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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

MIME types

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.

File signature

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:

Office VBA