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RTF TO XML Features

RTF TO XML converts RTF documents (for example, MS Word documents saved as Rich Text Format) into well-formed XML documents in line with the XSL FO specification. Below is the list of the supported RTF features. The list is not full. We are constantly improving our product and if you don't see the functionality you need, there is a possibility that we have already solved this problem or are about to solve it, so do not hesitate to contact us with your requirements and suggestions.

Novosoft RTF Parsing Solution

RTF TO XML is based on a new Novosoft RTF Parsing Solution - Novosoft RTF DOM Builder. The builder is developed in concordance with RTF Specification 1.6 and recognizes near 600 RTF commands now. More detailed specification on using RTF commands in RTF TO XML is explained in RTF TO XML User's Guide.

Novosoft RTF DOM Builder constructs an RTF Document Object Model reflecting the structure of rtf file. While reading an rtf document, the builder correctly interprets many rtf commands and fills the RTF DOM with corresponding objects. Using of RTF DOM has the following benefits:

  • The constructed RTF DOM is much simpler in use than the original rtf document;
  • The RTF DOM entirely reflects the structure of rtf document in the set of commands, which are interpreted;
  • The quality of the constructed RTF DOM is guaranteed;
  • If an rtf document has logical errors or some rtf-commands are used in inappropriate places, the builder tries to recover errors and constructs a well-structured RTF DOM;
  • The RTF DOM is light. It contains only necessary relations between objects;
  • The default serialization of RTF DOM to XML is granted.

Page formatting support

  • Mixed page layout (portrait and landscape, mirror margins and gutter);
  • Page headers and footers of all types;
  • Page layout options: margins, page size;
  • Page headers and footers (if first page headers and footers differ from others, the manual break after the first page is required);
  • Section breaks of the "next page" type;
  • Footnotes: custom and Arabic numbering labels, custom footnote separators;
  • Watermarks (document background);
  • Document columns with identical widths and gaps (the XSL FO specification does not support columns with different widths and different gaps between columns);
  • Paragraph pagination: widow/orphan control, keep together, keep with next;
  • Page breaks before or after a paragraph.

Text formatting support

  • Customisable font substitution rules;
  • "Symbol" and "ZapfDingbats" fonts are supported;
  • Font family and size, superscript and subscript;
  • Font style and weight (bold, italic, underline, etc.);
  • Font color and background color;
  • Cell, paragraph, and text color shading without pattern;
  • Paragraph alignment and margins;
  • Paragraph line spacing;
  • Space before and after a paragraph;
  • Lists of the new format;
  • All useful special RTF symbols;
  • Preserving of white spaces;
  • Line breaks.

Tabs support

  • The rendering is applied for calculation of true position of the text with tabs;
  • Many tabs of the "center" or "left" type in the first line and one tab of the "right" type in the last line of the paragraph are allowed;
  • Two tabs conversion methods are allowed on your choice (fo:leader with leader-pattern="space" and with leader-pattern="use-content");


  • Splitting an XML FO file into an XSL template and an XML data file is granted;
  • Fields of "DOCPROPERTY" type can have a special use in RTF TO XML.
  • Data extraction by style is allowed;
  • Template cycles in tables and lists are allowed.


  • Tabs rendering limitations are the following: the rendering is applied to standard fonts known in Java, a right tab must finish a paragraph, only one right tab per paragraph is allowed, mixing of underlined tabs and fonts is forbidden. If graphics could not be initialised, tabs rendering is turned off. So, if X11 is not supported under Linux, the tabs rendering is forbidden.
  • RTF format supports different column gaps (e.g. 12 pt between first and second column and 24 pt between second and third column) but XSL FO does not. So "column-gap" is set equal the last encountered gap width.
  • Watermark / background image cannot be resized in XSL FO format (in rtf it can be).


  • Almost all field types are supported;
  • Fields of "DOCPROPERTY" type can have a special use in RTF TO XML;
  • Splitting an XML FO file into an XSL template and an XML data file is granted;
  • Template cycles in tables and lists are allowed;
  • Table formatting (column width and borders, cell margins, spans, nested tables);
  • Height of table rows and vertical alignment of text in table cells;
  • Last page number field;
  • Pictures of all graphic formats supported with Word 2000: wmf, png, jpg, and emf;
  • Plug-in interface for converting pictures' formats on the fly;
  • Basic support of textboxes;
  • Configurable multilingual support (23 RTF code pages and 17 font charsets);
  • Links (e.g. in table of contents) and hyperlinks;
  • Track changes support.

To install RTF to XML Converter click RTF to XML Converter Download.

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RTF TO XML Using RTF to XML converter allows you to convert RTF to XML document that will look the same way as your original RTF document.