odf & docx in OpenOffice

Microsoft Office Word 2007

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Unless you have been cast away in some remote island or hiding under some rock or in some cave (btw, of all three choices, the first one does not seem that bad 🙂 in my opinion), the battle between open document format promoted by several open source supporters and the ooxml format promoted by MS has been raging. Most recently, ooxml was not accepted as a national standard and then as an international standard.

In plain words, what it means, is that if you use Word 2007 and save it as docx (not doc format) you may end up with lots of documents nobody can access (unless they part with a sizable amount of money to buy Office 2007). Anyone knows that OpenOffice saves and opens office documents (doc, xls, ppt). What about docx documents?

UPDATE #2: Also check out this updated post from this blog.

UPDATE: The following link is dead and gets you the error page at Novel. Instead, follow this new link and the instructions provided in the destination page. Enjoy!!!

OLD stuff 🙂
The answer is a converter available at this address compliments of the good guys at Novell. If you follow the link you can download either a solution for windows platforms or an rpm archive for linux platforms. From there (the rpm platform) some work is necessary if your setup does not use rpms. In most cases, the command “alien” will take the rpm and translate it into a deb archive or a tar.gz archive (your choice).

I prefer the tar.gz approach and then completed the following:
1) translate rpm to tar.gz
2) unpack tar.gz archive
3) copy the /usr/lib/ooo-2.0 directory (and its subdirectories) to where openoffice is located in my box.
4) restart openoffice
5) Find under the Open or Save menu choices for docx files

NB. It works for both x86 and 64bit boxes.



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19 thoughts on “odf & docx in OpenOffice

  1. Pingback: προσθήκες στο openoffice « re: everything and anything

  2. Pingback: How to convert or open Docx file to doc format - Office tips by TipsoSaurus

  3. OK…I’m a bit confused. In step 3, could you clarify what you mean by “to where openoffice is located in my box”?

    OpenOffice is in /usr/lib/openoffice. soffice is located in /usr/bin/openoffice/programs. I copied /usr/lib/ooo-2.0 and its subdirectories to /usr/bin/openoffice and /usr/bin/openoffice/programs, but don’t see .docx in my open dialog. which soffice yields /usr/bin/soffice, which is a link to ../lib/openoffice/programs/soffice.

  4. @stew

    Unless it is a typo, maybe you should have copied the files to /usr/lib/openoffice/ and not /usr/bin/openoffice?

    I mentioned “to where openoffice is located” because apart from the “default” installation that came with the distro, I have usually a much newer openoffice in /opt/openoffice and change the symlink in /usr/bin/openoffice to point to the new install.


  5. I must have been tired. Yes, it is a typo. ooo-2.0 and its subfolders are located in /usr/lib/openoffice. /usr/lib/openoffice/ooo-2.0 contains two subdirectories: share and program.

    Your note made me think, though — do I perhaps have two installations here? My K menu is calling ooffice. I was looking for soffice. locate doesn’t find an ooffice. I’ll have to dig a little more.

  6. OK. Now that I’m a little more awake, either soffice or ooffice will run v 2.2 of openoffice. ooffice is located in /usr/bin. Also in /usr/bin is a link called openoffice->ooo-wrapper. So, I guess my question is: where to put ooo-2.0?

  7. Perhaps I was not clear enough (in which case, my apologies). When you unpack the Odfconv archive, a directory is created, whose contents have to be copied in the system directories (where you have installed openoffice). Usually, this is the /usr/lib/openoffice, or if you use another location (as is my case), /opt/openoffice.

    In my case, all downloads go to the directory ~/Downloads. There, I find:
    ~/Downloads/OdfConv/usr/ with two subdirectories: lib and share.

    These are the directories which you have to copy to the location of your choice.



  8. I do appreciate the help. I used alien to translate to a tar.gz file. I untarred it, and produced a directory named ooo-2.0. Inside ooo-2.0 were two other directories: program and share. Inside program was OdfConverter, an executable. share contained registry which contained modules which contained org which contained openoffice which contained TypeDetection which contained Filter and Types…I gave up. No lib, as you had.

    Instead, I took a jab in the dark and executed OdtConverter against a .docx file. It correctly converted it. That’s good enough for me.


  9. Pingback: xlsx & openoffice « Blah blah blah

  10. Pingback: microsoft ofice will not support older microsoft office formats « Blah blah blah

  11. Pingback: » odf & docx in OpenOffice « Blah blah blah The Irvken Experience: babblings!

  12. Pingback: docx in openoffice revisited « Blah blah blah

  13. Hi Dan,

    An excellent question, albeit one that I don’t believe in. Let me clarify: Despite the rpm v. tgz. v. deb package differences, the docx converter is an openoffice.org extension and as such you install it from within Openoffice and not your linux version of choice. I have tested it in various platforms: Linux ubuntu, fedora, winxp and mac os x’s neooffice (that closely resembles openoffice).

    Check the update of this post, here from the pages of this blog. It has newer information. And thanks for stopping by.


  14. Pingback: first impressions from openoffice.org 3.x « The daily blah blah

  15. Pingback: docx in openoffice revisited | The daily blah blah

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