Welcome back for the third and final piece in our Making Sense of File Formats Series! This time we'll be covering one last file type: document file formats.
Document formats are different from images in that they are usually text-heavy and save to be a much smaller size. Just as with images, each type serves its function. Here are a few of the main file formats used for documents:
1. Microsoft Office Formats (aka .xlsx, .doc, .pub)
Microsoft Office is a commonly used program across a variety of platforms and typically comes installed as the default word processing program on most personal computers. Most people are familiar with Microsoft Word which saves typically as .doc or .docx files. These files tend to be smaller in size than image-heavy files. Microsoft Word files are easy to share because many people have the software already built into their computer systems. Other Microsoft Office programs include Excel, a spreadsheet software which saves as .xls or .xlsx and Microsoft Publisher which saves as .pub files. Not everyone has access to Microsoft Publisher but fortunately, the program has the option to save in other formats, including many of those we've already mentioned. Best for: sharing editable documents
2. PDFs (aka Portable Document Format)
The PDF is the gold star of file formats because it can be used for both images and text. It is universal across all platforms because almost every computer comes pre-loaded with a PDF reader and most internet browsers can easily display them. With the exception of forms, most PDFs are rigid and cannot be easily edited making them a great choice when you want a file to appear the same for every person who opens it. Best for: printing, sharing documents and designs
We hope you have enjoyed this short series on file formats and hope it has cleared up any questions you may have had about the types of files out there and their uses. If you have any questions about which format you should be using when sending items in for printing here at CW Print + Design, check out our online ordering form or call us today at 802-476-3615!