Difference Between RTF and HTML

In today's digital age, many of us are relying on technology more than ever to help us work and communicate efficiently. With so many different file formats to choose from, it can be hard to know which one you should use. Two of the most popular formats are Rich Text Format (RTF) and HyperText Markup Language (HTML).

RTF is a file format that allows for basic text formatting, such as bold, italics, underlining, and font size/color. RTF files can be opened in any word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

HTML is a code used to create websites. However, you can also use HTML to format text. Unlike RTF files, HTML files need to be opened in a code editor like Notepad++ or Sublime Text.

Read this article to find out more about RTF and HTML and how they are different from each other.

What is RTF?

RTF stands for Rich Text Format. It is a format that allows you to save your documents in a platform-independent way. RTF files can be opened and edited by any word processor, such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer.

RTF is a file format that allows documents to be saved in a text file format that is both human and machine-readable. RTF files can be opened in any text editor, and are often used for exchanging documents between different word-processing applications. RTF files can also be opened in web browsers, but the formatting may not be preserved.

One downside of RTF files is that they don’t always transfer formatting correctly when opened in different programs. For example, if you create an RTF file in Microsoft Word and then open it in Google Docs, the formatting may not look exactly the same.

What is HTML?

The preferred markup language for building online pages and web applications is HTML. With HTML, you can create your own website. Your website can be interactive by using JavaScript.

The main difference between RTF and HTML is that RTF is a text-based format while HTML is a markup language. HTML is used to create structural semantics for text, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes. In contrast, RTF only supports basic text formatting features.

One advantage of using HTML to format text is that the code is universal, so your text will look the same no matter what program you open it in.

Differences Between RTF and HTML

The following table highlights the major differences between RTF and HTML −





RTF is a document format that was developed by Microsoft in 1987.

The World Wide Web's primary language is HTML, and it was developed in 1990 by Tim Berners Lee


It is based on Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)

It is based on Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)


RTF files can be saved by ".rtf"

HTML files can be saved by ".html"


Used for storing files

Used to share content


RTF is designed for creating formatted documents that will be read on a screen or printed out on paper

HTML is designed specifically for displaying content on a web page.


RTF supports less image types

HTML supports a more image types


RTF cannot embed audio and video

HTML can embed audio and video


In conclusion, both RTF and HTML are important formats used in modern computing. RTF is more frequently used for document files, while HTML is primarily used to create webpages. Both of these formats have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to creating documents or websites, so it's important to choose the right format for your project based on your needs. Ultimately, understanding the difference between RTF and HTML can help you make an informed choice about which format best suits your requirements.

Updated on: 13-Feb-2023

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