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Doc (computing)

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Title: Doc (computing)  
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Subject: LGBT rights in Brazil, Comparison of reference management software, Copyright registration, Comparison of e-book formats, Rich Text Format
Collection: Computer File Formats, Microsoft Office
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Doc (computing)

Word Document
Filename extension .doc
Internet media type application/msword[1]
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)[2][3]
Developed by Microsoft
Latest release
(30 October 2014 (2014-10-30)[4])
Type of format document file format
Container for Text, Image,Table
Extended to Microsoft Office XML formats, Office Open XML
Open format? No

In computing, DOC or doc (an abbreviation of 'document') is a filename extension for word processing documents, most commonly in the proprietary Microsoft Word Binary File Format.[4] Historically, the extension was used for documentation in plain text, particularly of programs or computer hardware on a wide range of operating systems. During the 1980s, WordPerfect used DOC as the extension of their proprietary format. Later, in 1983, Microsoft chose to use the DOC extension for their proprietary Microsoft Word format. The original uses for the extension have largely disappeared from the PC world


  • Microsoft Word Binary File Format 1
    • Application support 1.1
    • Specification 1.2
  • Other file formats 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Microsoft Word Binary File Format

Binary DOC files often contain more text formatting information (as well as scripts and undo information) than some other document file formats like Rich Text Format and HyperText Markup Language, but are usually less widely compatible.

The DOC files created with Microsoft Word versions differ. Microsoft Word versions up to Word 97 used a different format from Microsoft Word 97 - 2003.

In Microsoft Word 2007 and later, the binary file format was replaced as the default format by the Office Open XML format, though Microsoft Word can still produce DOC files.

Application support

The DOC format is native to Microsoft Word. Other IBM Lotus Symphony, Apple Pages and AbiWord, can also create and read DOC files, although with some limitations. Command line programs for Unix-like operating systems that can convert files from the DOC format to plain text or other standard formats include the wv library, which itself is used directly by AbiWord.


Because the DOC file format was a closed specification for many years, inconsistent handling of the format persists and may cause some loss of formatting information when handling the same file with multiple word processing programs. Some specifications for Microsoft Office 97 binary file formats were published in 1997 under a restrictive license, but these specifications were removed from online download in 1999.[5][6][7][8] Specifications of later versions of Microsoft Office binary file formats were not publicly available. The DOC format specification was available from Microsoft on request[9] since 2006[10] under restrictive reverse engineered the file format.[11] On February 15, 2008, Microsoft released a .DOC format specification[4][12][13] under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.[14][15] However, this specification does not describe all of the features used by DOC format and reverse engineered work remains necessary.[16] Since 2008 the specification was changed several times, the last change was made in October 2014.

Other file formats

Some historical documentations may use the DOC filename extension for plain-text file format. The DOC filename extension was also used in historical versions of WordPerfect for its proprietary format.

Some software applications use the name "DOC" in combination with other words (such as the name of software manufacturer) for different file formats. As an example, on the Palm OS, DOC is shorthand for PalmDoc, a completely unrelated format (commonly using PDB filename extension) used to encode text files such as ebooks.

See also


  1. ^ "Registion of a new MIME Content-Type/Subtype - application/msword".  
  2. ^ Uniform Type Identifiers Reference (PDF), Apple, retrieved 2012-06-20 
  3. ^ "System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers (Mac OS X v10.4)". Apple Developer Connection. Apple Inc. 2008-04-08. 
  4. ^ a b c MS-DOC: Word (.doc) Binary File Format, 2014-10-30, retrieved 2015-06-07 
  5. ^ "Comparing ODF and OOXML" (pdf). 2006. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  6. ^ Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts, 2006, retrieved 2011-05-23 
  7. ^ "A Word 8 converter for Unix". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Microsoft Word 97 Binary File Format". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  9. ^ "Royalty-free specifications for Microsoft Office binary file formats". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  10. ^ "Mapping documents in the binary format (.doc; .xls; .ppt) to the Open XML format". 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  11. ^ "Microsoft Compound Document Format" (PDF).  
  12. ^ Microsoft Office Binary (doc, xls, ppt) File Formats, 2008-02-15, archived from the original on 2008-02-18 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Office Word 97 - 2007 Binary File Format Specification (*.doc)" (PDF). Microsoft Corporation. 2008. 
  14. ^ "Microsoft Open Specification Promise". Microsoft Corporation. March 23, 2009. 
  15. ^ "How to extract information from Office files by using Office file formats and schemas". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  16. ^ Joel Spolsky. "Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds)". Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 

External links

  • DOC, XLS, and PPT specifications
  • How to obtain the latest Microsoft Word Viewer
  • Microsoft Compound Document Format -
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