IBM DisplayWrite

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DisplayWrite was a word processor software application that IBM developed and marketed for the IBM PC and PCjr. It was among the company's first internally developed, commercially sold PC software.[1]

File format[edit]

IBM Displaywrite's native file format is based on IBM's DCA (Document Content Architecture) RFT (Revisable Form Text) specification, but adds additional structures. Depending on the Displaywrite version, the document files use .DOC or .TXT file name extension; the Displaywrite software can export to and import from pure DCA/RFT files (which typically have .DCA or .RFT file name extension). RFT (IBM Revisable Form Text) should not be confused with RTF (Rich Text Format), which is a Microsoft specification.


DisplayWrite's feature set was based on the IBM Displaywriter System, a dedicated microcomputer-based word processing machine;[2] because the two systems were so similar, an experienced Displaywriter user could start using DisplayWrite immediately.[3]

DisplayWrite/370, a much more powerful version with full graphics and WYSIWYG support, is still available for IBM zSeries mainframe computers as of May 2012[2] (see IBM Displaywriter System).


  • Dennis P. Curtin: Displaywrite 4: Procedures Manual, Prentice-Hall 1988, ISBN 0139642226


  1. ^ Dickinson, John (1984-09-18). "IBM's Displaywriter Begets a Family of PC Software". PC Magazine. p. 238. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b IBM DisplayWrite
  3. ^ Dickinson, John (1984-09-18). "DisplayWrite 2 and Displaywriter: A Close Correspondence". PC Magazine. p. 248. Retrieved 25 October 2013.