Office 2013, or the “new Office”, or the “next Office”, will be adding two new formats for full open, edit, and save capabilities. In addition, its PDF support will be evolving to gain open and “edit” capabilities.
While ODF might be more readily associated with software packages like OpenOffice, Microsoft has contributed technical expertise to recent versions of the standard. ODF 1.1 had open, edit, and save capabilities in Office 2010. For Office 2013, ODF 1.2 will have open, edit, and save capabilities while ODF 1.1 will degrade to only open and edit.
The second format to get more support in this upcoming version of Office is the Strict Open XML standard. Previously relying on Transitional Open XML, Strict Open XML will be just as supported now.
The first objective was for the Open XML standard to provide an XML-based file format that could fully support conversion of the billions of existing Office documents without any loss of features, content, text, layout, or other information, including embedded data. The second was to specify a file format that did not rely on Microsoft-specific data types. They created two variants of Open XML – Transitional, which supports previously-defined Microsoft-specific data types, and Strict, which does not rely on them.
On to PDF files, Microsoft will be introducing a feature called PDF Reflow – a means to open PDFs as editable Office documents.
As Tristan Davis, Senior Lead Program Manager for Word, explained: “With this functionality, you can transform your PDFs back into fully editable Word documents, rehydrating headings, bulleted/numbered lists, tables, footnotes, etc. by analyzing the contents of the PDF file.” The goal is not to make Word into a PDF reader or PDF editor. The goal is to help you to bring the contents of PDF files back into an editable format using Word 2013.
You can see the evolution of Office file format support in the diagram below:
(via Office Next blog)