Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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File Types in Word
Word lets you create and save documents in a variety of
different formats, called file types . Different file types work
with different programs; for example, .docx files work with
Word 2007 or later, and .pdf files work with Adobe Acrobat
(and other programs that can read this format). You can
tell a document’s file type by the file extension that
appears at the end of its name, such as Chapter 01.docx or
Chapter 01.pdf . In Word 2010, you can save files as any of
these types:
• Word Document (.docx). Microsoft introduced this
as the standard document format starting with Word
2007. The format made it easier for different Office
2007 programs to exchange information and enhanced
security it offered, mainly by forbidding macros, a
series of prerecorded commands and shortcut routines
that could be abused by hackers to infect documents.
• Word Macro-Enabled Document (.docm).
Although macros could represent a security risk, they
can also be useful in helping you automate common
tasks (as page 193 explains). A .docm file is a Word
2007 or 2010 document that allows you to create and
use macros.
• Word 97–2003 Document (.doc). Pre-2007
versions of Word can’t read the .docx or .docm format
without a special compatibility pack installed. If you
plan to share your document with someone who has
an older version of Word, save the file in this format,
or get your pals to install the compatibility pack;
details here: http://tinyurl.com/2xp8e3 . (Word 2010 can
read .doc files just fine, so you won’t have any
compatibility issues with this format.)
• Word Template (.dotx, .dotm, or .dot). If you want
to save a document as a template to use as a model for
creating future documents, select one of these formats.
(Flip to Chapter 7 to learn more about working with
templates.) The .dotx format works with Word 2007
and 2010, as does the .dotm format, which lets you
use macros in the document. If you’re saving the
template to work with Word 97–2003, use the .dot format.
• PDF (.pdf). Portable document format (PDF for
short) is a standard file format that accurately
preserves your formatting, making it easier to exchange
documents electronically. Many of the publications
and forms you can download from the Internet are
in this format.
• XPS Document (.xps). XPS, which stands for XML
paper specification , is another fixed-layout file
format. Like PDFs, XPS files keep their format when
someone views or prints them.
• Web Page (.htm). If you want to display a document
on the Internet as a web page, this is the file type to
choose. It formats the document to make it look good
on the Web. Chapter 8 tells you more about publishing
a document as a web page.
• Rich Text Format (.rtf). This format, designed to
be compatible with many different word
processing programs, holds the text and some formatting
information.
• Plain Text (.txt). If you want to save your text without
formatting—for compatibility with programs like
Notepad and other simple text editors—use this file type.
• Word XML Document (.xml). XML stands for
extensible markup language, which is a text format for
structuring documents to make them easier to share
between applications and on the Web.
• OpenDocument Text (.odt). This file type uses the
OpenDocument standard to create a file that you can
open and edit in Word, OpenOffice.org’s Writer and
many other word-processing programs, including
StarOffice, NeoOffice Writer, AbiWord, Kword, and
LotusNotes 8 or later, as well as online word
processors such as Google Docs and Zoho Writer.
• Works 6.0–9.0 (.wps). Microsoft Works is a smaller,
stripped-down version of Office that Microsoft stopped
selling in 2009, replacing it with Office Starter 2010.
Still, many people used Works as a cheaper
alternative to Office, so if you need to share a document with
someone who uses Works, save it in this format.
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