RTFM Chunk

See more on Chunks in general.

This is a comment that applies to the entire archive or portion file.

RTFM Chunk structure


The p (multi-part) & c, and y (payload specification) flags are all available.

The y flag is legal, as it may be able to compress the text. However, the payload specification must use only built-in compression values, and may not use encryption or an extended payload specification.

64always shown
65general comment
66copyright statement
67URI (a.k.a. URL or Web Address)

Instance Number

The Instance Number must be 0. There is only one instance per archive file (in a multi-part archive, each portion file can have its own).

RTFM Chunk Payload

The Payload contains an lpstring bearing the indicated information, depending on the Subtype.

Always Shown

This should be displayed to the user whenever the file is manipulated (such as a title bar or status bar), and it should be kept short. Others are displayed when asked, or at appropreate times in an implementation or “property page” or GUI shell.

general comment

This contains general text concerning the entire file (archive or portion). This is formatted as paragraphs flowing to fit the output, and paragraphs may be separated with U+000A characters. Don’t even think about using “ASCII Art”. Assume that this will be displayed using a proportional font you’ve never heard of on a window width you’ve never dreamed of. If you want pictures, use the ICON chunk instead.

copyright statement

This is for a copyright statement. The value should contain two substrings separated by a character whose ordinal is 0. That is, something like “1999\0Fabulous Author”. The first substring is the year, and the second is the author.

When displayed, the two substrings are placed into the phrase: “Copyright year by author.”, or in the case of the example, “Copyright 1999 by Fabulous Author.”. The actual phrase may vary or be in different languages. The point is, you only have to list the information that changes. After all, the goal of this file format is to compress things!


The value is a URI (also known as a URL or Web Address) that will point to information about this archive, such as the page it was downloaded from or the home page for the product it contains.

If the string does not contain a colon (:) before the first non-alphanumeric character, then the prefix “http://” is assumed.

Usage Notes


Valid HTML 4.01!

Page content copyright 2003 by John M. Dlugosz. Home:http://www.dlugosz.com, email:mailto:john@dlugosz.com