What types of Office files are there

Document File Types - Major Updates and Differences

Given the wide variety of types of document files available, it is recommended that you have a basic understanding of the most important formats. Make sure that you understand the differences between the individual document file types so that you can distribute your files in an appropriate format. You can also find out about the specific subtleties of the respective file formats. This enables you to optimize workflows and reduce the use of inappropriate formats.

The following guide provides an overview of the most common document formats.

Document file types .doc and .docx

The document file types .doc and .docx come from the Microsoft Word software. Originally, Word documents were saved as .doc by default until the software was changed to use the .docx extension. The .doc document file type was very popular because of its connection to Microsoft Office, but it also had its disadvantages. The biggest limitation was that .doc files could only be opened by users of the Microsoft software.

With the conversion to the .docx file, this restriction was no longer applicable, as the new format adapts to other word processing sources. The versatile .doc and .docx file formats are capable of handling a wide variety of tasks for different types of users. The files can contain text, but also a variety of visual elements such as graphics and tables.

The most important feature to keep in mind when deciding whether these file types are suitable for your purposes is the individual editing options. As a rule, one can expect from any file type that a file in the appropriate format can be edited by its author. Here .doc and .docx go one step further: Anyone who has such a file can edit it.

Document file types .xls and .xlsx

The .xls file format and its counterpart, the .xlsx file format, result from the use of Microsoft Excel software with which spreadsheets can be carried out. Mainly .xls and .xlsx files are mainly used for data management, especially for structuring and visualizing data.

Similar to Microsoft Word, .xlsx is Excel's updated standard file format. The .xls file type can be used by all users, while the .xlsx file type is only accessible to current systems that have been adapted accordingly after the introduction of .xlsx. There are options for converting the file formats, which is very useful in view of the way in which these formats are saved.

Document file type .pdf

Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF for short, is the most widely used file format on the Internet today. The PDF document file is ideal for printing documents on paper because it retains the original layout of the file. A PDF file is a better choice when compared to .doc and .docx when the user wants a wider range of visual representations in a document.

Many browsers, as well as other programs, can open PDF files. Use PDF format for files that are to be passed on to a large number of recipients. This applies in particular to documents that should no longer be changed after they have been made available. Because: PDF files have protective mechanisms against unwanted editing.

Document file type .html

The abbreviation HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, a language that can be viewed using web browsers. The HTML document file type is much more complex than other file formats because it concerns web pages that are encrypted with hypertext. The structure of HTML documents is not visible to website visitors unless they are expressly looking for it.

Sometimes web browsers can save word processing files in HTML format if necessary. Using HTML, you can essentially define different graphics, colors and links on a website.

With a better understanding of which file formats best suit your tasks. If the file is passed on, everyone involved can access it and edit it if necessary. Finally, it should be mentioned that all of the document file types mentioned are supported by Canto Digital Asset Management (DAM). So if you have a large number of documents to manage, consider a DAM system in the future.

Casey Schmidt - Content Manager and DAM Industry Expert | Canto

Casey Schmidt is Content Manager at Canto and is interested in capturing complex topics and making them easy to understand for our readers.