How to Edit an RTF File

By Amy Dombrower

RTF stands for rich text format. It's a commonly-used text format that differs from plain text because it supports various formatting, such as bold and italics as well as a variety of fonts. Word processing software such as Microsoft Word, as well as more basic programs like Microsoft Works or WordPad, will read an RTF file. You can also edit RTF files using your word processor's formatting tools.

Microsoft Word

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Click "File" or the Microsoft Office logo button and select "Open." Select "Rich Text Format" from the file format list. Browse through your files to select the RTF file for which you are looking. Click "Open.

Step 3

Select the text you want to edit. To replace the selected text with new text, begin typing.

Step 4

Click the "Home" tab. Choose from the options in the "Font" group to make changes to the text attributes, including the font, font size and color. Use the "Paragraph" group to adjust alignment and spacing.

Step 5

Click "File" or the Microsoft Office logo button and select "Save" to preserve your document. Click "Save as" if you want to give it a new name or change its format.

Microsoft Works

Step 1

Open Microsoft Works Word Processor.

Step 2

Click "File," then "Open." Select "Rich Text Format" from the "Files of Type" menu. Browse through your files to select an RTF file. Click "Open."

Step 3

Select the text you want to edit. Begin typing to replace the selected text with new text.

Step 4

Select the text for which you want to change the formatting. Click the "Format" menu, then "Font." Select a new font, font style, font size and other text effects. Click "OK." Click the "Format" menu, then "Paragraph" to change the spacing or alignment.

Step 5

Click "File," then "Save" to preserve your changes.

WordPad

Step 1

Open WordPad, which is pre-installed in Windows.

Step 2

Click the "WordPad" or "File" menu, then "Open." Select "Rich Text Format" from the format menu. Browse your files, then select an RTF file. Click "Open.

Step 3

Select the text you want to edit. Begin typing to add new text.

Step 4

Click the "Home" tab if you are using Windows 7. Click the "Format" menu, then click "Font" in Windows Vista or earlier. Change the selected text by specifying a new font, font size, color or other text attributes.

Step 5

Click the "WordPad" or "File" menu. Click "Save" to save your RTF file.