How to open RTF files on PC with Google Chrome

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read
open RTF files on PC

RTF, otherwise Rich Text Format, is a text file format that saves document formatting such as bold, italic and images. Thus, it’s better to save a text document that includes bold formatting as an RTF instead of TXT. Microsoft introduced RTF in the 1980s, but the company no longer updates the format. As such, RTF might be a slightly antiquated file type.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of Windows word processors and text editors that support the RTF file type. MS Word, Corel WordPerfect, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Notepad++ and AbiWord open rich text documents. You can click File > Open to edit an RTF file in most compatible software.

Here’s how to open RTF files on PC

Open RTF Documents With Google Drive

However, you can also open a rich text file within Chrome, or other browsers that support Google’s web apps. Google Drive (GD) is cloud storage with which you can save documents and then edit them via Docs and Slides. Google Drive also gives you 15 GB storage without a subscription fee. Open this page to set up a Google+ account if required, and then you can open a RTF file in GD as follows.

  • First, press the Go to Google Drive button on the GD homepage to open your could storage page as below.

  • Next, click My Drive and select the Upload files option from the menu.
  • Select the RTF file to save in Google Drive, and click the OK button.
  • When Google Drive includes your selected document, right-click the RTF file’s icon on the GD page and select Open with.

  • Then you can select to open it in Google Docs as in the snapshot directly below.

  • Note that opening an RTF in Google Docs generates a second copy of the document in GD with a GDOC file format, which is the edited file. As such, click File > Download as and select Rich Text Format to restore the file back to RTF when you’ve finished editing in Google Docs.

Open Online RTF Documents in Google Chrome

You can also open linked RTF files on website pages or search engines in Chrome with Docs Online Viewer. This extension supports Rich Text Format so that you can open online RTF documents within Chrome. This is how you can open linked RTF files with Docs Online Viewer.

  • Open this web page to add the extension to Google Chrome. It adds a Docs Online Viewer button to the browser’s toolbar as shown below.

  • Click this link to open the Docs Online Viewer page in Chrome.
  • Press the View this Docx file button beside the sample docx hyperlink on that page to open Word document sample in Google Chrome.

  • You can open RTF documents in Chrome much the same. Input the keyword ‘RTF document file samples’ in Google.
  • Google will then list three RTF documents at the top of its search page. Click a View this RTF file button beside one of those links to open the document in Chrome as below.

So you can RTF documents without any additional software. Open the RTF documents in Google Drive to edit them. Or open the linked Rich Text Format documents in browser tabs with Docs Online Viewer.

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