"A 'document format' (also known as a 'file format') is a particular way to encode information for storage in a computer file.1 Numerous document formats exist for encoding and storing the same type of information in word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and other document types. Such document formats can complement each other by offering different functionality, compete with one another when there is functionality overlap, or both. For example, the latest version of WordPerfect reportedly supports more than 60 document formats. For these reasons and those discussed below, consumers and governments benefit from the existence of multiple document formats. Yet, within the last few years, based primarily on increasing efforts by governments to adopt electronic document initiatives, and the corresponding lobbying efforts of numerous vendors trying to gain a competitive advantage by promoting their preferred standards/products, a highly charged debate has arisen regarding the wisdom of governments to select particular document formats to the exclusion of others. Nowhere has this debate been followed and scrutinized more closely than in Massachusetts."