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This content is no longer actively maintained.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)

Contents

Introduction`[RTF Syntax](aa140284\(v=office.10\).md) [Conventions of an RTF Reader](aa140286\(v=office.10\).md) [Formal Syntax](aa140294\(v=office.10\).md) [Contents of an RTF File](aa140298\(v=office.10\).md) [Header](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [RTF Version](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Character Set](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Unicode RTF](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Font Table](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [File Table](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Color Table](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Style Sheet](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [List Table](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Track Changes (Revision Marks)](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_6.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Document Area](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Information Group](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Document Formatting Properties](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Section Text](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Paragraph Text](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Character Text](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Document Variables](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Bookmarks](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Pictures](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Objects](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Drawing Objects](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Word 97-2000 RTF for Drawing Objects (Shapes)](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Footnotes](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Comments (Annotations)](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Fields](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Form Fields](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Index Entries](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Table of Contents Entries](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Bidirectional Language Support](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_16.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Far East Support](aa140288\(v=office.10\).md) [Escaped Expressions](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_36.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Character Set](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_37.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Character Mapping](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_38.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Font Family](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_39.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Composite Fonts (Associated Fonts for International Runs)](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_39.htm\(v=office.10\)) [New Far East Control Words Created by Word 6J](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_39.htm\(v=office.10\)) [New Far East Control Words Created by Asian Versions of Word 97](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_39.htm\(v=office.10\)) [New Far East Control Words Created by Word 2000](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_39.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Appendix A: Sample RTF Reader Application](aa140295\(v=office.10\).md) [How to Write an RTF Reader](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_45.htm\(v=office.10\)) [A Sample RTF Reader Implementation](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_46.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtfdecl.h and Rtfreadr.c](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_46.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtftype.h](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_46.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtfactn.c](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_46.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Notes on Implementing Other RTF Features](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_50.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Tabs and Other Control Sequences Terminating in a Fixed Control](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_50.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Borders and Other Control Sequences Beginning with a Fixed Control](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_50.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Other Problem Areas in RTF](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Style Sheets](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Property Changes](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Fields](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Tables](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtfdecl.h](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtftype.h](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Rtfreadr.c](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Makefile](https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office%7cdnrtfspec%7c%7e%5chtml%5crtfspec_53.htm\(v=office.10\)) [Appendix B: Index of RTF Control Words](aa140302\(v=office.10\).md) [Appendix C: Control Words Introduced by Other Microsoft Products](aa140303\(v=office.10\).md) [Pocket Word](aa140303\(v=office.10\).md) `Exchange (Used in RTF<>HTML Conversions)