Office Open XML

What Does Office Open XML Mean?

Office Open XML is a file format based on XML and IP archive technologies. It is developed by Microsoft which introduced them in the 2007 release of Microsoft Office. The format has become the default target file format for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. Office Open XML format files have replaced legacy binary Office files and have many benefits such as interoperability as well as improved file and data management compared to latter.

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Techopedia Explains Office Open XML

Office Open XML is different from Open Office XML, and in many ways they are competing XML standards. The new format can be accessed and worked upon by any application supported by XML, and as such the application need not be part of any Microsoft product or even the Microsoft Office system. Like the binary office file format, Office Open XML formats are also saved in a single container, however they can provide information on components that provide access to the structure which composes the file.

The introduction of the Office Open XML format has bought many beneficial updates. They are accessible by a much wider range of applications, and the open feature of the file format helps in making the files more transparent and secure. The interoperability feature helps in building archives of documents without having to use any Microsoft Office code. The exchange of data between Microsoft Office applications and outside applications becomes more simplified and convenient with the Office Open XML format. Compared to binary file formats, Office Open XML formats are more robust and are at less risk of information loss. Data recovery is also improved with the Office Open XML format by means of segmentation. It makes the files significantly smaller in size compared to binary files, which leads to indirect cost savings as well. Programmability is more pounced with use of the Office Open XML format. Finally, the file format supports backward compatibility, ensuring users can work with current and earlier versions as well.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.