Thanks for responding.
These are shared workstations that have had the My Recent Documents folder in the start menu removed. Seperate accounts are not an option per our superviser. We both know it is possible. But thats the way they want it, not my choice. The problem is that OOo has, I think, substituted itself as that folder. When we use open file there is a folder labled My Recent Documents and it shows all documents opened on the computer not just OOo. i.e. mp3, wmv, wma, lotus, Visio and such.
This is where the confusion come in. If you try to open from this folder you are asked to apply a filter as to how OOo will handle the file. None of the filters will open these files. You get chinese. <--Technical term not the language. Random characters(code).