Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

Introduction | Sustainability Factors | Content Categories | Format Descriptions | Contact
Format Description Categories >> Browse Alphabetical List

OpenDocument Package Format, ODF 1.2, part 3: Packages, ISO 26300-3:2015

>> Back
Table of Contents
Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name ODF 1.2 Package. OASIS name: Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.2 part 3. ISO name: ISO/IEC 26300-3:2015, Information technology -- Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.2, Part 3: Packages

An ODF package is a container that holds a collection of parts, aggregating components of a document (or other type of content) into a single object. The packaged document may be a word-processing document, a spreadsheet, a presentation, a chart, a drawing, etc.. The ODF package is based on the ZIP File Format [ZIP_PK]. This description for ODF_package_1_2 covers versions 1.2 part 3 of ODF as published by OASIS. It also covers the equivalent ISO/IEC 26300-3:2015. Major features added in version 1.2 were support for:

  • Digital signatures
  • RDF-based metadata
  • Encryption algorithms other than Blowfish

A manifest file is mandatory in all ODF document packages. It must be named META-INF/manifest.xml. It contains a list of files in the package, their media types (MIME types), and information required for decrypting each file as relevant.

ODF 1.2 uses PKWARE's version 6.2.0 of APPNOTE.TXT [see ZIP_6_2_0]. As for the previous version (ODF_package1_1), compression is restricted to the "deflate" algorithm. A single encryption mechanism was specified for ODF 1.1; for ODF 1.2, other encryption algorithms are permitted, using identifiers as specified in the December 2002 version of W3C's XML Encryption Syntax and Processing. The algorithm used to encrypt a file must be identified in the file-entry for that file in the manifest.xml file, along with details on how the encryption key was derived. Support for digital signatures was also added for ODF_package_1_2.

If a MIME media type exists for a document, then the first file in the package should be a file with name "mimetype" that provides a magic number for identifying a file as an ODF document of a particular category. If a ZIP file contains a stream at the beginning of the file that is uncompressed, and has no extra data in the header, then the stream name and the stream content can be found at fixed positions. More specifically, one will find:

  • a string "PK" at position 0 of all zip files
  • a string "mimetype" at position 30 of all such package files
  • the mimetype itself at position 38 of such a package.

ODF 1.2 introduced support for metadata using the W3C Resource Description Framework (RDF). If RDF metadata is present, all files containing RDF metadata must be listed in a file with name "manifest.rdf".

Production phase An ODF package can be used in any production phase.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of ODF_family, OpenDocument Format (ODF) Family, OASIS and ISO/IEC 26300
    Has subtype ODF_text_1_2, OpenDocument Text Document Format (ODT), Version 1.2, ISO 26300-1:2015
    Has subtype ODF_draw_1_2, OpenDocument Drawing Document Format (ODG), Version 1.2, ISO 26300-1:2015
    Subtype of ZIP_6_2_0, ZIP File Format, Version 6.2.0 (PKWARE). Various features of the ZIP File Format are not permitted in ODF.
    Contains META-INF/manifest.xml file. This manifest file is mandatory in all ODF packages.
    Has earlier version ODF_package_1_1, OpenDocument Package Format, ODF 1.1, ISO 26300-1:2006
    Defined via XML_1_0, XML (Extensible Markup Language) 1.0. A normative RELAX NG schema for manifest.xml is part of the specification for ODF_package_1_2.

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See ODF_family.
LC preference See ODF_family.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure International open standard. Developed and maintained by OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC. Also approved as ISO/IEC 26300-3:2015 by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34.

Specifications from OASIS: Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.2; Normative RNG schema for mandatory manifest.xml file.

Specification for ODF 1.2 packages published as ISO/IEC 26300-3:2015, Information technology -- Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.2 Packages.. See also ISO catalog record for ISO/IEC 26300-3:2015.


The major applications supporting ODF can read and write files in ODF 1.2:

  • LibreOffice supported ODF 1.2 when it was first released in 2011 and used ODF 1.2 as its native format, for many years. For example, it was still the native format for LibreOffice at the time of a July 17, 2015 blog post from The Document Foundation. As of December 2020, states, "LibreOffice natively implements ODF versions 1.0/1.1, 1.2, 1.2 with extensions, 1.3, or 1.3 with extensions (the latter two since release 7.0)". Release 7.0.0 of LibreOffice came out in August 2020.
  • Microsoft has supported ODF 1.2 since Office 2013, according to an April 15, 2014 blog post from Microsoft.
  • OpenOffice introduced beta support for ODF 1.2 in the beta version of 3.0 in 2008, according to Release Notes for OpenOffice 3.0 beta.

See ODF_family and ODF_package_1_1 for more detail on adoption of ODF in general.

    Licensing and patents No concerns. See ODF_family.

See ODF_family.


ODF 1.2 added support for metadata based on RDF (W3C's Resource Description Framework). As well as using RDF for metadata for the document package as a whole, RDF can be attached to elements within the document's content. The use of "custom" metadata as specified in ODF 1.1 is deprecated in ODF 1.2.

Pre-defined metadata elements for the document as a whole, stored in an office:meta element include:

  • From the Dublin core namespace, using the dc: prefix: Title, Creator (of most recent modification), Description, Subject, Date (last modified), Language
  • From the ODF specification, using the meta: prefix: Generator (creating software application), Keywords, Initial Creator, Creation Date and Time, Modification Date and Time, Print Date and Time, Document Template, Document Statistics (word count, page count, etc.),

The pre-defined elements are all optional and repeatable. However, applications are not required to update multiple occurrences in a specific way to reflect modifications to a document.

Also supported in both ODF 1.1 and ODF 1.2 is an XML structure for user-defined metadata, based on triplets of name, data type, and value.

External dependencies Depends on files contained in the package.
Technical protection considerations Encryption is supported for files within an ODF package. In addition, an ODF package file may be encrypted during interchange or as part of DRM controlling distribution.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Bundling/compression Separate functionality factors for comparing formats that are used to bundle and or compress files have not been developed. From the perspective of digital preservation, consideration of the sustainability factors above is more important than the degree of compression.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension See note.  ODF package files use extensions appropriate to the type of document packaged. Hence, .odt, .odp, .ods, are all extensions used for ODF packages in versions ODF 1.0-1.3.
Internet Media Type See note.  ODF 1.2 package files use MIME types appropriate to the type of document packaged. The appropriate MIME types are listed in Appendix C of the specification for Part 1 of ODF 1.2 . They use the pattern application/ See for example, registration for ODF spreadsheet category at IANA. The MIME types for ODF 1.2 are the same as for ODF 1.0 and 1.1.
Magic numbers See note.  Magic numbers that apply to document category subtypes, incorporate the magic number for ZIP_PK, the string mimetype at position 30, and the MIME subtype string value at position 38. See, for example, registration for ODF spreadsheet category at IANA. This magic number is the same for ODF 1.0 through ODF 1.2.
Indicator for profile, level, version, etc. ASCII: office:version="1.2"
The four root elements used in the primary files in an ODF 1.2 package require an attribute that records the ODF version. This is the signifier that distinguishes ODF 1.2 packages from earlier versions, for which the attribute is optional and has no specified value.
Pronom PUID See note.
PRONOM has no PUID specifically for the ODF 1.2 container format. PUIDs are assigned to many subtypes in the ODF_family of document formats.
Wikidata Title ID See note
Wikidata has no Title ID specifically for the ODF 1.2 container format. Title IDs are assigned to many subtypes in the ODF_family of document formats.

Notes Explanation of format description terms


ZIP version used for ODF_package_1_2: ODF 1.2 Part 3 cites ZIP_6_2_0 as a normative reference. The compilers of this resource are not aware of substantive differences in the intent of the ZIP specifications in ODF 1.0-1.2 or among software implementations creating ODF files. Comments welcome.


See ODF-family for the early history of ODF.

ODF 1.2, including the package specification in Part 3, was approved as a three-part OASIS standard in September 2011 and submitted to ISO/IEC under the PAS (Publicly Available Standard) procedure in March 2014.

ODF 1.2 was approved by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG6 in September 2014 and published as an ISO/IEC standard in June 2015. ODF 1.2 introduced several substantive extensions, for digital signatures, for RDF-based metadata, and OpenFormula for spreadsheet formulas.

ODF 1.3 was approved as an OASIS Committee Specification in December 2020, according to a December 4, 2020 announcement. This followed several periods of public review in 2019 and 2020. The next stage in the multi-step OASIS process is to gather three "statements of use", written statements that a party has successfully used or implemented the specification. See Approval of an OASIS Standard.

The specification for ODF 1.3 has been re-organized into four Parts and the specification for Packages is in Part 2. See Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.3. Part 2: Packages. Committee Specification 02. The log of changes in Appendix D suggests that the only substantive changes relate to encryption and digital signatures. In particular, support for OpenPGP-based XML encryption (see RFC 4880 OpenPGP Message Format [November 2007]) has been added.

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 12/17/2020