Rich Text Format (.rtf)

I’ve often been asked why Writing Shed only supports rich text format. The answer is that IOS only supports rich text format. You might think the app ought to support both Word and Apple Pages formats, and I would agree. In reality though the specification of Word’s document format is huge and it would take me years of work to provide full support for it. Indeed the code would be much larger than the Writing Shed is at the moment. As far as Pages documents go Apple does not provide details of the document format, so there is nothing I could do to support it.

Oddly Mac OS X contains support to import and export Word and Pages documents. But the import process converts only the Word/Pages document to rich text format; any formatting features not supports by rich text are discarded. You can see this if you use the Quicklook feature in Mac OS X to display the contents of any document without launching another app (tap the space bar on any document selected in the Finder) the displayed document is actually rich text.

The fact is that rich text format is more than adequate for most writers. It allows you to change font and font size and supports paragraph justification, which is really all you need to produce copy to be sent to a publisher. If this isn’t enough then you can always export the text and apply further formatting using your chosen word processor.


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