Document file format

From Academic Kids

A document file format is a binary file format for storing documents on a storage media, especially for use by computers.

There currently exist a multitude of incompatible document file formats. A rough consensus has been established that XML is to be the basis for future document file formats, though there is still no single standard for how such an XML-derivative should optimally be designed. Some would probably suggest DocBook as the most standard-like document format there is, though the file format used by Microsoft Word is arguably the most widespread de facto-standard.

In 1993 the ITU-T tried to establish a standard for document file formats, known as the Open Document Architecture (ODA) which was supposed to replace all competing document file formats. It is described in ITU-T documents T.411 through T.421, which are equivalent to ISO 8613. It did not succeed.

Page description programming languages such as PostScript and PDF has established a de facto-standard for documents that for the typical user are only to be read, not edited.

Common document file formats

  • ASCII (.txt)
  • Amigaguide
  • CHM (Microsoft's help format)
  • DocBook
  • HLP
  • HTML (.html, .htm), in combination with possible image files referred to; IE can also combine these, having just one MHT-file to represent a webpage.
  • OpenDocument
  • PalmDoc Handheld de facto document standard.
  • Plucker Handheld navigable wide used document standard.
  • PDF - many people can read them (since the viewer is free), fewer can make and edit them
  • Radix-64
  • RTF (a textual encoding of the data in a Word DOC; many programs' Word export filters actually write RTF as RTF is much easier to generate reliably)
  • TeX
  • Troff
  • Microsoft Word (.doc) (Format revised and altered in new software versions; structural binary format identical since Word 97; specifications available from Microsoft upon request)
  • WordPerfect (.doc) (note possible confusion with Word format extension)
  • XML

See also

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