RTF Pocket Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2003
Pages: 158

Rich Text Format, or RTF, is the internal markup language used by Microsoft Word and understood by dozens of other word processors. RTF is a universal file format that pervades practically every desktop. Because RTF is text, it's much easier to generate and process than binary .doc files. Any programmer working with word processing documents needs to learn enough RTF to get around, whether it's to format text for Word (or almost any other word processor), to make global changes to an existing document, or to convert Word files to (or from) another format.RTF Pocket Guide is a concise and easy-to-use tutorial and quick-reference for anyone who occasionally ends up mired in RTF files. As the first published book to cover the RTF format in any detail, this small pocket guide explains the syntax of RTF with examples throughout, including special sections on Unicode RTF and MSHelp RTF, and several full programs that demonstrate how to work in RTF effectively.Most word processors produce RTF documents consisting of arcane and redundant markup. This book is the first step to finding order in the disorder of RTF.

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oreillyRTF Pocket Guide
 
4.7

(based on 7 reviews)

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    (5)

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    (2)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

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        • Developer (3)

      Reviewed by 7 customers

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      4.0

      Provides details not in the spec

      By Kevin D

      from Middlesex NJ

      About Me Developer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

        This is much more than a traditional pocket guide (which I think of as a 2-3 page "cheat sheet") but it's also a good deal less than a full "everything you wanted to know about RTF." If you're new to the format, however, it gives you a good leg up, and you can probably go from there using the Microsoft specifications.

        Probably the most valuable thing about this book is the fact that it gives you some details on the way that some programs "out there" actually emit/accept RTF, as opposed to the way the specs says that they should. As always, the real world diverges here and there.

        I didn't find the code examples particularly useful (particularly since they were in perl) but that wasn't a serious negative.

         
        5.0

        More than a pocket guide

        By GerryS

        from Sedona, AZ

        About Me Developer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

          I think of a pocket guide as being a fold-up plasticized card with content that would fit on two or three pages in a normal book. I assume the term is used here just because the book is a lot shorter than most O'Reilly publications.

          I use RTF to generate a short booklet for printing, and have been having a problem because OpenOffice and LibreOffice differ in how they render my generated files.

          I am using the "Pocket Guide" to understand how RTF is supposed to work as I try to modify my code to create a product that both can use.

          It has been very helpful.

           
          5.0

          Super booklet

          By Hank

          from Waco, TX

          About Me Computer Guru, Designer, Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert

            Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

            I used the materials in the booklet to deliver an automated report.

             
            5.0

            Great resource

            By Lily

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

            I agree with you. Could you give me some examples of how to make a rtf list?

             
            5.0

            Excellent Book

            By Lily

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

            This is a great book! I enjoy reading it and it helps me a lot.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great resource

            By Anonymous

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

            This book saved me A LOT of time. I had to use PHP to write an RTF document with style definitions to be used in Word and Adobe InDesign. I spent a ton of time searching the web for tutorials or tips, but they were all complicated and incomplete. I also tried going through the source code of MS Word documents trying to figure out how it was written. After a lot of frustration, I found this book. It's short and easy to read and understand. It gives you the basics on how to construct an RTF file with code that is clean, easy to read, and easy to debug. It was just what I needed. I can't beleive there isn't any tutorial like this available on the web. I did still have to look at the MS Word code to fix a couple of things, and I also used an online reference to figure out some of the more obscure codes, but overall this book was very helpful. I recommend it.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            RTF Pocket Guide Review

            By vjoet

            from Undisclosed

            Comments about oreilly RTF Pocket Guide:

            RTF Pocket Guide is a slim volumn, but its size belies the wealth of explanation it contains. Even a cursory reading will leave you with a much better understanding of something almost all programmers know a little about.

            To expand on the book itself, there are valuable supplements for download:

            http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/rtfpg/

            and click the Examples link.

            (Parenthetically, I like topic-specific computer books, O'Reilly's Pocket Guides and Wrox's Handbooks).

            The book's stated intent is to offer an introduction to Rich Text Format, and is a valuable preface to Microsoft's Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification. It does a good job of that, offering both analysis and caveats.

            Now, if I don't offer a criticism or two this post will sound like it was done by the Marketing Department.

            1. I'd like to see the Perl code in the addendums translated into C# or VB. That probably would make it more accessible to more users.

            2. I wish the chapter on section breaks were fuller than it is. (Probably not a big deal for most programmers.)

            I'd strongly recommend this book for any programmer needing to work with RTF files.

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