Why Are the Microsoft Office File Formats So Complicated? (And Some Workarounds)


Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office. These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97–2003 file format is a 349-page PDF file. But wait, that’s not all there is to it! This document includes the following interesting comment: Each Excel workbook is stored in a compound file.


File Format Word File Word Document Standardize File Format Excel Workbook 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Joel Spolsky 2008

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