More RTF file security patches from Microsoft

Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.

Another month, more security holes in Microsoft products being fixed.  This month, another problem with opening RTF (Rich Text Format) documents.

Almost all Office variations are affected.

  • Office 2016 back to Office 2007 for Windows.
  • Office 2016 and 2011 for Mac.
  • Word Viewer for Windows
  • Sharepoint, Office Web Apps and Office Online Server.

Microsoft has often had to fixed the RTF conversion system in Office.  It seems prone to hacking.

RTF files aren’t designed to carry macro/VBA code (unlike .doc or .docm files) and that’s led to a myth that RTF files are ‘safe’ from virus infection.  Unfortunately that’s not the case.

The safer option is Microsoft’s .docx format which is designed not the carry code and seems more secure from hacking.  There’s also the OpenDocument equivalent .odt which is less well known.

Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.