Why use RTF files?
What are RTF (rich text format) files, and why should one use them?
RTF (Rich Text Format) is a standard file format which simplifies the exchange of documents between different word processors and computer operating systems. For example, one can send an RTF file created in Microsoft Word 2002 using Windows XP to someone who uses Word 97 in Windows 98, WordPerfect 6.0 on Windows 3.1, StarOffice on a Linux system, or Word 5 on a Macintosh system and all users will be able to open and read the file regardless of the software version or operating system.
The rtf format can be produced by any standard word processor. Simply go to "save as" and choose Rich Text Format from the options menu. The file you save will have a .rtf extension, e.g. filename.rtf. If one normally uses Word and saves texts in Word format with the default .doc extension, changing a saved text to .rtf will not delete the original .doc file. One can also select rtf as the primary mode for saving texts with one's word processor.
With received rtf
files, most web browsers and word processors will recognize and open the file
automatically. With some word processors one may have to go to the File-Open
menu and then select either "All Files" or "Rich Text
Files" from the File Type menu at the bottom in order for the RTF file to
be visible (if, for example, you are using Word and the default for the File
Type menu is to show only
RTF may be thought of as a more sophisticated equivalent of the "plain text" (ascii text) format for universal document transmission. Plain text files were the "original way" to send and receive by any user regardless of the word processor, version, or operating system used by either the sender or receiver. However, plain text files cannot include "text markup" data such as boldface, italics, and underlining, not to mention tables and graphics.
RTF enables one to include all the text markup which had been in the original Word, WordPerfect or other word processor document. An RTF file will look and print exactly like the original. It can also be easily converted by the receiver's word processor into .doc or other format for revision, and reconverted back to rtf for re-sending.
Advantages of the RTF Format
There are several significant advantages to the RTF file format when one needs to send or receive files from others, either via diskette exchange, e-mail attachments or putting the file on-line in a web directory for others to retrieve.
if the document contains embedded graphics, audio files, etc., then an RTF
version may be considerably larger than the
Also Tech Tip for saving files in
RTF format stands for Rich Text Format.
It is a universal format and can be viewed using almost all type of
Here is how to save a new file in rft format:
Here is how to save a file in rft format that was already saved in another format: