MS-Word / Getting Started

Understanding Word File Types

When you save your first file in Word 2007, you will find a bewildering array of file types. Don't sweat it you will use some new file types on the list frequently, but you'll probably ignore a lot of types. The two you'll use most often are .docx and .docm.

New format for most Word documents. Pre-2007 versions of Word can't open these documents without the help of the Office Compatibility Pack.

New format for Word documents containing macros. (Microsoft is making an effort to increase computer security by reining in Office macros.)

New format for templates.

New format for templates containing macros.

Format for all the previous versions of Word including: Word 6.0, Word 95, and Word 97-2003.

The template format for previous versions of Word.

Adobe Reader (also known as Acrobat) files. PDF stands for Portable Document Format.

XML Paper specification. This format is Microsoft's answer to PDF for creating documents that anyone can open on any computer.

.mhtm, .mhtml.
Single file Web page. In other words, all the files that make up a Web page (including images) are contained in one single file. (There's no difference between .mhtm and .mhtml files, they're just four-letter and five-letter versions of the same filename extension.)

.htm, .html.
Standard Web page format. This format is for the Web pages you see on the Internet. When the page includes photos or other files, links on the page point to those external files. (There's no difference between .htm and .html; both mean the same thing.)

Rich Text Format, a file format used to exchange files with other word processors and other types of computers like Macs and Linux computers.

This plain text format doesn't have a lot of the formatting you can do in Word. It makes for a nice, small file size, and you can open it on any computer, but it's not pretty.

eXtensible Markup Language is a standard language for describing many different types of data.

This format indicates a document created in Office's little sibling, Microsoft Works.
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