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2014-11-19 16:58 GMT+01:00 Virgil Arrington <>:

That's one of the things I've always liked about RTF. In a pinch, one
could open an RTF file in Notepad and strip out all of the RTF coding and
be left with a document's contents. I've never had to do it, but it's nice
that it can be done. With a binary file, you're left with smiley faces and
no visible content.

​Now, add a picture to your rtf file and see how fun it is to have all
things in a "plaintext", notepad friendly​ file format...

More recent format like odt (and docx for that matter) are *WAY* better.
(is there a way to emphasis this more?). They are in fact a collection of
files in a simple ZIP, but the core of it (the text and structure) is in a
straightforward XML file which is as "plaintext" as an RTF file. In fact,
it's easier to strip the extra tags out of an XML file, since tools to
manipulate/reformat XML are extremely common.

With recent format, you get the possibility, should an issue arise, to
​extract the plaintext content, and even the attached files (pictures and
other embedded OLE stuff) with common tools. This is even demonstrated on
this list, when sometime someone get a corrupted file, and it is possible
to recover it with stuff like notepad and windows' zip file explorer.

There's no comparison between these format, heavily documented in case of
ODT, that put a clear separation between content and format, and an RTF
file that want to cram everything (content, format, and binary blobs for
image) in a single "plaintext" file.

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