RTF, DOC, and HTML - Part 1 - RTF

RTF, DOC, and HTML - Part 1

RTF and DOC are one of those best parts of the game

What is RTF

  • The Rich Text Format (abbreviated as RTF), is a file format used for copyrighted computer text with versions. Published descriptions to the public, developed by Microsoft Company since 1987 for Microsoft products and cross-platform documents, can be exchanged between many computer systems and other editing programs. Most text editors can open and read RTF files, at least for specific versions of RTF. There are several versions of RTF, and the multi-platform nature of the text depends on the release of RTF used. RTF versions are often changed and published after each new version of Microsoft Word / Microsoft Office. Recent versions of RTF generally support bold, italic, underline, left, right, center, and even font alignment and even margins.

The history of RTF

  • Richard Brodie, Charles Simonyi, and David Luebbert are members of the Microsoft Word development team, who developed the first version of RTF in the 1980s. The first software to read and write RTF was sold in 1987 as a component of Microsoft Word 3.0 for Macintosh, using RTF 1.0. All later versions of Microsoft Word for Macintosh and Windows can read RTF format. Microsoft reserves the copyright of RTF and maintains this format. As of 2008, the RTF version is 1.9.1. According to Microsoft Office 2010 documentation, Microsoft stopped developing RTF.

RTF Versions

  • 1987: RTF 1.0
  • 1994: RTF 1.3
  • 1997: RTF 1.5
  • 1999: RTF 1.6
  • 2001: RTF 1.7
  • 2004: RTF 1.8
  • 2008: RTF 1.9.1

Syntax example

  • Here is an example of RTF syntax:
    {\rtf1\ansi{\fonttbl\f0\fswiss Helvetica;}\f0\pard
    I {\b love} Office Component.\par

will look almost like the following when opened with reading using RTF-enabled software:

    I love Office Component
  • The signs ({ and }) indicate a group; The groups may be interlocking. An asterisk \ starts a control character for RTF. A valid RTF text is a group of paragraphs beginning with \rtf.
  • In the example above, paragraph \b starts the bold text; The braces create groups to limit the effect of bolding in groups. The IDE will present all remaining words as plain text. Paragraph \par indicates the end of a paragraph.

Character encoding

  • RTF uses 8-bit encryption, which uses ASCII. However, RTF can express characters outside ASCII with a sequence of characters. For example:
  • \'c8 will display Arabic beth (ب), according to Windows-1256 code.
  • \u1576? also shows the above beth, according to Unicode. We can easily transfer RTF files between operating systems for the PC. RTF also supports font embedding, although this technique is not yet fully supported in RTF editing software.

Can the human eye read RTF directly?

  • Unlike many text formats for word-processing programs, RTF codes can be easily read and understood even without specialized software (just plain text reading software). Before the world knew about XML, easy-to-read formats like RTF were rare. However, when there are non-ASCII characters, it will be difficult to read and understand RTF code easily.


  • Most text editors support RTF (in some versions of RTF, making RTF a "common" format for many drafting software running on different operating systems. However, the compatibility depends in part on the version of RTF used. Most RTF Reader software will ignore RTF characters that it does not understand. The default font and margin values ​​may vary between software between versions. The format that holds higher compatibility is PDF, but PDFs are usually not distributed in an editable format. Unlike formats such as Microsoft Word DOC or Office Open XML or OpenDocument, RTF does not support macros, and therefore contains few viruses in macro form. The filename ending with .rtf does not mean that it is always in RTF format; To make sure a file is in RTF format, without running a macro, open the content in plain text reader.

The software

  • WordPad, the software included with Microsoft Windows, stores the file in the default format like RTF.
  • TextEdit, the default editor of Mac OS X, can also be used to edit RTF files and RTFD files. Older operating systems software such as MacWrite and WriteNow are also capable of editing RTF.
  • Free and open-source software such as AbiWord, OpenOffice.org, KWord, or Bean also developed the RTF.
  • The rtf2xml open source computer program can convert RTF to XML.

What is Word?

  • Microsoft Word, also known as Winword, is a popular text-editing program nowadays by the well-known software company Microsoft. It allows users to work with raw text (text), effects such as fonts, colors, along with graphics (graphics) and many other multimedia effects (multimedia) such as audio, video. Make text editing more convenient. There are also tools like spell checking, the grammar of many different languages ​​to support the user.
  • Versions of Word usually store filenames with the extension .doc, or .docx for versions from Word 2007 onwards. Most versions of Word can open raw text files (.txt) and also work with other formats, such as hypertext processing (.html), web page design.
  • The Word software in the Office suite seems extremely popular. Type knock and type. But Word is stronger than it looks.
  • Since 1997 (Word 97), Word has had the following functions:
  • Draw AutoShape shapes with transparent colors
  • The text includes image processing.
  • Ability to link with other office documents like Excel and PowerPoint
  • Print support without using the printer menu
  • Automatic text backup
  • Certainly text editor already
  • etc.
  • Since the 2007 version of Office, despite significant improvements in interface and features, it is volatile. With the new file extension system, "Docx", Word makes it difficult for users with too bold and unstable changes.
  • Office 2010 inherits the advantages of 2007 and the stability of 2003 and improves many features that were criticized by users in 2007.
  • In short, Word is a powerful text editor. Newspapers, contracts, books, websites, e-books, even block schedules, sheet calendars, milk cartons, leaflets, etc. Word can be used to compile from A to Z. With the 2010 version, your text will bring any nuance you want: professional, cute, casual, warm. It also provides a robust set of image processing tools (no longer having to worry about opening Photoshop to edit images before putting them into Word). With the Visual Basic for Application commands, Word also allows you to insert sound, movies, everything you want into Word (but this feature is a bit difficult to use, hidden quite carefully). Add-ins, Word add-ons are among the most diverse in the world, including those of the world's largest software corporations such as Adobe, Google, Oracle, and of course, Microsoft and Google. Using Word is judged to be extremely easy; even children can do. With the 2010 version, it is possible that illiterate children can also use Word with pictures that illustrate the beautiful and bright features. (This is Microsoft's strength - Ease of use).

The history of Word

Release Year Name Version Note
1989 Word for Windows 1.0 1.0 Code-named Opus
1990 Word for Windows Version 1.1 1.1 For Windows 3.0. Code-named Bill the Cat
1990 Word for Windows Version 1.1a 1.1a On March 25, 2014, Microsoft made the source code for Word for Windows 1.1a available through the Computer History Museum.
1991 Word for Windows Version 2.0 2.0 Code-named Spaceman Spiff - Included in Office 3.0.
1993 Word for Windows Version 6.0 6.0 Code-named T3 (renumbered 6 to bring Windows version numbering in line with that of Mac OS version, WordPerfect, and also DOS version, the main competing word processor at this time; also a 32-bit version for Windows NT only). Office 4.0, 4.2, and Office 4.3 supported this version.
1995 Winword - Word for Windows Version 95 7.0 Along with the advent of Windows 95, a 32-bit version of the Windows operating system, Microsoft released Word 95, also known as Word 7.0. Word 7.0 is similar to Word 6.0, but it supports a 32-bit mode of Windows 95, which typically supports long filenames, while MS-DOS only supports long file names. up to 8 characters for the name, and three characters for the extension, referred to as 8.3.
1997 Word 97 8.0 This is the next popular version, belonging to the Office 97 product package.
1998 Word 98 8.5 Included in Office 97 Supported by Word 98, only available in Japan and Korea.
1999 Word 2000 9.0 Office 2000
2001 Word 2002 10.0 Office XP. Also known as Word 2002.
2003 Microsoft Word 2003 11.0 Included in Office 2003
2006 Microsoft Word 2007 12.0 Included in Office 2007; released for businesses on November 30, 2006, released worldwide for consumers on January 30, 2007. Extended support until October 10, 2017. The interface is completely different from the previous versions. Microsoft has changed the default text format to .docx (according to the Office Open XML standard) instead of .doc as in previous versions. Therefore, versions of Word before 2007 do not support the .docx format. Particularly for Word XP and Word 2003, if you want to read .docx format, you must have the Office Compatibility Pack installed by Microsoft for free.
2010 Word 2010 14.0 Office 2010
2013 Word 2013 15.0 Office 2013 (just need to install Windows 10 immediately Word 13 on the computer)
2016 Word 2016 16.0 Included in Office 2016
2019 Word 2019 16.0 Included in Office 2019

Sync with Word

With Word installed on a PC, Mac, or Mobile Device, you can:

  • Create and format your document with themes.
  • Review work with change tracking.
  • Perfect your articles with tools such as proofread editors.
  • Save to OneDrive to get your documents from your device.
  • Share your chat work, annotate, and collaborate with others, wherever they are.

And that's all the most basic information about Word and RTF. In the next part of this series, we will look at the final text format - HTML, as well as how to convert between the three formats. Stay tuned for more.

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