Word Files

When starting a new document, Word creates a temporary AutoRecover file in the \Windows\Temp folder, which is used to recover document information should Word crash. The first time a new document is saved, Word also creates two other files. The first is the document itself, which takes an extension based on the type of document you create (.doc for Word files, .dot for templates, .rtf for rich text files, and so on). Next, Word creates a temporary file in the same folder as the document. It holds all of the work done inside a document between saves.


You are probably most familiar with the document file. A document file is created and named whenever a new document is saved for the first time. There are lots of things you can do with a file in Word, mainly by using the File menu. For detailed information on manipulating files with Word, check out Chapter 4. In this section, though, we’re going to take a look at what goes into a file (how Word itself uses the file) and what can be done with the file from outside Word (i.e., from Windows itself ).

A document file contains the text you type, but it can also contain:

  • Characters that are typed and characters that aren’t, such as paragraph marks, tab marks, section marks, and more. These are covered a bit later in the chapter.

  • Formatting applied to those characters, whether it is applied directly through character formatting or indirectly through paragraph formatting.

  • Formatting applied to the sections in a document. ...

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