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Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:37 am
by rmwpg
Welcome beginner. What is your question or comment?
Please try to briefly and clearly tell us: What you want, What you tried, and What happened.
I will try to be clear here--and I hope I don't end up being too wordy--no pun intended.

I do not now have, and never did have MS'Word' installed on my computer.

I have, however, downloaded openoffice hoping that I could create and send documents as 'Word' documents and so that I could open 'Word' documents sent to me in e-mails from others.

Now, after creating several documents in openoffice (and spending a lot of time and effort doing so), I saved them on my desktop as 'Word' type docs. Now, when I go to open them, I get two pop up boxes (as well as deja vu), with the first box saying:

"The command cannot be performed because a dialogue box is open. Click OK, and then close open dialogue boxes to continue"

Of course, I click "OK".

Then the second box is the same stupid "Windows Installer" box that I used to get *before* I downloaded openoffice and tried to open a 'Word' document sent to me in an e-mail, for example. But, obviously, I don't have 'Word' installed on my PC.

So, as I wait for the inevitable "Windows Installer" box to discover that, indeed, still, I do not have 'Word' or whatever it's trying to do, it ends up doing its usual nada and closes both itself and the document I was trying to open--*which I had created using openoffice*.

So, please clarify my stupidity for me:
A) Can I not open/create/read 'Word' documents with openoffice? i.e. Do I still need to buy Microsoft 'Word' if I want to save and read documents in that format? (which begs the question of why I would then bother with openoffice)
B) I thought that openoffice could 'process/open/etc' 'Word' documents either sent to me, or created by me in openoffice. Is that not so?

Either I'm doing something elementally and obviously wrong, or I misunderstood the whole idea of openoffice.

Footnote: I already had a perfectly good 'Microsoft Works Word Processor' on my computer that does anything I'd ever need to do with wordprocessing. But, of course, it is essentially useless since no one else can open documents created on it and sent to them by me in e-mails, and I can't use it to open any typical 'Word' documents sent to me, since that is apparently what 99.999% of computer users have as their word processors.

I tried searching for the answer to my query, but didn't have much luck.

Please help. I have two rather important documents that I created with openoffice, 'trapped' in MSWord format which I now haven't a clue if I can even open. And I don't think I can re-create them from memory.

Thanks for any and all clarification--even if it's just to confirm that yes, I truly am a bit dimwitted ;)


Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:59 am
by TheGurkha
Hi and welcome to the forums.

Yes, OOo can read and write .doc, .xls etc.

When you created the file if you used Save As and selected Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP from the Save as type dropdown, and you had checked the Automatic file extension check box, you should have a valid Word document.

Open OOo and use File > Open to open the document. If it opens then the file is OK.

The issue is most likely that in your PC the .doc extension isn't associated with OOo. (When you installed OOo it will have asked you if you want it to be the default application for the Microsoft formats, you should have selected Yes for each of them.)

You can rectify this though. With the file closed right-click on it and pick Open with > Choose Program... and then set the file to be always opened with Writer. That tells Windows to always use Writer to open .doc files. You can do the same with a .xls file to have Calc be the default application for .xls files.

If this has answered your question, please go to your first post and add [Solved] to the start of the title. You can also use the green tick icon.

Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:38 pm
by rmwpg
Thank you so much for your fast response,

Now, I am able to open documents I've saved by right clicking and using "open with...".

However, can I open Word documents, Powerpoints, etc. with OOo? I've received each of these in e-mails lately, but there is no time when I can right click and bring up the "open with..." dialoge box. So, as usual, Word, Powerpoint and Excel files sent to me are un-openable.

Can I use OOo to open these in some way as well?

Thanks very much,


Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:11 am
by Hagar Delest
Yes, OOo can open also the .xls and .ppt/pps files. Do the same as above to associate files to soffice.exe.

Thanks to add '[Solved]' at beginning of your first post title (edit button) if your issue has been fixed.

Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:55 am
by rmwpg
So, you mean I should first save the file to my own PC, and *then* right click and use the "open with..." dialogue box to open these files as I do the Word files I've created myself?

[a couple of minutes later...] Ah, yes...that works.

So, I guess there's no way to open these directly from the e-mail itself, then? I always need to save these files to my PC first?

Thanks so much for your help.


Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:19 am
by Hagar Delest
rmwpg wrote:So, I guess there's no way to open these directly from the e-mail itself, then? I always need to save these files to my PC first?

It can be configured in the mail client (see Setting OO as default for opening email attachments - How?), else the file association should do that if you have checked the option Always use this application when you're in the Open with dialog.

Re: Cannot open document saved as 'Word'

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:25 am
by rmwpg
I will try that at my soonest opportunity.

Thanks so much for your kind help. I really enjoy helping others and giving them advice in my own areas of knowledge, so it's gratifying to receive the same when I need it in other areas :)

Thanks again,