Open documents in TextEdit on Mac
TextEdit can open documents in Microsoft Word, OpenDocument, Web Archive, HTML, rich text, and plain text formats. You can also change the formatting of HTML and RTF files when you open them.
Open a document
In the TextEdit app on your Mac, choose File > Open.
Select the document, then click Open.
If your document is stored in iCloud Drive, you can select TextEdit in the iCloud section of the sidebar, then double-click your document. See Store your desktop and documents in iCloud Drive.
To see the default formatting of an HTML or RTF file, choose TextEdit > Preferences, then click Open and Save. For information about viewing RTF formatting, see View the RTF directives in RTF files.
When you use Dark Mode on your Mac, you can display documents in TextEdit with a light or dark background. In TextEdit, choose View > Use Dark Background for Windows (a checkmark indicates the dark background is being used); to turn it off, choose the command again (the checkmark is removed). When you view documents in TextEdit using the dark background, some text and background colors may be displayed differently on the screen to ensure the contents of the document are legible.
Change the document format
You can change the format of your document. Plain text (.txt) doesn’t allow formatting. Rich text (.rtf) allows formatting, tables, and images. When you change a rich text document to plain text, the document loses all text styles and formatting options.
In the TextEdit app on your Mac, choose Format > Make Plain Text or Format > Make Rich Text.
If there’s a format you prefer for new documents, you can set the default format. Choose TextEdit > Preferences, click New Document, then select “Rich text” or “Plain text” below Format.