Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Which File Formats Does Office 2010 Support?
Throughout this chapter—indeed, throughout this topic—you might be confused
about our use of the term document . In its narrowest definition, it refers to a Word
data file (as opposed to a data file for Excel or PowerPoint: workbook and presentation,
respectively). However, document can also refer generically to user-created files from
any program—files that are stored by default in your Documents library or Documents
folder. You’ll find both definitions in use here.
Which File Formats Does Office 2010 Support?
If you’re creating documents for use only on your own computer, you don’t need to worry
too much about file formats. Create a workbook in Excel 2010, for example, save it in the
default format (without even being aware what the default format is), and you can reopen
it without a hitch. Historically, however, one of the pain points for Office users has been
exchanging documents with other users. Office file formats have evolved over the decades
as new document features are supported. When you share a document with people who
don’t have the same version of Office as you, the document might not look the same when
they open it—or they might not be able to open it at all. Compatibility becomes even more
problematical when you need to share documents with someone who doesn’t have any
version of Microsoft Office and uses a different suite of programs (or none at all).
Office 2010 addresses compatibility issues by supporting several different popular file
formats for reading and saving. Additional formats are available for export; Office 2010 can
save documents in these formats, but you cannot open or edit such files in Office programs.
Conversely, to provide compatibility with some of your long-archived files, a handful of
formats can be imported; to save changes to these files, you must use one of the newer
Note, however, that when you save a document in a format other than the default Office
format, you might see a warning similar to the following one. This lets you know that not
all Office 2010 features are supported by the selected file format and that you can expect
some loss of fidelity when you open the document in its native program—or even when
you reopen it in Office 2010.
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