From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to:navigation Jump to:search

This article is a stub. Please help out by expanding it - how to get started.

unrtf is a program for displaying legacy Rich Text Format .rtf documents as HTML or plain text. In previous decades before the rise of XML-based office file formats, RTF was used as a "lowest common denominator" format that allowed for document sharing between otherwise incompatible word processors.

As with simular tools such as antiword, unrtf is often used in combination with standard Linux tools such as tail and grep. Additionally, it has the ability to extract embedded images from documents and save them to disk.



root #emerge --ask app-text/unrtf

USE flags

USE flags for app-text/unrtf Converts RTF files to various formats



  • /usr/share/unrtf/ the default location of configuration files for unrtf.



user $unrtf --help
Usage: unrtf [--version] [--verbose] [--help] [--nopict|-n] [--noremap] [-P config_search_path] [--html] [--text] [--vt] [--latex] [--rtf] [-t <file_with_tags>)] <filename>

The output of --help is a bit spartan, but the relevant section of the unrtf man file explains the options as follows:

  • --noremap disables character set conversion (currently only works for 8-bit character sets).
  • --html selects HTML output (default).
  • --rtf selects RTF output. The resulting output will often be much smaller than the input.
  • --text selects plain ASCII text output.
  • --vt selects text output with VT100 escape codes.
  • --latex selects output of a LaTeX document.
  • --verbose prints additional information.
  • --quiet suppress output of leading comments
  • --version prints the program version.
  • -t tags_file specifies the tags output configuration file to be used. The command "unrtf -t html" is functionally identical to "unrtf --html". The configuration files are a simple format. To change the behavior of unrtf, a local copy of a system configuration file can be be made and edited. The most complete configuration file and hence the best starting point is /usr/share/unrtf/html.conf.
  • -P config_search_path specifies the directories in which the configuration file for the specified format will be sought. The path can be provided as a single directory or a list of colon separated directories. The default is /usr/share/unrtf where distributed output configuration files are installed.


root #emerge --ask --depclean --verbose app-text/unrtf

See Also

  • antiword — a program for displaying legacy Microsoft Word .doc documents in common use from MS Word 97 – 2007 as plain text.
  • pandoc — a command line tool for document format and markup language conversion written in Haskell