About file formats in document libraries

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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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