RagTime (software)

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RagTime logo
Basic data

developer RagTime.de Development GmbH
Current  version 6.6.5
(October 8, 2018)
operating system Windows , OS X
category Desktop publishing
License proprietary
German speaking Yes

RagTime is a framework-oriented business publishing software that combines word processing , spreadsheets , simple drawings, image processing and diagram graphics in a comfortable and easy-to-use layout environment in a single document / program. It is often used for forms, evaluations, creating documentation and desktop publishing . Typical users are business customers, educational institutions, administrations, architects and private users.

In the current version the software contains the following modules:

  • Pages layout (forms, templates, etc.)
  • Word processing
  • Image processing
  • Spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel
  • Formulas and functions; Can be used anywhere, in text, graphics and spreadsheets
  • Infographics in different types of charts
  • Drawings in vector graphics with lines, polygons, Bézier curves and more
  • Slide show (presentation of RagTime documents)
  • Audio / video
  • Buttons (pop-up menus, buttons and other control elements that can be used in RagTime documents)

Working principle

RagTime differs from most other comparable programs or software packages in that it is strictly frame-oriented: All content is in frames on their respective pages. The contents can each have a fixed position in their frame or (if the contents are texts or spreadsheets) flow into another frame that is connected to the first by a “pipeline”.

RagTime does not recognize different document types for different data types; all content is stored in a single document type. A RagTime document can contain not only several pages but also several layouts in the same document, i.e. in addition to text and images, for example, spreadsheets and spreadsheets.

The file extension of RagTime documents is .rtd ( RagTime document ), for templates .rtt ( RagTime template ).

The current version is RagTime 6.6.5. It is designed for OS X (10.6-10.14) and Windows ( XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 available).


  • FileTime X - allows RagTime documents to access “ FileMaker Pro” databases under OS X.
  • RagTime Connect Pro - ODBC database connection for RagTime 6 (Mac and Windows)
  • Johannes - printer extension for the simple creation of stapled or folded brochures
  • PowerFunctions - additional functions for the more effective creation of intelligent documents for data exchange and for use in mixed Mac-Windows working environments
  • MetaFormula - SYLK -based extension that enables text to be calculated as a formula


RagTime was developed for the Macintosh since 1985 - initially under the name MacFrame - and published in 1986. In the publication, it had its current name, which is modeled on the then available software package Jazz of Lotus has been selected.

RagTime quickly achieved an important position on the European Macintosh market, which has been maintained to this day, even if its market share has shrunk. Despite several attempts, the program was unable to establish itself on the American market.

After the manufacturing company - first Brüning & Everth, later B&E Software, today RagTime.de Development  - had concentrated on the Macintosh for a long time, it released version 5.0 for Windows in 1999 . The program did not gain much importance against the established competition, especially Microsoft Office .

Until mid-2006, RagTime was available in a retail version as well as a so-called private version, which offered a similar scope of services (except for dictionaries for spelling and word separation ) free of charge, but could not be used for commercial purposes. RagTime Privat was sold in languages ​​other than RagTime Solo . In a press release dated July 5, 2006, RagTime announced the discontinuation of RagTime Privat and commented on the reasons as follows: “... However, the license conditions for RagTime Privat were often misinterpreted or deliberately disregarded. That is why we have discontinued RagTime Private , there will be no private version of RagTime 6. "

After the successful start of the RagTime 6.0 software, sales fell significantly in the period that followed. There were disagreements among the shareholders about the continuation of the company, which went bankrupt in July 2007. Thereupon the RagTime rights were taken over into the newly founded company RagTime.de Development GmbH, which was responsible for the further development. The sales partner RagTime.de Sales GmbH sold the RagTime products until October 2015. In the meantime, distribution is also with RagTime.de Development GmbH.

The last update of RagTime is the extensively revised version 6.6 from October 8, 2015, which also supports new features of OS X (eg high-resolution "Retina" displays ) and Windows 10.

version Publication date operating system
RagTime 1 1986 System 3.0
RagTime 2 1988 System 6
RagTime 3 1989 System 7
RagTime 4 1996 MacOS 7.5
RagTime 5 1999 MacOS 9 and Windows
RagTime 5.6 2003 MacOS 9, OS X and Windows
RagTime 6 2006 OS X (PPC) and Windows
RagTime 6.5 2009 OS X (Intel / PPC) and Windows
RagTime 6.6 2015 OS X (Intel) and Windows


RagTime 1–3 were developed in Pascal , version 4 was completely redeveloped in C ++ , which is still valid today. External programming or automation can be implemented using AppleScript on the Mac and using OLE / COM- API (e.g. Visual Basic ) under Windows.

On the Mac, RagTime has a very extensive AppleScript library with which almost everything can be automated, from the automatic creation of documents to the export of PDF documents. RagTime also supports "recording" with the "AppleScript Editor", with which the interactive RagTime operation can be recorded as an AppleScript program sequence. Apple scripts can be saved in the RagTime document and called up via menu or keyboard shortcut.

Since RagTime 6 there is an OLE / COM-API under Windows, with which many RagTime components can be automated via external programming. There is a type library for this, which installs the available RagTime OLE / COM object catalog. The programming can be done in all programming languages ​​supported by Microsoft.


  • Six against Word. In: c't , No. 7/2004, p. 170
  • DTP for everyone In: c't No. 13/2004, p. 156
  • Detlef Schulz: Working professionally with RagTime 6 . SmartBooks, 2007, ISBN 3-908497-61-2
  • Helmut Rodenhausen, Thomas Kaegi: RagTime 6 for experts and SMEs, for Windows and Mac . pumera Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-905403-03-X

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The new RagTime 6.6 - the best RagTime of all time! Press release from October 8, 2015 on the manufacturer's website