Common Office File Formats and Extensions Explained

Typing the whole night for a term paper due the next morning for collection isn’t the most stressing moment in one’s life at all, being stuck in the middle of an error staring back at you at the verge of printing surely is. This scenario is most familiar to any computer user stressful enough to give one ulcers. However, this near fistfights with one’s computer can be easily avoided with a vivid understanding of some common office file format.
To help understand and hence make it easy to move through such difficulties the following list of file formats and extensions will be a guide to every frequent computer user.

The Document

Despite simple word texts being a series of alphabets and numerals it is astonishing that many programs can’t be able to read each other’s texts. A study on some common document file types along with the programs that can read them will go a long way in helping us understand better.

DOC, Microsoft Document: used by Microsoft Word 2003. This is by far the most commonly and widely used document type. Any word processor should be able to read.

DOCX, Microsoft Document 2007: similar to the Doc only that it uses updated coding which accommodates new features. Microsoft word 2007 and Corel WordPerfect will have no problem with DOCX.

Rich Text Format: primarily developed to preserve formatting such as indentations, spacing and italics. This format works well with all word processors.

Portable Document Format, PDF: created by adobe as an image based alternative to other documents. One has to download the Adobe PDF reader free online to be able to read a PDF file.

WordPerfect Document, WPD: This requires Corel WordPerfect and it’s regarded as Corel’s standard document type.

Open document Text, ODT: As easy as it name suggests this is a document that the open source and free office suite, open office.

TXT, text file: This is a plain text file easily read by any word processor.

The spreadsheet

Normally spreadsheet format are not as diverse as document file extensions. The main reason why spreadsheet can be hard for third-party user programs to read is that they not only carry alphanumeric information but also equations and operations. Some of the common spreadsheet file types and associated programs include:

Excel Spreadsheet, XLS: This file type was developed exclusively as the trademark format of Microsoft Excel, despite this function it is now usable on virtually all spreadsheet editors.

ODS, OpenDocument Spreadsheet: This file type requires a copy of the open source office program open office.

XLSX: Excel Spreadsheet 2007: This changed to the 2007 Excel format. The Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice calculator, and Corel Quattro can read the XLSX file type.

Despite this information, it is still possible to encounter a foreign file type that word processors or office software doesn’t recognize. This situation should not be a cause of alarm, as a simple search in the internet will help one identify the problem and suggest what program the file belongs to. However when encountering with an unfamiliar file type never try opening it as such file types might be carrying viruses with them.

An in-depth internet search in the event of a file error with prove worthwhile and save you lots of time. One good way is reading our detailed reviews of the leading home office software suites. Here one is assured of finding detailed information on word processors, spreadsheets along with their rankings and proper ways to deal with the different file types.