Managing and Sharing Office Files

The Microsoft Office 2016 applications provide you with all the tools you need to create documents, presentations, workbooks, and publications. After you create your various files using the Office applications, it is up to you to manage your files and share them with colleagues and co-workers.

In this chapter, we take a look at the Office file formats used in each of the Office applications. We also look at your options for managing and sharing files.

 

Understanding Office File Formats

The default file formats for each of the Office applications (all except for OneNote) take advantage of the open XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file standards. The file formats provide benefits in terms of file compaction, improved damage recovery, better detection of files containing macros, and better compatibility with other vendor software.

Although some backward-compatibility issues may be involved when you attempt to share a file using one of these file formats with a user who still works with an earlier version of a particular Office application (think pre-Office 2007 versions), most problems have been ironed out. Users still working with earlier versions of the Office applications can take advantage of various conversion utilities and software updates that enable them to convert or directly open a file using one of the new file formats.

You can also save your files in file formats that offer backward compatibility for co-workers still using older versions of the Office applications. And the Office applications (such as Word and Excel) provide you with compatibility-checking tools that help negate any issues with files shared with users of legacy Office applications.

As already mentioned, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint use the open XML file formats by default when you save a file in these applications. And you have a number of other file format options in these applications, if needed.

Publisher 2016, on the other hand, saves publications by default in the .pub file type. The .pub file type is “directly” compatible with Publisher 2013, through Publisher 2003. Although Publisher does not enable you to save a publication in the open XML file format (like Word and Excel), you can save Publisher files in the XPS file type, which is an XML file format for “electronic paper.” Publisher also has file types available that you can use to make your publications backward compatible with collaborators who are using previous versions of Microsoft Publisher.