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Archive for the ‘File Formats’ Category

Microsoft Releases Binary File Specs

Posted by rjbiii on July 1, 2008

Microsoft has posted detailed specifications of its pre-2007 Office file formats, and protocols built into newer applications:

Highlights of the actions announced today include: posting Version 1.0 releases of technical documentation for Microsoft protocols built into Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007; posting nearly 5,000 pages of new technical documentation for the Microsoft Office binary file formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint (.doc, .xls, .xlsb and .ppt); and making significant strides in the company’s efforts to foster more open engagement with other members of the IT community.

I’m hoping that this new information helps the software vendors in this space improve on their current efforts.

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Microsoft Releases Open XML SDK; Announces future support of ODF

Posted by rjbiii on June 16, 2008

According to an article in TechWorld, Microsoft has released a software developer kit (SDK) for manipulating the XML that is under the hood of Office 2007 files.

Open XML SDK 1.0 , available from the company’s website, is designed to allow developers to produce code enabling their applications to create, access and manipulate Open XML documents, Microsoft said.

The SDK includes an application programming interface (API) simplifying the creation of code for searching documents, creating documents, validating document parts, modifying data and other tasks, Microsoft said.

MS has also announced that its Office Suite will support the Open Document Format (ODF) beginning in 2009:

At the same time, Microsoft said last month that it will begin supporting the rival Open Document Format (ODF) in Office 2007 and Office 14, beginning with a service pack set for release in the first half of 2009.

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MS Office 2007 File Formats Discussed

Posted by rjbiii on August 27, 2007

Stephane Rodriguez is once again in the news. If you haven’t heard of him, then you should take a look at his comprehensive review of Office 2007 file formats. The introduction from that article went like this:

The new Office 2007 file formats are ZIP files that contain parts some of which are XML, some others are native file formats such as JPEG pictures, and the remaining binary parts end up being referred to as BIN parts. BIN parts are of particular interest for the file format consumer or updater since the underlying file formats are undocumented (at the time of writing, August 10 2006) and are several additional file formats to deal with.

BIN parts appear in a number of cases. If you insert a VBA macro or an OLE object in a Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Powerpoint 2007 document, then there will be one or more BIN parts of interest. BIN parts are zip entries consisting of files with extension .BIN, that actually contain their own file format depending on the MIME type defined in the relationships part

He goes on to examine the “bin” file in quite some detail. Read the article, and if anyone asks you about Office 2007 file formats, you can tell them you’ve bin there, done that!

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