Updated: 12/01/2019 by Computer Hope

Short for rich text format, RTF is a mix between rich text files and plaintext files. Unlike text files, RTF files offer some formatting features like bold, italic, underline, bullets, different fonts, and text justification. However, it does not provide all of the features found in a full word processor.

An example of an RTF editor is Microsoft WordPad. However, any text or word processing program can create documents with any of the formatting features mentioned above. They can also create an RTF document.

How to convert a plaintext to an RTF file

  1. Open the file plaintext file in an RTF editor, such as WordPad or Microsoft Word.
  2. Once open, choose the option to Save As and make sure that the Save as type is *.rtf, *.docx, *.odt, or another RTF file format.

Why use Word instead of a WordPad?

A rich-text editor like WordPad offers many of the same basic features as Microsoft Word. Where Microsoft Word differs is the ability to do more advanced features. Some of the advanced features include mail merges, spellchecker, styles, tables, headers & footers, WordArt, columns, margins, and more.

Related pages

  • For additional information about files and file extensions, see our file extension guide.

Computer acronyms, Plaintext, Software terms, Text