How to Create an RTF File

by Charlie Higgins
Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

An RTF file, or Rich Text Format file, is a basic word processing document file type with the extension ".rtf." RTF files are designed to be compatible with many word processing programs across both Windows and Macintosh platforms, saving frustration when trying to send documents. They have the added benefit of being less susceptible to viruses. RTF files can be created using many different word processors in a few easy steps. However, the most commonly used software is Microsoft Word.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word. Create a new document by clicking "Microsoft Office Button>New."

Step 2

Select "File>Save As>Other Formats" once your blank document is open. In the "Save As" dialogue box, select a destination for your file to be saved in. Next, type in a name for your document in the "Save As" field. Finally, there is an option for "File Type." Click this drop down box and select "Rich Text Format."

Edit the document as you wish, using text and images. When you are finished, click "Microsoft Office Button>Save."


  • Sometimes unexpected crashes can force Microsoft Word to close. To avoid losing valuable work when this happens, always save your file periodically by clicking "File>Save," or the shortcut "Ctrl+S."


  • In earlier versions of Microsoft Word, the "Microsoft Office Button" is the "File" menu.
  • RTF files can also be created in other common software programs, such as Notepad, iWork, or Open Office Writer.


Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.

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