OLE Property Set Specification
All data elements within a property set are stored in Intel representation
(that is, in little-endian byte order).
OLE defines a standard, serialized data format for property sets, which gives
them the following characteristics:
- Property sets allow for different applications to create their own independent
property sets to serve the application's needs.
- Property sets can be stored in a single IStream instance or in an IStorage instance containing multiple streams. Indeed, in the abstract, property sets
are simply another data type that can be stored in many different forms of an
in-memory or on-disk storage. For recommended conventions on creating the string
name for the storage object, see the section "Naming Property Sets" later in
- Property sets can be transmitted using the IDataObject interface and/or the Clipboard. Because property sets are self-identifying,
they are ideal for transferring data between applications.
- Property sets allow for a dictionary of displayable names to be included to
further describe the contents. A set of conventions for choosing property names
are recommended. For more information on this optional dictionary, see "Property
ID Zero" later in this appendix.
The figure below shows the overall structure of a property set:
The property set stream is divided into three major parts:
- FORMATID/offset pair
- Section containing the actual property set values
The overall length of the property set stream is 256Kb. The following sections
of this chapter describe the individual components that make up the property
set data format as shown in the previous figure.
Previous versions of this document described extensions to the property set
stream with more than one section allowed, but that has been revised now to
provide for one section in the property stream.
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