Rich Text Format

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The Rich Text Format (often abbreviated to RTF) is a document file format that has been continually developed by Microsoft since 1987 for cross-platform document interchange. Most word processors are able to read and write RTF documents. Unlike most of the word processing formats, RTF is human-readable.

Contents

Sample RTF document

As an example, the following RTF code:

{\rtf
Hello!\par
This is some {\i bold} text.\par
}

would be rendered like this when read by an appropriate word processor:

Hello!
This is some bold text.

A backslash (\) starts an RTF control code. The \par control code indicates a new line, and \b switches to a bold typeface. Braces ({ and }) define a group; the example uses a group to limit the scope of the \b control code. Everything else will be treated as clear text, or the text to be formatted. A valid RTF document is a group starting with the \rtf control code.

Common implementations

The RTF format is the default rich text format for Mac OS X's default editor TextEdit. The WordPad editor at one point created RTF files by default. Though it still can view and edit RTF files, it now uses the Microsoft Word file format by default. The open-source editor AbiWord, which is common on Unix-like platforms that implement the X Window System and GTK, can also edit RTF files. These different programs do not however create files that are completely compatible with each other. Since RTF is supported natively by the Microsoft Windows operating system, it is very easy for developers targeting this platform to integrate RTF display and editing capabilities into their applications.

See also

External links

  • RTF 1.8 specification (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ac57de32-17f0-4b46-9e4e-467ef9bc5540&displaylang=en) (April 2004).
  • RTF 1.6 specification (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnrtfspec/html/rtfspec.asp) (May 1999).
  • [1] (http://www.snake.net/software/RTF/)—The RTF specification in many formats, both versions 1.3 and 1.5.
  • RTF 1.5 specification (http://www.biblioscape.com/rtf15_spec.htm) (April 1997).
  • RTF 1.0 specification (http://latex2rtf.sourceforge.net/RTF-Spec-1.0.txt) (June 1992).
  • RTF as a future proof format (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_future_proof_electronic_information#Text_.26_Documents)

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