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File Formats

The Department of Higher Education uses several file formats to provide documents and data to visitors.  The table below provides an explanation of each file format and a link to other sites.  Free readers and viewers for these formats are available from the manufacturers through these links:

File Format Description
PDF Portable Document Format (Adobe Acrobat) document.  The free Adobe Acrobat reader is available at www.adobe.com.
DOC Microsoft Word document.  The free viewer is available at www.microsoft.com.
RTF Rich Text Format document.  Used whenever possible instead of the DOC format.  Most text viewers and word processing programs can read this format.  Documents in this format cannot transmit macro viruses.
XLS Microsoft Excel document.  The free viewer is available at www.microsoft.com.
PPS, PPT Microsoft Powerpoint document.  The free viewer is available at www.microsoft.com.
MDB Microsoft Access database.  There is no free viewer, you must own Microsoft Access or another database product in order to view the data contained within an MDB file. StarOffice can read Microsoft Access databases and is available free from www.sun.com
CSV Comma separated value data file.  This can be viewed in any text viewer, but is meant for import into either a spreadsheet or database.  Used whenever possible instead of the MDB and XLS formats.
ZIP ZIP compressed document.  Large documents may sometimes be zipped to conserve space and decrease download times.  Free programs to unzip are available at most software collection web sites such as www.nonags.com, www.tucows.com, and download.cnet.com.   


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