How to Open An RTF File


The RTF format is also known as the multi-text format. It is a cross-platform document format developed by Microsoft Corporation. Most of the Word processing software can read and save RTF documents. As a standard document of Microsoft Corporation, early external parties need to pay tens of dollars to Microsoft to purchase RTF standard documents. However, as more and more software adopts the RTF format standard, the RTF format becomes more and more popular.

Nowadays, almost all operating systems have more feature-rich applications that can open the RTF file. This post will list some applications to help you to open the RTF file freely on different operating systems.

1. WordPad (Windows)

WordPad is a free word processing tool that comes with Microsoft Windows. With WordPad, you can set fonts, insert pictures, etc. WordPad only supports RTF, DOCX, ODT, and TXT formats. It is not a necessary process. If you don't need it, you can close it freely.

Step 1. Right-click on the RTF file and you will see the "Open With" command or similar command for selecting the open application.


"If you are using a Linux system, you can install software like LibreOffice to open the RTF file."

Step 2. In the pop-up window, it shows a list of applications that can open RTF files. Just select the one you want to use. You can select the "Always use this application to open .rtf files" option to have that app become the default reader.

Windows WordPad Open RTF File

Step 3. Finally, click the "OK" button to open the file in WordPad. You can also edit the RTF file by using the editing tools in the toolbar.

Windows WordPad Open RTF File

2. Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. It supports Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as mobile devices. Google Drive also provides you with 15 GB of storage space without paying a subscription fee. You need to sign in your Google account and save the RTF file in your Google Drive first.

Step 1. Go to Google Drive homepage and log in with your Google account.

Step 2. Click the "My Drive" > "Upload files" button to upload the RTF file.

Google Drive Open RTF File

Step 3. Click the RTF file icon and select "Open with". Then you can select to open it in Google Docs.

Google Drive Open with Google Docs

Step 4. Then you will go to the Google Docs to view your RTF file. On this page, you can also edit it by clicking the corresponding button.

Google Docs View the RTF File

Step 5. Pay attention to the format of the file in Google Docs. The opening RTF in Google Docs will generate a second copy of the document in .doc format. Therefore, after editing in Google Docs, click the "File"> "Download", and then select the RTF format to restore the file to RTF.

Google Docs Download Rich Text Format

3. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC makes your job easier every day with the trusted PDF converter. It is the complete PDF solution for working anywhere. With Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you can convert scanned documents, images, web pages, and Microsoft Office files, etc. into PDF files that you can edit. Just open with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you can view the file immediately.

Step 1. Download and install the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC software.

Step 2. Open the software. Click the ''File" > "Open" to open the RTF file in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Step 3. Then your RTF file will be converted to the PDF file. You can view and edit it in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC View the RTF File

Step 4. Finally, remember to export the converted PDF file to the RTF file. Click the "File" > "Export To" > "Rich Text Format".

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Export to RTF Format

4. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a fast, secure, and free browser for all your devices. It has everything you need to make the most of the web, like quick answers in your address bar, one-click translation, and personalized articles for you on your phone.

Meanwhile, you can add extensions through Chrome Web Store. Many Chrome extensions, once installed, have access to the user's data. Then you can open many different kinds of files like PDF, RTF, DOCX, etc. by using the extensions.

Step 1. Download and install the browser on your computer.

Step 2. Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for "Docs Online Viewer" then click the "Add to Chrome" button to add the extension to Google Chrome.

Chrome Web Store Docs Online Viewer

Step 3. Open the Docs Online Viewer page in Chrome. Press the "View this .docx file" button beside the sample .docx hyperlink on that page to open the Word document sample in Google Chrome. You can search the RTF file and then click the "View this RTF file" icon beside one of those links to open the document in Chrome as below.

Google Chrome Open RTF File

5. TextEdit (Mac)

Google Chrome is a fast, secure, and free browser for all your devices. It has everything you need to make the most of the web, like quick answers in your address bar, one-click translation, and personalized articles for you on your phone.

TextEdit is a simple, open-source word processor and text editor. It is the built-in application on your Mac. With TextEdit, you can open and edit rich text documents created in other word processing apps, including Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.

Step 1. Open the TextEdit application on your Mac.

Step 2. Choose "File" > "Open…" to select the RTF file. If you want to view the RTF directives in RTF files, choose "TextEdit" > "Preferences", then click the "Open and Save" button. Finally, select the "Display RTF files as RTF code instead of formatted text" to open the RTF file.

TextEdit File Open


No matter you are using a Windows or Mac system; you can find the most suitable way to open the RTF file in the article. We recommend you to use the built-in application to open it because you don't need to open any browser or install any software.

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