Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification, version 1.6

Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification, version 1.6

This content is no longer actively maintained. It is provided as is, for anyone who may still be using these technologies, with no warranties or claims of accuracy with regard to the most recent product version or service release.

Microsoft Corporation

May 1999

Summary: The Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification provides a format for text and graphics interchange that can be used with different output devices, operating environments, and operating systems. RTF uses the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), PC-8, Macintosh, or IBM PC character set to control the representation and formatting of a document, both on the screen and in print. With the RTF Specification, documents created under different operating systems and with different software applications can be transferred between those operating systems and applications. (248 printed pages)


RTF Syntax
Conventions of an RTF Reader
Formal Syntax
Contents of an RTF File
RTF Version
Character Set
Unicode RTF
Font Table
File Table
Color Table
Style Sheet
List Table
Track Changes (Revision Marks)
Document Area
Information Group
Document Formatting Properties
Section Text
Paragraph Text
Character Text
Document Variables
Drawing Objects
Word 97-2000 RTF for Drawing Objects (Shapes)
Comments (Annotations)
Form Fields
Index Entries
Table of Contents Entries
Bidirectional Language Support
Far East Support
Escaped Expressions
Character Set
Character Mapping
Font Family
Composite Fonts (Associated Fonts for International Runs)
New Far East Control Words Created by Word 6J
New Far East Control Words Created by Asian Versions of Word 97
New Far East Control Words Created by Word 2000
Appendix A: Sample RTF Reader Application
How to Write an RTF Reader
A Sample RTF Reader Implementation
Rtfdecl.h and Rtfreadr.c
Notes on Implementing Other RTF Features
Tabs and Other Control Sequences Terminating in a Fixed Control
Borders and Other Control Sequences Beginning with a Fixed Control
Other Problem Areas in RTF
Style Sheets
Property Changes
Appendix B: Index of RTF Control Words
Appendix C: Control Words Introduced by Other Microsoft Products
Pocket Word
Exchange (Used in RTF<>HTML Conversions)

© 2015 Microsoft