Common register portal of the German federal states

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Document formats

The following sets out an explanation of the file formats which can be retrieved in the register portal, as well as assistance in searching for a display program on the internet if no suitable program is installed on your computer. In general you can also find programs for all current file formats which you can download and use free of charge.

Due to competition laws we are not permitted to offer any concrete product recommendations regarding the latter.

zip

The zip file format is an open-source format for archiving compressed files and directories (container).
If you do not have a program which allows you to open zip files (unzip program) you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:

download software zip
Please note that some zip files cannot be opened by all unzip programs.

tif (Tagged Image Files)
tiff (Tagged Image File Format)

This relates to a graphics file which can be opened with a graphics program.
If you do not have a graphics program that allows you to open tif files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
open download tiff format

Please note that some graphics programs cannot open any tif files or can only open certain subclasses of this format.

pkcs7, p7m, p7s (file formats with embedded signature)

The contents of files in "pkcs7", "p7m", "p7s" file formats are encrypted and can only be displayed with appropriate signature programs.

PKCS (Public Key Cryptography Standards)
Described in RFC 2315. Forms the basis for S/MIME and is used to sign or encrypt PKI messages. RFC 2315 has been superseded by RFC 3852. In the meantime RFC 5652 is the prevailing version.

Here are the following file extensions for PKCS#7:
S-TRUST Sign-it Software saves data in various file formats. You can set the format in the S-TRUST Sign-it Security Environment Manager. When installing the software the format is set by default in such a way that the signature file and the original data are saved in one file.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software pkcs7

p7s format
p7s files are PKCS#7 data: they use a detached signature. This means that the signed data and the signature are saved in two separate files. This has the advantage that it is possible to view the original data with the associated program. As long as this is not changed the signature also remains valid. The signature is linked to the original file by the same file name. If you open a p7s file by double clicking on it the signature check starts automatically.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software p7s

p7m format
p7m files are PKCS#7 data: signed, encrypted or signed and encrypted data may be concealed. Signed or signed and encrypted p7m files exist as composite files. This means that the files contain both one or more signatures in p7s format as well as the original data which was signed or signed and encrypted. If you double-click on a p7m file the file, if encrypted, is decrypted. Finally the signature test, if a signature is present, is started.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software p7m

odt (Open Document Text)

There are viewers, plug-ins or programs with which you can open this file format.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software odt

pdf (Portable Document Format)

PDF is a platform-independent file format for documents, independent of the original user program and rendered true to the original.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software pdf

rtf (Rich Text Format)

Text file with formatting properties which can be read by different text processing programs with formatting retained.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software rtf

ascii (text file with ASCII character set)

Text file without formatting properties which can be read by many editors.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software ascii

txt (text file)

Text file without formatting properties which can be read by many editors. Can be in different text encodings (e.g. Unicode, UTF8, ASCII).

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software txt

doc (document)

File name extension for Microsoft Word documents. These files can also be opened by other programs.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software word doc

xml (Extensible Markup Language)

Standard for the creation of structured files that can be read both by machine and by people and which can be opened with different programs

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software xml

Other, unlisted, document formats

The above document formats are defined for data exchange in the register portal. Potentially any file formats can be transferred, however. They can be recognised by the file extension.

If you do not have a program that allows you to open such files you can use your chosen browser search engine to find suitable programs with the following search terms:
Open download software word doc <file extension>