How to Convert RTF to PDF

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RTFs and PDFs are very different from one another. But each file format has its pros and cons. Both RTF and PDF are the most common text file formats. PDFs are useful for sharing and printing. RTFs are convenient for editing. In our daily work, creating text files and using a word processor is one of the most common tasks on a computer. As PDF is the most popular file format chose by users, in this post, we are going to show you how to convert RTF to PDF.

convert rtf to pdf

1. What's the Differences between RTF and PDF?

1. What is RTF and PDF Format?

RTF stands for Rich Text Format. A file with the .rtf file extension is a Rich Text Format file. It is a cross-platform document file developed by Microsoft in the 1980s, which can be opened by most word processors. You can create a file using Microsoft Word and save it as an RTF file. The purpose of creating RTF format is to make it easier to share word documents with people who don’t use Word. In fact, RTF files are a level up from TXT files. Therefore, we call RTF file is a TXT file that you can format.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. PDF file is a combination of text with images, embedded fonts, hyperlinks, videos, interactive buttons, forms, and more. It is one of the most popular and compatible file format created by Adobe in the 1900s with the purpose of keeping the same layout while sharing and printing PDF files. Because PDFs are a standardized format, there are a considerable number of apps out there that can open PDFs. Like Web browsers, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, third-party apps, etc.

2. Pros and Cons of RTF and PDF Format

Pros and Cons of RTF Format


Allow you to format text -- RTFs are a level up from TXT files, which allow you to format your text, insert images, change the font and more.

Easy to open -- RTF Files can be opened on any operating system (like Unix, Macintosh, and Windows) in spite of they are developed by Microsoft.


File size is large -- RTF documents are not compressed so they are much larger than the same document saved in .docx format.

Pros and Cons of PDF Format


Keep the original layout -- based on the Adobe PostScript language, each PDF keeps a fixed layout document which displays the exact same content and layout no matter which operating system, device or software application it is viewed on.

Secure -- offers options to set up different levels of access to protect the content and the whole document, such as watermarks, passwords or digital signatures.


Hard to Edit -- it’s easier to edit files in other formants than in PDF, because PDF files must be edited with specialized PDF editor program.

3. Comparison Chart between RTF and PDF Format

We are going to compare RTF with PDF in the following important aspects. Then you can easily come to a conclusion as to which format you should choose.

what includes in the file RTF is a txt file which allows you to format your text, insert images, change the font and more PDF file is a combination of text with images, embedded fonts, hyperlinks, videos, interactive buttons, forms, and more
how to open the file RTF can be opened directly on any Windows, Mac, or Linux PDF only can be opened with a specialized reader or browser which supports PDF format
is the file editable Yes No, PDF files’ layout is fixed
Advantages easy to open & allow to format the text secure & keep the original layout
Disadvantage file size is larger than the same content saved in .docx format hard to edit

2. Best Methods of Converting RTF to PDF

Method 1 -- Save as PDF

The easiest way to convert RTF to PDF is to open the RTF file in Microsoft Word, then use the Save As command, you’ll come to the Save As dialog box. You can then use the Save As type dropdown menu to choose PDF as the output format from a bunch of different formats.

save as pdf

Method 2 – Calibre

Calibre is a comprehensive e-book software which offers one stop solution for all your e-book needs. It supports organizing your existing ebooks, viewing and converting ebooks and files, as well as transferring ebooks to your ereaders. It is a must have freeware for all ebook readers.

As for converting files with Calibre, just drag and drop your RTF file to Calibre, then click Convert books in the tool bar >> select PDF as the output format in the drop-down menu >> OK to start the conversion.

convert rtf to pdf with calibre

Method 3: Free Online RTF to PDF Converters

There are many wonderful online free file converters to help you convert files between different formats. And the following free online converters are the best three RTF to PDF converter that you should give it a try.

1. ZAMZAR Online File Converter

Zamzar is a free online video/audio/image/ebook converter which can help you transform your videos, images and documents into different formats with high quality. It offers you a one stop solution for all your file conversion needs.

convert rtf to pdf with zamzar

2. Convertio Document Converter

Convertio is an online file conversion tool that works in any web browser. It supports more than 300 different file formats. It requires the three short actions: drag and drop a document, click the Convert button, save the result. The process usually takes no more than one or two minutes.

convert rtf to pdf with convertio

3. Online Converter

This free Online Converter lets you convert media files easy and fast from one format to another. It supports a lot of different source formats. Converting RTF to PDF with this free online converter only requires you to upload RTF files to the website, it will convert RTF to PDF immediately after clicking Start conversion.

convert rtf to pdf with online converter


No matter which method you choose to convert RTF to PDF, none of them will let you down. If you want to know more about specialized ebook or audible book converter, here are three powerful converters you should know.


works for Epubor and writes articles about eBooks and eReaders. She explores the best method to help you read eBooks more freely and wants to share all she has got with you.

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