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Concord Academy

Embedded Documents

Email has been around for 40 years. It was never designed for the world and workflow that we have today.

Attachments in emails are basically a poor "one size fits all" approach to a variety of problems, mostly involving the lack of sharing options.


There are basically two types of file formats: Files that work in editing platforms, and files types that are designed to be easy to share. 


Common text editing file formats:

Text files work on any word processor. They lack the ability to embed images. They have extensions like .txt and .rtf.

Text File /@api/deki/files/150/Content_Example.rtf

At some point, people wanted to add images to text documents. Web pages are text files written with specific instructions (a mark-up language) that allows for the embedding of images and other functions. 
Eventually, people want 

Microsoft Word Doc /@api/deki/files/149/Content_example.doc

Microsoft Word is a text editing application that is designed, from the ground up, to be proprietary, and to only be used on windows and mac computers, with the application installed. The Microsoft company frequently makes changes to the underlying structure of the documents, so that other applications will have trouble opening the file. They also deliberately make changes in the file format so that newer versions of the Microsoft Word file format can't be opened with older version of the application, to stimulate new sales. Many editing applications (even the editor for Mindtouch) have "Paste from Word" buttons to try and remove the garbage code that Microsoft Word invisibly injects into text documents to make them less compatible.


Regardless of these strategies, other free document editing applications (Open Office and Google Docs) started to take away sales. So they came up with:


Microsoft Word DocX  /@api/deki/files/148/Content_example.docx

The .docx format is designed to make Microsoft Word incompatible with older versions of Word. This is entirely a marketing strategy to get people to experience compatibility issues using this common file type. Newer versions of Microsoft Word come with a "Compatibility Mode." This basically changes the default file extension back to .doc, rather than .docx.


Text files work on any word processor. They lack the ability to embed images. 

Text File /@api/deki/files/150/Content_Example.rtf


A good site to clean out Microsoft Word documents:


Common text sharing format:

PDF /@api/deki/files/151/Content_example.pdf