Rich Text Format

From ArticleWorld

Rich text format refers to a document file format, developed by Microsoft, for cross-platform document interchange. Most word processing programs are able to read and write rich text format documents, and unlike most word processing formats, is readable by humans.


A backslash always starts an rich text format control code. The \par control code indicates a new line, and \b switches to bold type. Braces define a group. Everything else will be treated as clear text.

Common uses

The RTF format is the default rich text format for Mac OS X's default editor, TextEdit. Previous versions of the WordPad editor created RTF files by default; however, though it can still read, view, and edit RTF files, it now uses the Microsoft Word file format by default. The open-source editor AbiWord, which is common on Unix-like platforms, can also edit RTF files. These different programs do not however create files that are completely compatible with each other.

Other formats

In addition to rich text format, there are many other markup languages being used. Some of them widely used, some less so. Following is a list of the major document formats:

  • DITA
  • DocBook
  • HTML
  • LaTeX
  • MathML
  • MAML
  • RTF
  • S1000D
  • TeX
  • troff
  • Wikipedia
  • WML
  • XHTML Basic
  • XML

Many of the previously mentioned markup languages are not only used for document creation, but for webpage design, as well as other applications. Below is a list of office document markup languages:

  • OpenDocument
  • XML
  • ReportML
  • SpreadsheetML
  • WordprocessingML