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About file formats in document libraries

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

When you create a new document in a document library, you can save the document in a binary format (such as .doc, .xls, and so on) or save the document in a Web-based format (.htm or .mht). There are advantages and disadvantages to either format; your choice depends on how you plan to use the document.

Program-specific formats

Program-specific formats are Microsoft Word document (.doc), Microsoft Excel workbook (.xls), Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (.ppt), and so on.

Advantages

  • Run-time features are preserved. For example, you can sort and filter columns in an Excel spreadsheet.

Disadvantages

  • Team members must have the appropriate program installed to read the documents.

  • When you use the Web discussion feature, you cannot attach threaded discussions within the body of the document. Instead, discussion comments appear in a separate discussion pane.

Web-based formats

Web-based formats are Web page (.htm) and Web archive (.mht).

Advantages

  • Team members don't need to have the appropriate program installed to read the document.

  • When you use the Web discussion feature, you can attach threaded discussions within a document.

Note: If your document includes multiple parts, such as pictures or more than one PowerPoint slide, you can save it as a Web archive (.mht format) to create a single file in the document library.

Disadvantages

  • Run-time features may be lost. For example, you cannot sort and filter columns in an Excel spreadsheet.

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