What's new in the Open XML SDK 2.5 for Office

This topic describes the new and improved features included in the Open XML SDK 2.5 for Office in addition to known issues and limitations.

The Open XML SDK 2.5 is a collection of classes that let you create and manipulate Open XML documents - documents that adhere to the Office Open XML File Formats Standard. Because the SDK provides an application program interface that lets you manipulate Open XML documents directly, you can do so without the need for the Office client products themselves in both client and server operating environments. The SDK is designed to let you build high performance client-side or server-side solutions that perform complex operations using only a small amount of program code.

This release of the SDK greatly extends support for the file formats while adding new features.

System requirements

The Open XML SDK 2.5 has the following system requirements:

Supported operating systems: Windows 8 Preview, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows XP Service Pack 3

System prerequisites: .NET Framework version 4.0, Up to 300 MB of available disk space

New software requirements

Open XML SDK 2.5 requires .NET Framework 4.0 or the greater version. Accordingly, the supported operating systems are updated to be the same as the requirements of the .NET Framework 4.0.

Support of Office 2013 Preview file format

In addition to offering compatibility with the Open XML SDK 1.0 classes and the Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office classes, Open XML SDK 2.5 provides new classes that enable you to write and build applications to manipulate Open XML file extensions of the new Microsoft Office 2013 features (see Table 1). By using the Open XML SDK 2.5 Productivity Tool for Office, those new extensions can be browsed inside the Open XML SDK documentation in the left pane.

Table 1. DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15 classes

Class Description
DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15.Excel Supports new PivotTable features, timeline, and the other new features of Excel
DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15.Word Supports new Comment features (e.g. Comments pane) and other new features of Word. For example, the CommentEx class reads the comments author; The WebVideoProperty property is used to insert a video in a Word document
DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15.PowerPoint, Theme Supports comment hint, theme family, and the other new features of PowerPoint
DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15.Drawing Supports new Charts, PivotCharts, and other new Drawing and Chart features
DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office15.WebExtension, WebExtentionPane Supports app for Office and Task Pane app for Office features. The classes are viable for inserting or modifying app for Office into Word and Excel document files

For code samples demonstrating how to use these new classes, please refer to new articles posted to Open XML Format SDK Forum in the Microsoft Developer Network.

Reads ISO Strict document files

The Open XML SDK 2.5 can read ISO/IEC 29500 Strict Format files. Its document contents are recognized as an Open XML Transitional Format file when the document is opened. When the file is saved, the document is saved as an Open XML Transitional Format file.

The Open XML SDK 2.5 converts ISO Strict files to Transitional Formatted files when any changes are made to the document or when the document is saved. Unless the document is saved or modified, the document is left as an ISO Strict Format file.

Updated API information

Because the file format extension of Office 2013 extends members of the <extLst> element which did not have any member elements, Open XML SDK 2.0 classes associated with the empty <extLst> (e.g. DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Spreadsheet.PivotFilter:ExtensionList) are updated to the new variants of ExtensionList classes of Open XML SDK 2.5 (e.g. DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Spreadsheet.PivotFilter:PivotFilterExtensionList). The following empty ExtensionList in each class are replaced with a new ExtensionList class including new Off Open XML child element members.


  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.ConnectionShapeLocks

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Theme

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.ChartDrawing.NonVisualGroupShapeDrawingProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Charts.MultiLevelStringReference

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Charts.NumberReference

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Charts.StringReference

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Charts.SurfaceChartSeries

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Diagrams.DataModelRoot

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Spreadsheet.NonVisualDrawingProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Drawing.Spreadsheet.NonVisualGroupShapeDrawingProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office.Drawing.NonVisualGroupDrawingShapeProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office2010.Excel.SlicerCacheDefinition

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office2010.Word.DrawingGroup.NonVisualGroupDrawingShapeProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.CommentAuthor

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.NonVisualGroupShapeDrawingProperties

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Spreadsheet.PivotFilter

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Spreadsheet.QueryTable


  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.Comment

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.HandoutMaster

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.NotesMaster

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.SlideLayout

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Presentation.SlideMaster

Deprecated API information

The following section discusses deprecated API members:

Smart tags

Because smart tags were deprecated in Office 2010, the Open XML SDK 2.5 doesn't support smart tag related Open XML elements. The Open XML SDK 2.5 still can process smart tag elements as unknown elements, however the Open XML SDK 2.5 Productivity Tool for Office validates those elements (see the following list) in Office document files as invalid tags.


  • SmartTagDisplayValues

  • SmartTagProperties

  • SmartTags

  • SmartTagType

  • SmartTagTypes


  • SaveSmartTagAsXml

  • SmartTagAttribut

  • SmartTagProperties

  • SmartTagRun

  • SmartTagType

Office 2010 Beta only tags

The Open XML SDK 2.0 classes for Office 2010 beta only Open XML tags are deprecated. For example, the beta only non-visual properties of DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office2010.Drawing.ChartDrawing, DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office2010.Word, and DocumentFormat.OpenXml.Office2010.Drawing have been removed from the Open XML SDK 2.5.