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Rich Text

Rich text is more exciting than plain text. It supports text formatting, such as bold, italics, and underlining, as well as different fonts, font sizes, and colored text. Rich text documents can also include page formatting options, such as custom page margins, line spacing, and tab widths.

Most word processors, such as Microsoft Word, Lotus Word Pro, and AppleWorks, create rich text documents. However, if you save a document in a program's native format, it may only open with the program that created it. For example, Lotus Word Pro will not be able to open an AppleWorks text document, even though both programs are text editors. This is because each program uses its own method of formatting and creating text files.

The good news is, most word processors allow you to save rich text documents in the generic Rich Text Format. This file format, which uses the .RTF extension keeps most, if not all the text formatting. However, because it is a standard format, it can be opened by just about any word processing program and even most basic text editors.

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http://techterms.com/definition/richtext