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Document file format

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 Interchange Format (ODIF) as part of the Open Document Architecture which was supposed to replace all competing document file formats. It is described in ITU-T documents T.411 throug T.421. It did not succeed.

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

Common document file formats

See also