Office Open XML
Office Open XML (also informally known as OOXML or OpenXML) is a zipped, XML-based file format developed by Microsoft for representing spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents. The format was initially standardised by Ecma (as ECMA-376) and, in later versions, by ISO and IEC (as ISO/IEC 29500).
Starting with Microsoft Office 2007, the Office Open XML file formats have become the default target file format of Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office 2010 provides read support for ECMA-376, read/write support for ISO/IEC 29500 Transitional, and read support for ISO/IEC 29500 Strict. Microsoft Office 2013 additionally supports both reading and writing of ISO/IEC 29500 Strict.
In 2000, Microsoft released an initial version of an XML-based format for Microsoft Excel, which was incorporated in Office XP. In 2002, a new file format for Microsoft Word followed. The Excel and Word formats—known as the Microsoft Office XML formats—were later incorporated into the 2003 release of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft announced in November 2005 that it would co-sponsor standardization of the new version of their XML-based formats through Ecma International, as "Office Open XML". The presentation was made to Ecma by Microsoft's Jean Paoli and Isabelle Valet-Harper.
This standard was then fast-tracked in the Joint Technical Committee 1 of ISO and IEC. After initially failing to pass, an amended version of the format received the necessary votes for approval as an ISO/IEC Standard as the result of a JTC 1 fast tracking standardization process that concluded in April 2008. The resulting four part International Standard (designated ISO/IEC 29500:2008) was published in November 2008 and can be downloaded from the ITTF. A technically equivalent set of texts is published by Ecma as ECMA-376 Office Open XML File Formats — 2nd edition (December 2008); they can be downloaded from their web site.
The same InfoWorld article reported that IBM (which supports the ODF format) threatened to leave standards bodies that it said allow dominant corporations like Microsoft to wield undue influence. The article further says that Microsoft was accused of co-opting the standardization process by leaning on countries to ensure that it got enough votes at the ISO for Office Open XML to pass; although it does not specify exactly who accused Microsoft.
Under the Ecma International code of conduct in patent matters, participating and approving member organisations of ECMA are required to make available their patent rights on a reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) basis.
Holders of patents which concern ISO/IEC International Standards may agree to a standardized license governing the terms under which such patents may be licensed, in accord with the ISO/IEC/ITU common patent policy.
Microsoft, the main contributor to the standard, provided a Covenant Not to Sue for its patent licensing. The covenant received a mixed reception, with some like the Groklaw blog criticizing it, and others such as Lawrence Rosen, (an attorney and lecturer at Stanford Law School), endorsing it.
Microsoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft Necessary Claims against you for making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing or distributing any implementation to the extent it conforms to a Covered Specification […]
This is limited to applications which do not deviate from the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 or Ecma-376 standard and to parties that do not "file, maintain or voluntarily participate in a patent infringement lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of such Covered Specification". The Open Specification Promise was included in documents submitted to ISO/IEC in support of the ECMA-376 fast track submission. Ecma International asserted that, "The OSP enables both open source and commercial software to implement [the specification]".
The Office Open XML specification exists in a number of versions.
ECMA-376 1st edition (2006)
The ECMA standard is structured in five parts to meet the needs of different audiences.
- Part 1. Fundamentals
- Vocabulary, notational conventions and abbreviations
- Summary of primary and supporting markup languages
- Conformance conditions and interoperability guidelines
- Constraints within the Open Packaging Conventions that apply to each document type
- Part 2. Open Packaging Conventions
- The Open Packaging Conventions (OPC), for the package model and physical package, is defined and used by various document types in various applications from multiple vendors.
- It defines core properties, thumbnails, digital signatures, and authorizations and encryption capabilities for parts or all the contents in the package.
- XML schemas for the OPC are declared as XML Schema Definitions (XSD) and (non-normatively) using RELAX NG (ISO/IEC 19757-2)
- Part 3. Primer
- Informative (non-normative) introduction to WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML, DrawingML, VML and Shared MLs, providing context and illustrating elements through examples and diagrams
- Describes the custom XML data storing facility within a package to support integration with business data
- Part 4. Markup Language Reference
- Contains the reference material for WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML, DrawingML, Shared MLs and Custom XML Schema, defining every element and attribute including the element hierarchy (parent/child relationships)
- XML schemas for the markup languages are declared as XSD and (non-normatively) using RELAX NG
- Defines the custom XML data storing facility
- Part 5. Markup Compatibility and Extensibility
- Describes extension facilities of OpenXML documents and specifies elements and attributes by which applications with different extensions can interoperate
Later versions of the ECMA-376 standard are aligned and technically equivalent to the corresponding ISO standard.
The ISO/IEC standard is structured into four parts. Parts 1, 2 and 3 are independent standards; for example Part 2, specifying Open Packaging Conventions, is used by other files formats including XPS and Design Web Format. Part 4 is to be read as a modification to Part 1, on which it depends.
A technically equivalent set of texts is also published by Ecma as ECMA-376 2nd edition (2008).
- Part 1 (Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference)
- This part has 5560 pages. It contains:
- Part 2 (Open Packaging Conventions)
- This part has 129 pages. It contains:
- Part 3 (Markup Compatibility and Extensibility)
- This part has 40 pages. It contains:
- A description of extensions: elements and attributes which define mechanisms allowing applications to specify alternative means of negotiating content
- Extensibility rules are expressed using NVDL
- Part 4 (Transitional Migration Features)
- This part has 1464 pages. It contains:
- Legacy material such as compatibility settings and the graphics markup language VML
- A list of syntactic differences between this text and ECMA-376 1st edition
The standard specifies two levels of document and application conformance, strict and transitional for each of WordprocessingML, PresentationML and SpreadsheetML. The standard also specifies applications descriptions of base and full.
Compatibility between versions
The intent of the changes from ECMA-376 1st edition to ISO/IEC 29500:2008 was that a valid ECMA-376 document would be a valid ISO 29500 "transitional" document, but at least one change introduced at the BRM (refusing to allow further values for xsd:boolean) had the effect of breaking backwards compatibility for most documents. A fix for this has been suggested to ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG4, and was approved in June 2009 to go forward as a recommendation for the first amendment to Office Open XML.
Applications able to read documents compliant to ECMA-376 edition 1 will regard ISO/IEC 29500-4 Transitional documents containing ISO 8601 dates as corrupt.
After being the default format in MS Office since 2007 the format has gained worldwide adoption both among consumers and among companies and government organizations. It is however not yet as popular as the older binary formats which are still widely used.
Some older versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office are able to read and write .docx files after installation of the free compatibility pack provided by Microsoft, but some items such as equations are converted into images that cannot be edited.
Starting with Microsoft Office 2007, the Office Open XML file formats have become the default file format of Microsoft Office. However, due to the changes introduced in the Office Open XML standard, Office 2007 is not entirely in compliance with ISO/IEC 29500:2008. Microsoft Office 2010 includes support for the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 compliant version of Office Open XML, but it can only save documents conforming to the transitional schemas of the specification, not the strict schemas. Note that the intent of the ISO/IEC is to allow the removal of the transitional variant from the ISO/IEC 29500 standard.
The ability to read and write Office Open XML format is however not limited to Microsoft Office; other office products are also able to read and write this format. SoftMaker Office 2010 is able to read and write .DOCX and .XLSX files in its word processor and spreadsheet applications. LibreOffice supports reading and writing Office Open XML files. OpenOffice.org from version 3.0 has been able to import Office Open XML files. Version 3.2 improves this feature with read support even for password-protected Office Open XML files.   The Go-oo fork of OpenOffice.org could also write OOXML files. KOffice version 2.2 and later was able to import Office Open XML files. Other office products that offer import support for the Office Open XML formats include TextEdit (included with OS X), iWork, IBM Lotus Notes, Abiword, WordPerfect, Kingsoft Office and Google Docs.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to OOXML.|
- OOXML technical specification
- List of document markup languages
- Comparison of document markup languages
- Open Document Format
- Standardization of Office Open XML
- Microsoft Word and Excel password protection
- Microsoft. "Register file extensions on third party servers". microsoft.com. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Q&A: Microsoft Co-Sponsors Submission of Office Open XML Document Formats to Ecma International for Standardization". Microsoft. 2005-11-21.
- "Microsoft Expands List of Formats Supported in Microsoft Office". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Microsoft's future lies somewhere beyond the Vista by Evansville Courier & Press". Courierpress.com. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Rivals Set Their Sights on Microsoft Office: Can They Topple the Giant? - Knowledge@Wharton". Knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Overview of the XML file formats in Office 2010
- Doug Mahugh. "Office’s Support for ISO/IEC 29500 Strict". MSDN blogs. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- Brian Jones (2007-01-25). "History of office XML formats (1998–2006)". MSDN blogs.
- "Microsoft Co-Sponsors Submission of Office Open XML Document Formats to Ecma International for Standardization". Microsoft. 2005-11-21.
- Casson and Ryan, Open Standards, Open Source Adoption in the Public Sector, and Their Relationship to Microsoft’s Market Dominance
- Microsoft hands over Office XML specs to Ecma
- Slides presented by the TC45 committee to Ecma International
- "Ecma International approves Office Open XML standard". Ecma International. 2006-12-07.
- "ISO/IEC DIS 29500 receives necessary votes for approval as an International Standard". ISO. 2008-04-02.
- ISO/IEC (2008-11-18). "Publication of ISO/IEC 29500:2008, Information technology — Office Open XML formats". ISO. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
- "Freely Available Standards". ITTF (ISO/IEC). 2008-11-18.
- "Standard ECMA-376". Ecma-international.org. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Kirk, Jeremy (19 November 2008). "ISO publishes Office Open XML specification". InfoWorld. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- "Norwegian standards body implodes over OOXML controversy". Ars Technica.
- Stallman, Richard (17 May 2009). "We Can Put an End to Word Attachments". Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- "Code of Conduct in Patent Matters". Ecma International.
- "ISO/IEC/ITU common patent policy".
- "Microsoft Covenant Regarding Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas". Microsoft. Retrieved 2006-07-11.
- "2 Escape Hatches in MS's Covenant Not to Sue". Groklaw. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Berlind, David (November 28, 2005). "Top open source lawyer blesses new terms on Microsoft's XML file format". ZDNet. Retrieved 2007-01-27.
- "Microsoft Open Specification Promise". Microsoft. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/index.html". Ecma International. "Ecma Standards and Technical Reports are made available to all interested persons or organizations, free of charge and licensing restrictions"
- "Microsoft Open Specification Promise". Microsoft.com.
- "Licensing conditions that Microsoft offers for Office Open XML". Jtc1sc34.org. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2009-05-19.[dead link]
- "Microsoft Word — Responses to Comments and Perceived Contradictions.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "ISO search for "29500"". International Organization for Standardization. 2009-06-05.
- "Re-introducing on/off-values to ST-OnOff in OOXML Part 4". Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- "OOXML and Office 2007 Conformance: a Smoke Test". Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- "Minutes of the Copenhagen Meeting of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG4". 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-09-29. page 15
- "ISO/IEC 29500-4:2008/Draft Amd2:2011 - Draft - Information technology — Document description and processing languages — Office Open XML File Formats — Part 4: Transitional Migration Features - AMENDMENT 2" (PDF). 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2011-04-04
- "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats (Version 3)". Microsoft. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Open a Word 2007 document in an earlier version of Word - Word - Office.com. Office.microsoft.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
- "OOXML Implementations: A Community of One". ODF Alliance. 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Microsoft Expands List of Formats Supported in Microsoft Office". Microsoft.com. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Lai, Eric (2008-05-27). "FAQ: Office 14 and Microsoft's support for ODF". Computerworld.com. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Andy Updegrove. "Microsoft Office 2007 to Support ODF — and not OOXML". ConsortiumInfo.org. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "ISO OOXML convener: Microsoft's format "heading for failure"". Ars Technica.
- Microsoft Fails the Standards Test
- "LibreOffice OOXML". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "OpenOffice.org 3.0 New Features". 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "OpenOffice.org 3.2 New Features". 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
- Scott Gilbertson (13 February 2010). "OpenOffice 3.2 - now with less Microsoft envy". The Register. Retrieved 18 Feb 2013. "the ability to open password-protected Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files"
- "3.2.0 (build OOO320_m12) - Release Notes". Retrieved 18 Feb 2013. "Import of password protected Microsoft Office XML files"
- "Standard ECMA-376: Office Open XML File Formats; 1st edition (December 2006) and 2nd edition (December 2008)". ECMA Standards. Ecma International. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "JTC 1/SC 34 - Document description and processing languages". ISO Standards. International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "FAQs on ISO/IEC 29500". ISO News and Media. International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Brown, Alex (31 March 2010). "Microsoft Fails the Standards Test". Where is an end of it?. Alex Brown's weblog. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Lenz, Evan; McRae, Mary; St.Laurent, Simon (May 2004). "Chapter 2: The WordprocessingML Vocabulary". Office 2003 XML: Integrating Office with the Rest of the World. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-00538-2.
- "How do I open Microsoft Office 2007 files?". OpenOffice.org Wiki. Oracle. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "Reference and sample documents". OpenOffice.org Ninja. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Shah, Rajiv C.; Kesan, Jay P. (September 2008). "Lost in Translation: Interoperability Issues for Open Standards - ODF and OOXML as Examples". Social Science Research Network. Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2010.