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Questions About Word Processing and Rich Text Formats?

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Jack1000, May 6, 2008.

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  1. Jack1000

    Jack1000 Thread Starter

    Feb 4, 2001
    What is the significance of creating and saving Word Processed Documents in Rich Text Format? As a writer, I have experience in MS Word, Word Perfect, and Google Docs. I find that saving docs in RTF seems to create a much smaller file in MS Word, than saving a document in conventional DOC format. Furthermore, transferring files as downloads from Google Docs to Word seem to work better in RTF format than Doc formats.

    I know that graphics sometimes do not transfer well to RTF formats. But other than that, what am I getting (or missing out) if I save something in Word as a RTF document? What I have noticed, when I worked in Word Perfect 12, the default file formats were generally 5-8 kb for simple letters. Using DOC extensions, when uploading from Google Docs, and saved in Word, (I have Word 2003 an upgrade disk from Word 97) that same Doc file format that used to be an RTF format expands to let's say 35kb. Is the data that is expanding in Conventional Word doc format really needed if you can get the same results as a RTF file? Or in using the Doc.extension in Word, is this Microsoft's way of just adding crap to a text file that is not needed?

    When I have transferred letters from Google Docs to Word, I have seen instances where the Inside Address is double-spaced when I download it as a Word Doc from Google Docs. I cannot get the Inside Address of the letter lines to single-space. Saving docs from Google Docs to Word as RTF files, I may only have to modify one heading, such as the heading of a letter from double-spaced to single spaced, and the size of the document as an RTF remains small, as I like it.

    I guess my question is, why wouldn't I want to save as many documents as RTF files from now on over doc files? When should I save (or keep) the conventional Word doc. extension?

  2. slurpee55


    Oct 20, 2004
    As odd as it may seem, .RTF is also a semi-proprietary format (created by MS but released for general use by others) and, while it does make for smaller files, I find it to have major disadvantages in complex formatting. If my document is simple enough for an .rtf, it often is simple enough for a plain text (.txt) file, which is much smaller again.
    The new Word format, docx, is a variation of XML, which is simpler in structure and leads (as I understand it) to smaller files also. However, until I get Office 2007, I can't give you any comparative sizes.
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