A table of some open file formats

Obviously this is just my opinion, and for a couple of the options you'll find people disagree with me.

File type Format Comments Example obsolete format
Word processing documents OpenDocument (ODT) Don't use MS Word formats, as there are so many, and are incompatible with themselves. Older MS Word formats, MS Works, ClarisWorks.
Documents to preserve PDF/A Make sure the papersize is set to one of the ISO 216 sizes, e.g. A4.
Audio files FLAC for new recordings, or for ripping from lossless media (e.g. CDs).
MP3 is an acceptable choice for a lossy format.
MP3 was previously patented encumbered, but any patents will have expired in 2017. Ogg Vorbis and OPUS, while both open standards, and probably technically better than MP3, do not have as widespread support as MP3. RealMedia
Photos JPEG TIFF takes up a lot more space, and you have to be careful to choose a profile that is widespread; with so many incompatibilities, it is difficult to be sure you are getting something that can be opened in 10 years time. Also, I'm not sure that TIFF is an actual open standard. JPEG is a good option, but if you edit in JPEG you can lose quality.
Non-photo and non-vector images PNG PNG is the best choose for images that aren't photos or vector. GIF is an acceptable second choice.

Vector images SVG
Anything Adobe
Layered images OpenRaster, if it is ever finished XFC is used by GIMP, but is not recommended as an interchange format. Whatever Photoshop uses by default.
Plain text UTF8 If saving plain text (without formatting), UTF8 is the best option. It allows all the fancy emoji, foreign characters, etc., but is identical to ASCII if you just use the standard US keyboard. Anything else.

Site & page info (footer)

Mostly handcrafted by Michael, this website was designed to standards, with the highest quality in mind, and in result. The code and content is freely available.

This page is located at http://next-nexus.info/writing/nls8/table%20of%20some%20open%20formats.php and was last modified on 2019-02-06.