Tutorial: Rich Text Format (RTF) from Microsoft Word (Page 1 of 6)

Contents

  1. Introduction to RTF
  2. How to create an RTF in Word 2010
  3. How to create an RTF in Word 2007
  4. How to create an RTF in Word 2003
  5. Footnotes and References
  6. Feedback

Introduction to RTF

With its many powerful features, Microsoft Word has become a popular, almost ubiquitous, word processing application. By some estimates, its market share approaches 95%.[1] However, it is important to remember that not everyone has Word, and some may be unable to open documents saved in Word’s native file format (.doc). One alternative format that offers nearly universal compatibility with different word processing software and computer operating systems is the Rich Text Format (RTF).

According to RTF’s creator, Microsoft, “The Rich Text Format specification provides a format for text and graphics interchange that can be used with different output devices, operating environments, and operating systems.”[2] Like “.doc,” RTF is a proprietary file format, but it has been designed to be more widely compatible and transferable. In fact, RTF is often the best way to preserve a document’s layout and presentation when Word is not available. Its major drawback is its large file size, especially with documents containing many graphics. Other formats, such as PDF and HTML, produce smaller files, but may require more work to preserve formatting and maintain accessibility.

When posting documents to the Web, it is always important to supply alternative file formats. In addition to “.doc,” you should consider formats such as HTML, PDF, and RTF. Of the three, RTF is perhaps the simplest to create.

How to create an RTF in Word 2010

To save a Word document in the RTF format, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document you wish to make available in RTF format.
  2. Choose File > Save As (Figure 1).
  3. From the drop down list labeled “Save as type,” choose “Rich Text Format (*.rtf)” (Figure 2).
  4. Click “Save.”
Figure 1

Figure 1:  Saving in Other Formats

Choose “Save As” from the File tab on the ribbon.

Figure 2

Figure 2:  Saving as RTF

Choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) from the “Save as type:” drop-down list.

How to create an RTF in Word 2007

To save a Word document in the RTF format, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document you wish to make available in RTF format.
  2. Choose Office Button > Save As > Other Formats (Figure 3).
  3. From the drop down list labeled “Save as type,” choose “Rich Text Format (*.rtf)” (Figure 4).
  4. Click “Save.”
Figure 3

Figure 3:  Saving in Other Formats

Choose Office Button > Save As > Other Formats.

Figure 4

Figure 4:  Saving as RTF

Choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) from the “Save as type:” drop-down list.

How to create an RTF in Word 2003

To save a Word document in the RTF format, follow these steps:

  1. Open the document you wish to make available in RTF format.
  2. Choose File > Save As.
  3. From the drop down list labeled “Save as type,” choose “Rich Text Format (*.rtf)” (Figure 5).
  4. Click “Save.”
Figure 5

Figure 5:  Saving as RTF

Choose Rich Text Format (*.rtf) from the “Save as type:” drop-down list.

Footnotes and References

Footnotes

1More To Life Than The Office
Business Week, July 3, 2006
2Word 2007: Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification, version 1.9
Microsoft’s technical specification of the Rich Text Format (RTF). The specification provides a format for text and graphics interchange that can be used with different output devices, operating environments, and operating systems.

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Rich Text Format (RTF) from Microsoft Word
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