Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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OpenDocument Text Document Format (ODT), Version 1.1, ISO/IEC 26300:2006

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name OpenDocument Text Document Format (ODT), Version 1.1. Part of OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications, Version 1.1 and the equivalent ISO/IEC 26300:2006.

The OpenDocument Text Document Format (ODT), Version 1.1 (given the short name ODF_text_1_1 here) is a format for editable textual documents. It is one of several subtypes in the ODF family for particular content categories. Designed to be a native format for word-processing applications, the format is sometimes called ODT after its usual file extension. The term ODT will be used here to refer to ODF_text_1_1 and other chronological versions of the OpenDocument Text format. This description relates primarily to the ODF 1.1 specification as published by OASIS and the equivalent ISO/IEC 26300:2006 specification.

For details of the ZIP-based package for ODF_text_1_1, see ODF_package_1_1. The package specification defines the form for a package manifest, and options for embedded metadata, digital signatures, encryption, etc. Apart from changes to the underlying package format, changes made to the markup for textual ODF documents between ODF versions 1.1 and 1.2 are few. They relate mainly to added formatting options for lists, tables, and references. Appendix G of the ODF 1.2 Part 1 specification lists changes in detail.

For discussion of the structure and markup in ODF_text_1_1, see ODF_text_1_2.

Production phase Can be used in any production phase. Particularly used for creating documents (initial state) and for editing and review (middle-state). Documents that are formally published are often converted to a format that is designed for final publication and not for convenient editing.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of ODF_Family, OpenDocument Format (ODF) Family, OASIS and ISO/IEC 26300
    Subtype of ODF_package_1_1, OpenDocument Package Format, ODF 1.1, ISO/IEC 26300:2006
    Subtype of ZIP_PK, ZIP File Format (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 later version ODF_text_1_2, OpenDocument Text Document Format (ODT), Version 1.2, ISO/IEC 26300-1:2015
    Defined via XML_1_0, XML (Extensible Markup Language) 1.0. A normative RELAX NG schema is part of the specification for ODF 1.1, which includes the specification for text documents.

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See ODF_family
LC preference The Library of Congress Recommended Formats Statement (RFS) includes ODF (ISO/IEC 26300) as an acceptable format for textual works in digital form. The RFS list does not distinguish between versions of ODF. In general, the Library of Congress prefers formats intended for final publication of textual works, rather than editable formats. Editable word-processing formats will be found in collections of papers of organizations and individuals.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure International open standard. Developed and maintained by OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC as part of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1 specification published by OASIS in 2007. Also approved as part of the equivalent ISO/IEC 26300:2006 by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34. In 2020, the SC34 working group responsible for ISO/IEC 26300 is ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG6.

Specifications from OASIS: Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.1. Specification for ODF 1.1 text documents are found primarily in chapters 4-7 of the specification. The technical specification incorporates a normative RNG schema for primary component files for ODF documents. In 2013, some errata were approved and a revised specification including approved errata was published by OASIS.

An equivalent specification was adopted by ISO and published by means of ISO/IEC 26300:2006, Information technology -- Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0 together with a 2012 amendment, ISO/IEC 26300:2006, Information technology -- Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0 -- Amendment 1: Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.1. A number of technical corrigenda were published and rolled into the ODF 1.2 specifications.

See ODF-Family for a listing of namespaces and prefixes that can be incorporated into ODF documents in ODF version 1.1 or 1.2 and links to associated specifications.


The major applications supporting ODF can read and write text documents as defined in ODF 1.1:

  • LibreOffice offers ODF 1.0/1.1 as a format for saving documents. Setting Up LibreOffice suggests choosing this option to share documents with people using editing software that supports only the older format.
  • Apache OpenOffice also offers users the ability to save documents as ODF 1.0/1.1. introduced support for ODF 1.0 in the beta version of OpenOffice 2.0 in 2005, according to Press Release for OpenOffice 2.0 beta.
  • Microsoft first introduced support for ODF_text_1_1 with Service Pack 2 for Word 2007. Support was also provided in Word 2010 and Word 2013. More recent versions of Word support use of ODF_text_1_2 instead.

The adopters of ODF listed in the April 2009 registration of MIME type for ODF textual documents included: AbiWord, IBM (Lotus Symphony), KOffice (which became Calligra), NeoOffice (which started as a Mac-oriented fork from, (predecessor to Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice), Scribus, StarOffice (predecessor of, code contributed to Apache OpenOffice), TextMaker (now part of SoftMaker), and Writely (acquired by Google in 2006, a starting point for the development of Google Docs).

See ODF-Family for more detail on adoption of ODF in general, and particularly for mandates or recommendations for ODF when exchanging editable documents among government agencies and between agencies and the individuals or organizations they serve.

    Licensing and patents No concerns. See ODF-Family.
Transparency See ODF_text_1_2.

ODF 1.1 support for metadata is through three mechanisms defined in clauses 2.2 (Document Metadata) and clause 3 (Metadata Elements) of the OASIS ODF 1.1 specification: predefined elements explicitly listed in the specification; user-defined metadata, using a specified XML structure for a triplet of name, data type, and value; and custom metadata, held in arbitrary elements within the <office:meta> element. The ODF 1.1 specification requires implementers to preserve custom metadata. Note that the use of arbitrary custom metadata was deprecated in ODF 1.2 and replaced by support for RDF-based metadata.

Pre-defined metadata elements for the document as a whole 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.

External dependencies Depends on features used. Textual documents in ODF_text_1_1 format may include sections that import text from an external document or data source; see clause 4.4 in the specification. They may include links to external databases; see clause 6.5. They can also import scripts from external sources; see subclause 6.6.6.
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. See ODF_package_1_1.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Normal rendering

See later version ODF_text_1_2. The changes in textual markup and representation between the two versions are minor in relation to Quality and Functionality Factors for textual documents.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension odt
.odt is the extension used for a regular ODF word-processing document.
Internet Media Type application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text
The MIME types for ODF_text_1_1 are the same as for ODF_text_1_2.
Magic numbers See note.  Magic numbers that apply to ODF 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.
Other See note.  See ODF_text_1_2 for discussion of signifiers of closely related ODF textual formats for use as templates or "master" documents.
Pronom PUID fmt/290
For OpenDocument Text 1.1. See
Wikidata Title ID Q27203404
For OpenDocument Text, version 1.1. See

Notes Explanation of format description terms


ODF_text_1_1 permits the use of elements beyond those covered by the specification. Section 1.5 of the specification begins, "Documents that conform to the OpenDocument specification may contain elements and attributes not specified within the OpenDocument schema. Such elements and attributes must not be part of a namespace that is defined within this specification and are called foreign elements and attributes." OASIS produced a so-called "strict" schema, that could be used to permit only elements defined in the specification. The specification indicates how applications should treat foreign elements. ODF_text_1_2 introduces the concept of an ODF Extended document, and has a clause 3.17 on Foreign Elements and Attributes. The compilers of this resource have not determined whether there is a substantive difference between ODF 1.1 and ODF 1.2 in relation to the inclusion of foreign elements and attributes. Comments welcome

See Notes for DOCX/OOXML_2012 for notes on challenges for conversion between ODT and DOCX formats.


ODF 1.1 was superseded by ODF 1.2 in 2011. See ODF_package_1_2 for discussion of changes to ODF in general between versions 1.1 and 1.2. Changes to the specification for text documents between versions 1.1 and 1.2 were limited to corrections and small modifications requested by implementers.

See ODF_family for more on the history ODF in general.

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 12/20/2020