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RTF (usually referred to as such) stands for Rich Text Format, a file format developed by Microsoft that most text processing programs are able to read and write. RTF is a poorly standardised format with incompatibilities reported even between different Microsoft applications, and tends to be rarely used for document distribution.

The simple example of an RTF file:

  This is a
  little {\b text}.
  The End
will show as
 This is a little text.
 The End

Paragraphs have to be explicitly marked with \par and {\b ....} marks bold text. This syntax is similar to that of TeX.

External links:

Official RTF Spec via FTP (ftp://ftp.primate.wisc.edu/pub/RTF/index) - in many formats including HQX, manpages, rtf, PS. Also info on RTF to something translators. Includes versions 1.3 and 1.5.
RTF Spec via Web (http://www.dubois.ws/software/RTF/) (Same as above)
RTF Spec for Word 97 (http://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/sample.asp?url=/MSDN-FILES/027/001/758/msdncompositedoc.xml&frame=true) features - you will also need the full version 1.4 of the RTF spec.
A link to the RTF v1.3 spec (http://www.webworks.com/download/support/kb/)
http://www.biblioscape.com/rtf15_spec.htm RTF v1.5 spec
Online version of spec (HTML) (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q269/5/75.ASP) (Version 1.6 April 2002)

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