How to Open an RTF File on Chromebook

Have trouble opening an RTF file on your Chromebook? Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution to this problem. All it takes is a few quick steps.

RTF files are typically used to share text documents across different platforms, and knowing how to open one up on your Chromebook is essential.

The Quick Answer

In order to open an RTF file on a Chromebook, you need to turn the document into a Google doc within Google Drive.

You cannot open an RTF file directly on your Chromebook from another source without first uploading it into the Documents section on Google Drive. We will take a look at that in more depth below.

Steps to Opening an RTF File on Chromebook

If you don’t know how to open up Google Drive on your Chromebook, you should familiarize yourself with the process because it’s a crucial step toward unlocking your device’s full power.

To open Google Drive:

  1. With your Chromebook open, go ahead and click on the App Launcher icon in the lower left-hand section of your screen.
  2. Select the Chrome app to open up the google based browser.
  3. Enter into the main browser window and hit enter to open up the main landing page from Google Drive.
  4. If you’re not already logged in, go ahead and provide your information to access your account.
  5. Once you’re logged in, you can continue on to the steps below to open an RTF file.

To open an RTF file on a Chromebook through Google Drive:

  1. Once you have Google Drive open on your Chromebook, select the “new” icon and then scroll down and select Google Docs. Next, select Blank Document.
  2. With a blank Google document open, click on the File drop-down menu from the top of the screen.
  3. Select Open. Note: you can also hit the keyboard shortcut Control + O to accomplish this as well.
  4. Browse for the RTF file you’re trying to open.
  5. Once located, click on upload to turn your RTF file into a Google Document.
  6. You can now access the text within your Google Doc.

Why Use RTF Files?

Since you can’t directly open RTF files on your Chromebook, you may be wondering why they should be used in the first place. The answer is that an RTF file, which stands for Rich Text File, is a format that stores text and formatting so it can be easily shared across multiple platforms.

The sheer amount of different apps and platforms out there makes it a nice file format to share general text with other people.

Instead of having to convert different types of files and deal with any formatting or layout issues that can arise during that process, RTF files provide a more streamlined way of sharing basic information.

That can be good for a range of certain personal and professional situations. RTF files are commonly used by online schools and colleges to share information and course works. Businesses of all sizes use them to share information as well.

RTF files were originally created by the same developers who created Microsoft Word several decades ago. They wanted to provide an easy way to share text files that could be opened up in platforms other than Word.

That idea has translated well into more modern situations and allows you to easily create a document in one platform, create an RTF file for it, and then share it with others without worrying about if it will be compatible or not.

While the extra step of putting an RTF into a Google Document may seem unnecessary, once you get the hang of it, you’ll see how convenient it can be.

As your Chromebook is a Google device, it only makes sense that the system requires you to use their built-in word processing app in order to open up text files.

Final Thoughts

Opening an RTF file on your Chromebook is pretty easy once you know the steps. You do have to take a few extra steps beyond just clicking on the file to open it, but once you familiarize yourself with Google Drive by following the steps above you’ll have a very powerful platform at your fingertips.

Knowing how to open and create RTF files provides you with a way to quickly and efficiently share text-based information for a range of different purposes.

Have you ever used RTF files before? What word processing program did you use to open them up and would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the comments below.

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