Microsoft Word 97 established the word processing application as a market leader. During an unprecedented period of popularity in personal computers, Microsoft Word quickly found itself in almost all businesses and many homes, establishing itself as the de facto standard for creating written documents. As part of the Office 1997 software package, users were able to use the program to create simple documents and quickly became familiar with the toolbar and menu driven user interface which remained consistent through later releases up to 2003.
The DOC file extension has become so synonymous with word processed files that it is arguably the most widely known file extension. Used for files created by Microsoft Word for DOS through to Word 2003, the format has seen a huge number of improvements but was superseded with the release of Microsoft Word 2007. Many users of Word 2007 continue to use the old DOC format to ensure compatibility with other users from different businesses.
WPD is a text document file format created by Satellite Systems International for their WordPerfect word processing software in 1980. It is a historically popular word processing file format, which can also be opened by most versions of Microsoft Word. Development of the DOS and Macintosh versions of WordPerfect were stopped in 1997 but the Windows version is still under active development by current owners Corel. WordPerfect was the top selling word processing software during the 1980's and early 1990's, and retains a big fanclub to this day (so much so that it was still the second most popular office suite up to a couple of years ago). WordPerfect has been acquired twice - first by Novell in 1994, and then by Corel in 1996 who continue development of the product and the WPD file format to this day.
WPD documents tend to to primarily contain formatted text. WPD files produced in Corel WordPerfect, the company that have developed the format since 1996, are also capable of storing embedded objects such as tables, graphs and images produced in other applications. WPD files contain streams of text, and store formatting information using tags which can be shown as reveal codes in Corel WordPerfect. These highlight how each section of text or object is formatted at a glance, and are therefore useful when trying to determine layout or formatting issues. Like similar file formats such as DOC, WPD files can also contain mail merge fields, which allow information from an external data source, such as a spreadsheet or database, to be inputted into a template.
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