MS office or OOo

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MS office or OOo

Postby cowboy » Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:21 pm

I am very new in this forum and the answer to my question may be found somewhere in the previous answers.
I have a job PC using MS office and we have just bought a new PC for privat use, with the option to buy MS Office 2007; small business version.
My kids are using that PC for school work and all kinds of document making. I also need to send documents back and forth between my job PC and the privat PC, meaning that I must be able to open docs in both PCs. The kids also place documents directly into the school-server which uses MS Office.
I do understand that MS Office documents can be opened in OOo, but can the OOo documents be opened in MS Ofiice, or is there an easy method for converting these docs. I have tried to open an OOs doc in MS Word, but that was not possible. At the moment it looks as if there will be problems having two PCs with two different Office systems, but then again, I might be totally wrong.
Please advice.
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Re: MS office or OOo

Postby r4zoli » Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:54 pm

Basic information, you can find in Migration Guide: ... tion_Guide
In short you can open /save .doc not heavily formatted documents in OOo, .xls speadsheet, and ppt presentation, too but OOo has limits on handling these file format, not all feature of MSO works as you accustomed to, but mostly same or similar. If your documents consist macros it is another question.
Office 2007 doc formats support under development, search on forum and you will find information about it.
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Re: MS office or OOo

Postby ccornell » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:16 pm

There are a couple of ways to handle sharing documents between MS Office and, and a few things to be aware of.

First and most important... the current version of cannot read or write the new OOXML format that Microsoft is using as a default in MS Office 2007. This format is incompatible with everything including other versions of MS Office. You can usually recognize these files by the extension... for example docx is an OOXML formatted MS Word 2007 document.

Second, Microsoft refuses to support the ISO standard file formats (ODF) that and many other office suites support. This means that by default, MS Office cannot open ODF documents.

That said, there are a solutions to it all.

In Microsoft Office you can install the Sun ODF plugin from here: This works if you are allowed to install software on the Windows machine.

In, you can set the default file format to MS Office format... go to: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General and set the default file format for each document type. Then all your documents that you save from will default to a format that all current versions of MS Office can open. will be able open the OOXML files starting with version 3.0 which should be available around September 2008. In the mean time, there are a few versions of that can already open these documents... NeoOffice for Mac, and the Novell Edition of for example.

So you can fairly easily share documents between different operating systems and different Office applications, but you need to do a little in preparation, either by setting OOo to save in MS Office format, or installing the ODF plugin into MS Office.
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Re: MS office or OOo

Postby huw » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:16 pm

You probably will want to set the menu option Tools > Options... > Load/Save > General > Default file format > Always save as to Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP. That will allow Microsoft Office to open your documents without needing a plug-in from Sun (which is available for free, if wanted).

One thing I would test, sooner rather than later, is the document submission process your kids have to use. Hopefully that is done via the school's website, rather than from within Microsoft Office. However it is done, establish that it works before they have urgent homework to hand in.

There are a few features that do not translate between the two packages, but they don't affect most people. If you run into a specific problem, people here will usually be able to help.

One thing to be aware of - if your office or kids' school move to the new version of Microsoft Office, then make sure not to save in the new format (OOXML, DOCX, XLSX, etc.) because the current release of OpenOffice can't yet open them.
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