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Office Open XML

Office Open XML is a document format introduced and developed by Microsoft. Office Open XML was designed to support word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms and many other types of documents. Office Open XML also known as OOXML is a compressed format based on XML. It is standardized according to ISO/IEC 29500 and ECMA-376 standards. ISO/IEC 29500 and ECMA-376 standards.

Microsoft did several iterations of Office Open XML format. Initial attempts to switch from binary to XML based format was done in Microsoft Excel in Microsoft Office XP. In 2002 Microsoft Word also switched to XML format later known as Microsoft Office XML format. In November 2005 Microsoft officially announced that it is planning to standardize a new version of their XML document formats as Office Open XML. It was officially standardized in November 2008 as ECMA-376 Office Open XML File Formats. It can be downloaded from

Office Open XML was partially supported in Microsoft Office 2010. Starting from Microsoft Office 2013 full compatibility were added and binary document file formats switched to corresponding versions based on Office Open XML. DOC, XLS, PPT were switched to DOCX, XLSX, PPTX correspondingly.

Office Open XML uses XML language to describe its internal structures and store data. Readability and simplicity of XML made OOXML easier to adopt for developers. ZIP compression used to compress OOXML document is also widely adopted and available on every operating system. Soon after release Office Open XML support was added to several third-party office packages including LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

Enterprise requirements were also noticed when OOXML format was developed. To enable enterprise workflow support OOXML format includes features for metadata tagging, metadata-based document search, data reuse and document assembly from multiple sources. Microsoft allowed any third-party developer to use OOXML format without any risk of legal action as far as integrity of the format is maintained and no changes are made.