DOCDoc (an abbreviation for ‘document’) is a file extension for a document created by Microsoft Word, the most popular word processing program. The .doc format is used for MS Word versions of between 97 and 2003. The later version of 2007 uses a different format.
MS Word was first created in 1983 for Xenix systems under the name Multi-Tool Word. Later newer versions were written for several other platforms like DOS running IBM PCs in 1983, the Apple Macintosh in 1984, and SCO Unix, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows in 1989. The MS Word programs have the ability to create and share documents using a set of writing tools. These documents may include formatted text, images, tables, graphs, charts, page formatting, and print settings.
A .doc file uses a text or binary file format for storing the documents on a storage media for use by computers. As the doc file format evolved over a period of time, it can be created and read by other softwares such as OpenOffice, AbiWord, and KWord. The only thing is that when files created in one program are opened in another program, the high-level formatting like headers and footers, are lost.
A main feature of the .doc format, which many find a problem, is the fact that the format is highly variable. In other words, the older versions cannot correctly read, or render files generated by newer versions. For example, a file created in MS Word 2007 cannot be read in MS Word 2003, nor a file created in MS Word 97 be read in earlier versions. This is because the structure of the document cannot be seen; hence the hidden codes of one document of a version make it unreadable in another version.
Whatever the case, and despite new word processing software reaching the market, the .doc file of MS Word remains the most widely used application by education, the corporate world, professional organizations, and home users.
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