Not all software lasts forever. Therefore, it's worthwhile to consider the following:
- If you have data in a format that can only be read by one software, what happens when that software is no longer available?
- If you have to pay for that software – then anyone who wants to use your data must pay for that software, too.
- What happens when the format is no longer used?
To solve these problems, use standard formats that will be around for a long time. Generally, the best formats are open standard and have good support in open-source software and multiple independent software suites. Recommended file formats are presented in the following table.
|Text format||File extension|
|Open Office Formats||.odt, .ods, .odp|
|Plain Text (US-ASCII, UTF-8)||.txt|
|Image / Graphic formats||File extension|
|SVG 1.1 (no java binding)||.svg|
|Audio formats||File extension|
|Motion formats||File extension|
|Motion JPEG2000||.mj2, .mjp2|
See best practices for file formats from Stanford University Library.