DOT file extension is most commonly associated with a Microsoft Word template document. The DOT file extension may also represent a Corel Lines Definition file, or a file written in the DOT language for use with graph visualization tools such as Graphviz, though these in particular are uncommon as files of this type now use the File extension GV extension. You can open DOT file with Corel Line Definitions using products from Corel.
Microsoft Word uses document templates to define standard formatting features such as the page setup, font face and text colors. DOT template files can also include custom toolbars and macros to fill predetermined text, such as a company name or address, into any document created using the template. DOT templates are particularly useful when documents with the same formatting or layout are produced regularly, or when creating customized stationary as templates can be made for a variety of different items such as letters, faxes and envelopes. Embedded macros within the template can then be used to fill in information automatically whenever a blank document using the saved DOT template is created.
DOT templates can be created by setting up a document in Microsoft Word and saving it as a template which can then be opened for future use via the new document dialogue box. Additionally, Microsoft Word also comes bundled with a number of commonly used templates such as letters, memos, websites and publications.
Though DOT files themselves do not pose a security risk, some may contain embedded macros. These are a series of commands either performed and saved by the user, or written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and can be used to perform routine formatting tasks or fill information into a template. However, macros can also created maliciously, so DOT files containing macros from unknown sources should be avoided.
You can open DOT files natively using an appropriate version of Microsoft Word, or NeoOffice Writer, the latter of which is available on the Mac platform.
For more general information about files, file extensions and registry you can read one of the following articles:
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