Compound document

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This article is about compound documents in general. For the W3C standard, see Compound Document Format.

In computing, a compound document is a document type typically produced using word processing software, and is a regular text document intermingled with non-text elements such as spreadsheets, pictures, digital videos, digital audio, and other multimedia features. It can also be used to collect several documents into one.

Compound document technologies are commonly utilized on top of a software componentry framework, but the idea of software componentry includes several other concepts apart from compound documents, and software components alone do not enable compound documents. Well-known technologies for compound documents include:

Since many documents contain non-text elements such as spreadsheets, pictures, digital videos, digital audio, and other multimedia features is of critical importance to mitigate the risks of undetected and unapproved changes.

Software-based compound document comparison compares the entire document granularly, including the native format, in addition to embedded objects like spreadsheets and images, and creates a third document highlighting modifications through a coded system. Normally this coded system takes the form of color-coding or highlighting the changes granularly. Compound document comparison can be used on any document format including Word, WordPerfect, spreadsheets, PDFs, and PowerPoint.

The first public implementation was on the Xerox Star workstation, released in 1981.[1]

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