There are several reasons why you may want to save files in Rich Text Format (RTF):
RTF is readable across many programs and platforms. Although many applications can import Microsoft Word® DOC files, older programs may not be able to import or convert newer versions of Word. This is not the case with RTF. All major word processing programs can read RTF. In addition, desktop database applications, e-mail clients, and operating systems (such as Unix, Macintosh, and Windows) can read RTF files.
RTF is extremely easy to use. Whether you use Microsoft Word, AppleWorks, Corel WordPerfect, or another word processing program, RTF files are easy to use. You can save a document as an RTF file by selecting Save As from the File menu, and choosing RTF.
RTF does not spread viruses. Microsoft Word macro viruses can present big security problems on the Internet. If you send RTF files instead of DOC files by e-mail, you can ensure that harmful macros won't be inadvertently sent to others, but that most of your formatting will be preserved. Since RTF does not use macros, it cannot hide macros that might contain viruses.