Top 8 document file formats

25 November 2022By Vlad

Don’t know how to choose a suitable and compatible document file format? Check our walkthrough to understand their applicability and pros and cons of each one. Also, we’ll cover apps that can open different file extensions.

Top 8 document file formats


Portable Document Format (PDF) is developed by Adobe and standardized worldwide. This document type is used for presenting documents with text, graphics, clickable links, audio and video files etc.

Top 8 document file formats
Image source: Adobe

The following advantages make PDF the most popular for electronic document workflow:

  • PDF can be opened by any web browser — no special software needed
  • Security (watermarks, passwords, digital signatures etc.)
  • Authenticity of graphics
  • Diverse contents, including 3D models and interactive fields
  • Compression without quality loss

PDF is designed with the highest grade of content protection in mind. However, there are few ways to edit what’s inside your document for free. Learn how to convert PDF to DOCX.

How to open PDF: Adobe Acrobat, ABBYY FineReader, Preview, ONLYOFFICE Docs, Chrome (or any other browser)


DOCX is one of the best document formats for text editing, as well as its predecessor DOC. Developed by Microsoft, this file type provides more opportunities to edit a document than PDF does.

Top 8 document file formats

You can work with DOCX content using traditional office tools, third-party add-ons, and macros. DOCX is a good choice, if you want to:

  • Share text documents to someone
  • Copy and edit the content
  • Print out text files
  • Make simple notes

DOCX is not that rich in content security features as PDF. Learn how to convert DOCX to PDF.

How to open DOCX: ONLYOFFICE Docs, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Pages, WPS Office


OFORM and DOCXF are native formats developed by ONLYOFFICE and represent fillable forms. With these extensions, you can store templates instead of creating similar documents from scratch. Besides, there is a free OFORM library with numerous templates for automated document workflow.

OFORM allows filling out a form, whereas DOCXF can be edited to add new elements (fields, boxes, buttons etc.).

Top 8 document file formats

The formats are currently supported by ONLYOFFICE Docs only. Discover more about OFORM and DOCXF.

How to open OFORM and DOCXF: ONLYOFFICE Docs


XLSX is a native spreadsheet format of Microsoft Excel, which is a universal tool for professionals working in various industries. Accounting, marketing, data analysis, or monthly budget — spreadsheets may be helpful in literally any task.

Top 8 document file formats

Functions in cells calculate based on operands and given conditions. This part of XLSX spreadsheets may seem daunting at first. But even with basic knowledge, XLSX files are nearly the most powerful and customizable tool for automating your daily routine. We have some quick tips for spreadsheets on TikTok.

How to open XLSX: ONLYOFFICE Docs, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, WPS Office


PPTX is familiar to anyone who works with presentations and slides. This document format allows creating vivid slideshows with text, objects, effects and transitions, animations. PPTX presentations are prepared for school classes, product portfolio, public performance.

Slides are the best way to visualize your thoughts and ideas. Most people remember delivered information better when hear and see it at the same time.

Top 8 document file formats

How to open PPTX: ONLYOFFICE Docs, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, WPS Office


HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the format that includes text and tags responsible for displaying and positioning every piece of content on a web page. All you see in our blog is designed using HTML — spaces, buttons, images etc.

HTML files are accessible from any browser, whatever operating system you have. You can even see their content in a simple notepad.

VTop 8 document file formats
Image source: W3schools

With enough skills, web programmers are able to draft a page as DOCX and convert it to HTML. Additionally, HTML files can contain other document types — look how to embed DOCX to HTML.

How to open HTML: Atom, Sublime Text, Notepad, any web browser


OpenDocument Text (ODT) is an open-source document file format. Therefore, you’ll have access to the content stored in this file type even in case of legal alterations. The editors working with ODT offer a similar set of formatting tools.

However, ODT is not so widely supported as DOCX or PDF. When you send such a document to anyone, make sure they have a suitable software to open it. Otherwise, content distortions may occur or the recipients won’t be able to access a file.

How to open ODT: LibreOffice, ONLYOFFICE Docs, OpenOffice Writer

What is the best document format?

The above mentioned document formats are the most popular ones. However, there is no all-size-fits-all extension that would be the best for each occasion. Any document file format has own strengths and drawbacks:

  • PDF is a secure standard
  • DOCX is editable and widely known
  • OFORM and DOCXF are good for fillable forms
  • XLSX creates spreadsheets
  • PPTX creates presentations
  • HTML is suitable for drafting web pages
  • ODT is open-source

Your choice fully depends on the tasks you want to perform using a document. If you want to convert a document to another format, use our online converter.


The service is free and supports the most popular document file formats.