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OLE Compound File
The Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) Compound File (CF) is used in other file formats as its underlying container file. It allows data to be stored in multiple streams.
The OLECF is also known as:
- Compound Binary File (current name used by Microsoft)
- Compound Document File (name used by OpenOffice)
- OLE2 file
Because the OLECF by itself is just a container it does not use a mime type. A mime type assigned to an OLECF refers to its contents.
The OLECF has the following file signature (as a hexadecimal byte sequence):
d0 cf 11 e0 a1 b1 1a e1
For earlier beta version of the format the following signature was used:
0e 11 fc 0d d0 cf 11 0e
The OLECF has no distinct footer.
The OLECF uses a FAT-like file system to define blocks that are assigned to the stream using multiple allocation tables. It uses a directory structure to define the name of the streams.
The OLECF is used to store:
- Microsoft Office 97-2003 documents:
- MSN (Toolbar) (C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\MSNe\msninfo.dat)
- Jump Lists
- Windows Installer (.msi) and patch file (.msp)
- Windows Search (srchadm.msc)
- Compound Binary File Specification, by Microsoft. Be warned this file contains at least one error: the directory entry name length is a size in bytes not in characters.
- MS-CFB: Compound File Binary File Format, by Microsoft
- Microsoft Compound Document File Format, by OpenOffice.org
- OLE Compound File format specification, by the libolecf project