What does ODT stand for?

The acronym ODT means Open Document Format. The Open Document Format is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) type file format used to embody electronic documents for example, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and charts. Sun Microsystems was the original developer of the specifications for the Open Document Format however, OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications TC – OASIS ODF TC built the standard. This standard was developed by an organization for the advancement of structured information standards (OASIS) association and built on the original Extensible Markup Language that was generated by the OpenOffice.org office suite.

The Open Document Format is published as an ISO or IEC international standard in addition to being an OASIS. Open Document Format type documents commonly use the following filename extensions:

  • ods for spreadsheets
  • odp for presentations
  • odt for word processing (text) documents
  • odf for formulae, mathematical equations
  • odg for graphics

One essential element of an Open Document file is the characteristic which is the root element within the XML document ingrained in the ODF. ODFs can also be compressed and archived in ZIP format where one is able to access a variety of directories and files. These directories and files can contain binary content and benefit from ZIP’s lossless compression to reduce the size of the file. Open Document files separate styles, metadata, application settings and content in four separate XML files.

There is also a detailed set of specimen documents in Open Document File format available.

The standard for the Open Document File was built by a combined group of technicians within the OASIS industry. This combined group consists of various individuals and companies and the members who are active are the only ones who have voting rights. There are some members also who have close affiliation with IBM and Sun who influence voting. The process of standardization included developers from several office suites and or related document systems. At the first official meeting in 2002 to discuss standards OASIS sanctioned Open Document File as an OASIS standard three years later. The ODT specification was later submitted by the OASIS to the Joint Technical Committee of the ISO/IEC. The specification for the Open Document was approved as an IEC and ISO International Standard after six months of review.

Official publication in ISO came after the written ballot comments as well as a thirty day ballot in November 30, 2006.

Other standardization work with Open Document includes the Open Document 1.1, The OASIS Committee Specification Open Document 1.0 Open Formula, and Open Document 1.2. The Open document 1.2 is presently with the Draft Committee. The features of the Open Document 1.2 will include certain specifications based on Open formula, recommendations by the public and with the backing of digital signatures.

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