base64 -d -in cipher.txt -out plain_again.txt
$ cat plain_again.txt
super secret message


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I wrote this because I said I'd learn SSL/TLS. I'm first working through the various `openssl` subcommands. This post is not associated with my employer. This site is hosted by Netlify (who are great, but I'm not associated with them either).