The Office Interoperability team is proud to announce the public Beta release of the Microsoft Office Binary File Format Validator (BFFValidator) tool. Available on the Microsoft Download Center , BFFValidator is a tool that will validate whether a .doc, .ppt, or .xls binary file format (bff) file is conformant with the Microsoft Office File Format Open Specifications .


BFFValidator runs as a command line without a dependency on the Office product. BFFValidator is targeted towards binary file format developers and generates prescriptive failure information when a given file does not conform to the Open Specifications. The tool will generate an XML log file that will correlate the issue with a specific section of documentation, the stream offset where the failure occurred, and other pertinent debug information. To learn more, please check out the BFFValidator reference file on the dowload page and stay tuned for a "How to guide" to be published on MSDN.

As I highlighted in a previous blog post, the Office File Validation (OFV) feature in the Office 2003, 2007, and 2010 products is focused on validating untrusted bff files to increase application security and offer users with an “opt out” mechanism. Validation failures with OFV are difficult to debug, as OFV provides no detailed failure information. We heard from many interoperability partners asking us how to best debug OFV failures, and we now have an answer. Unlike Office File Validation (OFV), BFFValidator’s validation scope isn’t limited to security and untrusted files- but focuses on strict validation regardless of the file’s source. Both OFV and BFFValidator originate from the same source, however the scope of validation differs between the two. If a file “passes” OFV it does not mean that there isn’t an issue with the file, it just means that Microsoft Office believes the file to be free from malicious threats.


We are really happy to provide this tool to the interoperability community and look forward to your feedback. It is still an early Beta, so please feel free to provide feature requests and other suggestions. If you encounter any issues please leverage the Microsoft Open Specification support alias, dochelp@microsoft.com.