4/21/17
6:00 am

Exporting To RTF From Pages

A new feature in Pages is the ability to export into Rich Text Format. This kind of file can be opened and edited by almost any text editor or word processor. You can use RTF to move a document from Pages to TextEdit, or to send to someone when you are not sure what kind of word processor they are using.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
There's a new ability in Pages 6.1 to export documents in RTF format. So what is RTF? It's a rich text format. A word processing format that's been around since the eighties. Unlike things like plain text it can actually remember fonts, bolding, it can even have embedded images in there.

So let's, for instance, export this out as RTF. I'll save it here at the desktop and it's going to put an extension of RTFD, D for document, and there it is. So now I can double click on it and it's going to open up in TextEdit because RTF is actually the native format for editing documents in TextEdit. You can edit in plain text and I can convert this to plain text here in the Format menu, but the rich text format is actually RTF.

So you can see here it retains the font, it retains bolding, it has the image all centered, so it looks pretty good. It won't keep everything. So, for instance, if I had put in a text box in the Pages document here it wouldn't translate. It wouldn't come out here. It just takes the stuff out of the body of the document and saves it out.

Also fonts, while it's going to use the font, and you can see it matches perfectly, if a machine I was opening this RTF document on didn't have this particular special font it would just go to some sort of default font. So you want to be careful with that.

But unlike the other options where you export to say PDF, PDF and other things like ePub, their formats for the person to be able to read the document but not necessarily continue to work with it, not edit it. Whereas the RTF format is something now they can take into their word processor and continue to work with.

In fact you can take a RTF document and you can open it up in Pages as well. Pages will read it just fine. It's considered a new document here so if I hit Command S to Save it's going to want to actually save it out as a new document that's a Pages format. If I wanted to keep it in RTF I would have to just, instead of saving, Export to RTF again.

It's a handy format to have especially if you're going to be working with people that have, you don't know what word processor they've got to work with. It's also good for archiving. Since the format's been around for a longtime it's probably going to be around forever. You can save it out and know that your basic stuff that you've written will be saved in RTF format.

The one thing I recommend doing is if you're going to distribute something in RTF format make sure that you open it up in TextEdit, the RTF document, take a look at it and just make sure that everything you need is there. That there wasn't some element that you created that has been removed from the document now that it is in RTF format.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Exporting To RTF From Pages”

    David Chadderton
    4/26/17 @ 3:35 am

    Isn’t RTFD (Rich Text Format Directory) a Mac extension to RTF to enable images to be included that isn’t as universally compatible as Microsoft’s original RTF specification?

    4/26/17 @ 7:30 am

    David: Not sure, but I was definitely including images in RTF files way back in 1995.

    Shirley
    4/27/17 @ 10:36 am

    Yes, when I Export with an image it is RTFD, when I Export withOUT an image, it is exported as RTF (without the “D”)

    Shirley
    4/27/17 @ 10:44 am

    Before printing Exported RTF documents, one probably should go to Format> Wrap to Page for standard paper printing.

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