Document File Format

Although XML has become the future file format for documents, PDF remains to be the format of choice for fixed layout documents.  Some of the XML open standards are DocBook, XHTML, ISO/IEC standards OpenDocument and Offcie Open XML.

Files stored with the file extension with an x or an m to the file extension signifies XML file formats. The x represents means the XML has no marcos, while the m signifies contains marcos. When you save the file, the extension will be .docx instead of .doc.

In 1993, there were trials to establish a common file format, known as Open Document Architecture (ODA) by ITU-T. These trials were not successful as described in ITU-T documents from T.411 to T.421.  

Page description languages such as PostScript and PDF have become the original standard for documents that a user can create and read, but not edit. In 2001, there were a series of ISO/IEC standards for PDF published that included specifications for PDF, ISO-32000.

The most used open international standard and file format is HTML. This file format has gained ISO/IEC standards for performance. The default file format used by Microsoft Word is .doc, which is a common standard for office documents. However, this proprietary format is supported by other word processors.