Document File Types – Important Updates and Differences


Recognize distinctions between document file types to distribute files in the right format. Learn nuances of document file types to streamline workflow and reduce inaccurate usage of formats.

Document File Types  – .doc and .docx

DOC and DOCX file types are a product of Microsoft Word software. The standard save of a Word document was a .doc until the software moved to .docx extensions. The doc file type was popular due to its tie to Microsoft Office, but it had its drawbacks. The main limitation of the .doc was it was restriction to access only from Microsoft software users. This restriction ended with the docx document file conversion, which adapts to other word processing sources.

The .doc and docx files are versatile and capable of handling tasks for contrasting user types. The files can contain text, but also a wide array of visual elements including graphs and tables. The main feature to note when deciding if this file type is right for your selection is the capability for editing it offers. The standard expectation of any file extension is capability for the original creator to be able to edit it. .doc and docx go one step further and offer anyone who receives the file the possibility to edit.

A screenshot of the DOCX file type logo.
Understand the difference of .doc and .docx to maximize their benefits.

Document File Types – .xls and .xlsx

XLS and XLSX files are Microsoft Excel software products, which are in the form of a spreadsheet. The main use of .xls and .xlsx is data administration, particularly organizing and visualization of data. Like Microsoft Word, the .xlsx is the updated version of the Excel file formats. The .xls is more accessible across the entire spectrum of users, whereas .xlsx is restricted to updated systems past the inception of .xlsx. There are conversion capabilities, which are prudent considering the way each format is stored.

Document File Types – .pdf

The PDF document file is a Portable Document Format by Adobe that has become the most prevalent file format used on the web today. .pdf is optimal for printing documents onto paper because it upholds the original intended layout of the file. A .pdf is a superior option over .doc and .docx when a user needs a more diverse selection of visual representations within a document. Most browsers as well as other programs are used to open .pdf. Choose .pdf for files intended for mass sharing, especially for documents intended to stay unedited once delivered and shared, as .pdf are shielded from unwanted editing.

A screenshot of the PDF logo.
Recognize when to use the popular file type .pdf on the web.

Document File Types – .html

HTML is Hypertext Markup Language, capable of display in web browsers. The HTML document file is more complex than others as it’s a webpage encrypted with hypertext. The makeup of the .html is not visible for website visitors unless directly searched for. Word processing files are saved into .html format with capability of use via web browsers if necessary.

Understand which document file types best complement your workload so all parties involved in the transferring of the file can access and edit it if necessary. All of these document file types are supported in Canto digital asset management.