RTF File Extension

Have a problem opening a .RTF file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what RTF files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .RTF file type?

The .rtf extension stands for 'Rich Text Format' (RTF) and denotes the RTF file type. The concept behind RTF is to provide a universal way of exchanging complexly formatted word processor documents while ensuring cross-platform and cross-application compatibility. The RTF format can be considered as the most accessible, lightweight and safe way to present text with formatting.

An .rtf file is a word processor document that besides the actual text stores a lot of formatting information and can include embedded multimedia data. RTF files are generally very well supported in all office suites and word processors and can easily be converted into any other popular formats.

RTF files are also more size-efficient than most older word processor formats (e.g. DOC) and cannot contain macros, being thus immune to macro-viruses.

In all desktop environments, the .rtf extension is pre-associated with a simple text editor with some word processor functions (WordPad in Windows). Any office suite installed would re-associate the .rtf extension to its word processor application.

Software to open or convert RTF files

You can open RTF files with the following programs: 

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