All I need is a simple text editor that is able to do simple formatting (bold, italic, underline, list).

Given my situation, what is the best solution for editing RTF in linux?

  • Have you found a CLI editor that handles RTF? Dec 27, 2011 at 18:14
  • 1
    Maybe FocusWriter with basic RTF will meet your needs.
    – Avatar
    Jul 29, 2014 at 14:33
  • The world has changed since this question was asked in 2009, so probably the simplest solution now for adding formatting to plain text would be to use Mark down. Many text editors such as Kate, included with Fedora will format Mark down.
    – Jason S
    Dec 17, 2016 at 23:11
  • 2
    @JasonS MarkDowning is not as simple as using an GUI RTF editor. In practical, we want to take notes or write some things fast and we dont want the hassle of using markdowns. Is Ctrl + B faster or using **?? Apr 28, 2017 at 8:23
  • 1
    I don't understand why this question was closed as off-topic? It seems like the perfect use-case for superuser: requesting links to software that solves a particular problem on a particular system?
    – MRule
    Nov 16, 2020 at 11:16

5 Answers 5


You can try AbiWord.

  • 1
    meh, it's still too overkill for my needs
    – ariefbayu
    Oct 27, 2009 at 9:31
  • hmm.. on second though, I can hide most of it's UI (toolbars, statusbar, etc). I can use abiword for simple RTF editing and oowriter for heavy editing. Thank you.
    – ariefbayu
    Oct 27, 2009 at 9:33

Don't forget that wine provides Wordpad by default. First install wine and then type the following in a terminal:

wine wordpad
  • 2
    Thanks, no additional dependencies, exactly what I needed.
    – Daniel
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:41
  • Should be accepted imho
    – php_nub_qq
    May 22, 2020 at 9:25

LibreOffice Writer can be used on rtf files. You can read more about it here.


For the CLI use catdoc. Since this is superuser.com I'm assuming you know how to install it. For a GUI approach I know LibreOffice can view .rtf, but I also think Abiword will work.

  • Alone in the world was a little CatDoc Dec 23, 2021 at 8:27

Maybe Ted would be an appropriate choice in that case.

However, I am curious as to know what your usecase is for using RTF (instead of, say, HTML with a plain text editor)

  • Wikipedia link (don't forget to add the trailing ")") en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_(word_processor)
    – jhominal
    Oct 27, 2009 at 9:58
  • 1
    Hi, I've tried Ted before. But, it's buggy. My usecase is, I sometime edit my notes on windows, which is easy using wordpad.
    – ariefbayu
    Oct 31, 2009 at 1:35
  • Ted isn't in Ubuntu at the moment, and the .deb package depends on an old version of libtiff and crashes on startup on ubuntu 14.04. I did not try building from source. Nov 11, 2014 at 13:08
  • My use case (years later) is trying to apply for a job and they accept .doc, rtf, txt, and html (and then it says upon upload it doesn't take html.) Grrr. Doesn't accept pdf.
    – Marvo
    Sep 12, 2021 at 6:09

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