What is RTF?

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RTF or Rich Text Format is a type of file format for text-based documents developed by Microsoft Corporation. In many of its software products, RTF is the format standard used when it comes to documents that contain text. Through RTF or the Rich Text Format, various text editing features may be used to format the text including font sizes and styles for example. Aside from formatting text options, documents that are saved using RTF also support picture or image attachments or inclusions on the text-based file. The same images may also be manipulated in terms of size and placement in a given document. In the case of Microsoft Word for example, text-based details may be inputted along with several pictures and saved on the same file under the Rich Text Format.

The main feature of saving documents on RTF is that it allows inter-operability between different programs or platforms. In the case of a Microsoft Word document that is saving on RTF, the same document that can be viewed on a computer with Windows operating system can also be retrieved and displayed on other computers that are installed with a different platform like Macintosh computers among many others. The formatting specifications on RTF are made compatible to many other systems and software products making it an ideal format when saving documents.

Saving documents on RTF also allows partial support for Object Linking and Embedding or OLE. A chart or table from Microsoft Excel for example may be imported into a Microsoft Word document and become part of the details along with the text and images. This particular table may be displayed properly on Microsoft’s own word-processing software but may need to be converted to another type of file when using other programs. The table may still display on other programs but may be in the form of a bitmap for example. In this case, the new program can only partially support the object inclusion which is represented by the table or chart.

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