DOC vs RTF
Both DOC and RTF are proprietary document file formats used by Microsoft for software. The RTF was introduced in 1987 as a cross platform document interchange format and the DOC format was originally used as a file format for plain text documents and was used in Microsoft WordPerfect word processor throughout 1990`s. Then in Microsoft Word DOC was chosen as the default file format with file extension .doc and its general usage has been associated only with Microsoft Word.
More about DOC
On binary level, the DOC format can contain more text formatting information than many document file formats. Simply it implies that files encoded in .doc can contain text with more formatting. The DOC file format can contain an encoding which allows security features to be added to the document such as passwords and encryption. With the advancement of the Microsoft Word program, the file format has also been adapted to suit the changes. The file formats used from 1997-2003 versions differ from the versions introduced before 1997. The file default format for Word 2007 is an Office Open XML format with extension .docx; still, word is able to produce documents with older file formats.
Noticeably, the proprietary nature of the file format limits the number of software that are able to open and read .doc files, which include Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org Writer, Google Docs and Apple Pages.
More about RTF
The acronym RTF stands for Rich Text Format, which is a method of encoding text and graphics for cross application and cross platform uses. RTF is basically a text file with more formatting options such as bold, italics and underline. The RTF can also contain pictures, font details and annotations and has the file extension .rtf. The text file format inheritance of RTF files allows them to be opened with most of the text editors, to recognize the alphanumeric symbols in parts of the document. However, additional characters exist in between the readable text, which are the control codes for the additional formatting. Document security is not a feature of RTF and, therefore, information can be accessed without difficulty by anyone. The RTF file format also has advanced with the MS Word versions, the latest being released in 2008. Because of the simplicity of the file format, the file size of the RTF File is much lower than a DOC file.
The RTF files can be opened, read and edited on many applications and software platforms, irrespective of the fact that the software that created the RTF file and platform may differ. However, the RTF versions have to be compatible.
What is the difference between DOC and RTF?
• Even though both RTF and DOC are document file formats, RTF contains basic formatting information, while DOC supports complex formatting made in MS Word.
• RTF is cross platform file format, while DOC is proprietary, and it is used as a default file format of Microsoft Word. Therefore, only a small number of software is able to open the DOC files.
• The file size of the RTF file size is relatively smaller compared to the DOC file, While DOC file might have a significant file size based on the formatting.
• Security features do not exist for RTF, while DOC supports relatively good document security features.