Microsoft Office File Formats Documentation

    The Microsoft Office file formats documentation provides technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary file formats that are implemented and used in the Microsoft Office system.
    • Note:There are multiple files available for this download.Once you click on the "Download" button, you will be prompted to select the files you need.


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        The Microsoft Office file formats documentation provides detailed technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary file formats.

        The documentation includes a set of companion overview and reference documents that supplement the technical specifications with conceptual background, overviews of file format relationships and interactions, and technical reference information.
    • Supported Operating System

      Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2

        The specifications are available in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) which you can open by using Adobe Reader, available at

        Note: For optimal readability of the PDF documents, it is recommended that they be opened and viewed by using Adobe Reader 8.0. Earlier versions of Adobe Reader might not provide the same reading quality.
      • Individual PDF files should be stored in a single directory to enable links between the protocol specifications. Note that if you download additional protocol documents from Microsoft, they should also be stored in the same directory to enable linking.

        The self-extracting Zip file ( in this list of files contains all of the client protocol documents. Please download and read the readme file. This package does not collect any personal information.
      • Audience
        The Office file formats documentation is intended for use in conjunction with publicly available standard specifications, network programming art, and Windows-distributed systems concepts. It assumes that the reader either is familiar with this material or has immediate access to it.

        The technical documentation set provides the following levels of audience support:

        • Implementer: Sufficient conceptual and reference information for a successful implementation of one or more file format specifications for a given task or scenario.

        • Reviewer: A definitive resource for readers who want to evaluate or understand one or more file formats.