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Royalty-free specifications for Microsoft Office binary file formats

Tags: Microsoft Office, Office Open XML

Word 97 splash screen Yes, you read it right! Microsoft now offers a royalty-free file format program for the Microsoft Office Binary File Format (the old .doc, .xls and .ppt used in previous versions of Microsoft Office).

Microsoft Office 2007 is built-upon the Office Open XML file format which is an ECMA International standard, and an ISO proposal (you have all read about it). But some of us still have application and/or customers that heavily rely on the old binary format. Until now it has been a mess doing something with these documents (for example in the SharePoint event handlers) or producing them without expensive 3rd party applications. We have solved it in some cases by making compressed HTML files (.mht) and renamed them to .doc (it actually works smooth). But if you still have to dig in to the old binary formats you can recieve the binary file formats specifications, which covers the latest versions as well as earlier ones, you can send an e-mail to Microsoft and request an agreement which you have to sign. I have not read up on all the legal issues, but you can read the agreement here.

For more information and the e-mail to use is found under the KB article 840817.

1 Comment

  • Trackback said

    The Microsoft Office Binary File Formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt...) are now available for everyone under the Open Specification Promise, OSP. This is good news for all of you working with the traditional b...

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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