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Windward has discontinued new feature support of the RTF format


Windward has discontinued new feature support of the RTF format


Windward has made the following policy a few months ago. 

If a template existing in RTF is having errors and the document can be saved as DOCX or other Microsoft Office 2007 formats [XLSX, PPTX, WordML(XML) or SpreadML(XML)] and that new template can correctly produce a report and resolve the errors in an RTF report then Windward considers the issue resolved.

While the RTF specification is very well documented and Windward builds RTF files according to this published specification, Microsoft Word interprets RTF files differently between versions of Office and even service pack releases in the same versions of MS Office. An RTF file that runs correctly in Office 2000 is interpreted differently in Office 2003.  Not only that but an RTF file running correctly in Office 2003 will not necessarily run the same in Office 2003 SP1 after the service pack application. 

Since the RTF specification is interpreted differently it becomes very hard for Windward to maintain RTF code with all the different variations that exist.  After adding many fixes for incorrect interpretation of valid RTF code, according to the RTF specification, the Windward code base began to grow very large and confusing. This is the primary reason that Windward has chosen the Office 2007 file formats as the default standard for its templates.

The file formats WordML(XML) and SpreadML(XML) are Microsoft Word and Excel file formats that are built entirely in XML and are very well documented.  The file formats in Office 2007 (DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX) are just an extension of these Office 2003 formats.  The Office 2007 formats are actually ZIP files behind the scenes and they contain directory structures for images, style information and WordML/SpreadML files.

If you are using earlier version of MS Office (2000, 2002/XP, or 2003) then you can download the Microsoft Office 2007 compatibility pack that will allow you to read and write to these newer file formats from your existing version of Office.  You can download this compatibilty pack from the link below.

Microsoft Pack to read/write Office 2007 File Formats

UPDATE:  Microsoft has rolled all updates into one Compatibliy Service Pack for MS Office located here:

UPDATE: Windward would also like to clarify that we are not supporting any new functionality of the RTF format.  If a simple RTF formatting bug is found in our existing code, Windward will attempt to diagnose and repair the issue.

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