I am looking for a .NET compatible library which can be used to create & use a packaged file format.

For instance, Microsoft Word DOCX files are really ZIP files containing other files that Word knows how to use.

What libraries exist to provide this kind of functionality?

Note - I am aware of the .NET [System.IO.Packaging] namespace but am looking for alternatives.

  • Why is the Packaging namespace not enough? What benefits do you expect from such a library? Just because a library knows how to do packaging, it still does not know how to create a Word or Excel file. Oct 13, 2016 at 18:45
  • The question "What libraries exist?" is an indicator that you're looking for a list and not for a single product that fits your needs. As it stands, the question is too broad and primarily opinion based, because there are too few requirements that could be met. Oct 13, 2016 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


I am not sure if it would fit into your usage model but python has modules that can directly create, manipulate & read such container files, e.g. python-docx for docx files and the xlrd, xlwt & xlutil libraries for xlsx files.

There are at least two ways to get interoperabillity between dot Net and python, IronPython and pythonnet - I haven't tried the above libraries with either but it could be worth investigating.


Syncfusion provides file parsing libraries for Excel - Essential XlsIO, Word - Essential DocIO , PowerPoint - Essential Presentation and PDF - Essential PDF.

The XLSX, DOCX and PPTX file format libraries internally use Syncfusion.Compression.Base library to process these packages.

The whole suite of controls and libraries is available for free through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue). Note: I work for Syncfusion.

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