RTF File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open a RTF file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .RTF files.

What is a RTF file?

RTF stands for Rich Text Format. This file format was developed by the Microsoft Corporation. RTF files allow different word processing applications to transfer formatted text documents to one another. For example, if a user creates an RTF file in Word and sends that file to another user who does not have the Word word processing application, the recipient will still be able to open the RTF file on his or her computer.

RTF documents can contain a number of text formats including italic, bold and underlined texts as well as a variety of font sizes and text colors. RTF documents are not stored in binary format like many word processing documents. Instead, these files are stored in ASCII format.

How to open RTF files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension RTF for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different RTF openers which you will find listed below.

Suggest another file format using extension RTF

While we know of one file format using the .RTF file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .RTF file.

Various viewers for this file format

These apps are known to open certain types of RTF files. Remember, different programs may use RTF files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

Free File ViewerFree File ViewerUser submitted
DoxillionDoxillionUser submitted
Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft OfficeUser submitted
OpenOffice.org CalcOpenOffice.org CalcUser submitted
Kingsoft OfficeKingsoft OfficeUser submitted
LibreOfficeLibreOfficeUser submitted
Microsoft WordMicrosoft WordUser submitted
OpenOffice.org WriterOpenOffice.org WriterUser submitted
LibreOffice CalcLibreOffice CalcUser submitted
WPS OfficeWPS OfficeUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with RTF-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with RTF-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!