That's actually a really good way of doing it (if you are doing it programmatically) but I'm sure if you manipulate the word object (create an instance of Word with VB [ set wordvar = createobject("Word.Application") ]) then you should be able to copy everything in it into a variable (using a range) and then simple post that text into the RTF..... I would still personally create the word object, and then programmatically save it as an RTF and then load it with my app. The reason is, you are then working with a copy of the actual file, so if the user screws up or something, you can always impliment a recover function that..... eah, you get the point.
Thats the route I have gone down, open the word doc and save it as an RTF. The user isnt actually going to be able to edit the document. The app I have written opens the file and added control characters to it (like old word processing before WYSIWYG) then saves it in another format.
This is then used to print on large scale printers.