About file formats in document libraries

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When you create a new document in a document library, you have the choice of saving the document in a binary format (such as .doc, .xls., and so on) or saving the document in a Web-based format (.htm or .mht). There are advantages and disadvantages to either format; your choice depends on how you plan to use the document.

Program-specific formats

Program-specific formats are Microsoft Word document (.doc), Microsoft Excel workbook (.xls), Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (.ppt), and so on.


  • Run-time features are preserved. For example, you can sort and filter columns in an Excel spreadsheet.


  • Team members must have the appropriate program installed to read the documents.

  • Using the Web Discussions feature, you cannot attach threaded discussions within the body of the document. Instead, discussion comments appear in a separate discussion pane.

Web-based formats

Web-based formats are Web page (.htm) and Web archive (.mht).


Note   If your document includes multiple parts, such as pictures or more than one PowerPoint slide, you can save it as a Web archive (.mht format) to create a single file in the document library.


  • Run time features may be lost. For example, you cannot sort and filter columns in an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.