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From the pages of this blog, I wrote in the past about the ability of openoffice to open and save in the notorious docx (and xlsx and pptx) format the new MS Office 2007 introduced. My focus at the time was (and still is) how this can be done in various linux platforms. However, several people have asked about the possibility that Openoffice offers even for win32 platforms. So, here is, once again, a list of options (either web-based or platform-independent) for dealing with the mess that is docx (apparently, now an iso standard).
First, there are a couple of options that allow this translation from the web. You simply upload the file and get back the translated copy. I have not tried such options and I don’t know whether I would like to share with some other people personal files.
Zamzar online converter (all files). It allows for the translation of all types of files (docx, xlsx, pptx and more).
docx2doc online converter for docx2 files. Apparently, they offer a desktop conversion tool in partnership with Amazon. This tool can be found here: docXconverter, standalone, desktop conversion tool. Please be aware that this tool requires a fee.
Moving from web-choices to desktop ones, it should be said that the upcoming OpenOffice 3 will natively save (and open) docx, xlsx, pptx files. In the mean time, another option is to use Word 2003 viewer which can be downloaded from this site: word viewer. In order to use the new docx files, you will need this compatibility pack for older office versions and the job is done. Note, that you can install word viewer in linux under wine (why you would want to do this, though, is beyond me) 🙂 Also note, that the compatibility pack is necessary for office 97, 2000 etc.
If someone is still bound and tied to the MS office platform, this odf converter translator add-in for MS Office will make it smart enough to save and open odf files produced by OpenOffice. Of course, the option to use OpenOffice.org under Windows is also viable and should be promoted, as it offers enhanced capabilities to the end user.
Another indirect way from docx to odf may be via this conversion tool: docx2rtf. Docx2Rtf is a freeware file converter for MS Word 2007 and OpenOffice Sxw and Odt files. According to the site: “Docx2Rtf does not require Office 2007 or OpenOffice installed in order to work. Word 2007 docx files and OpenOffice files will be converted with formatting, but no images.” Understandably, this may not be what many people have in mind.
The key in both cases is the installation of an oxt file (an openoffice extension), which can be installed under the tools -> Extensions Manager. There are a couple of places where this oxt file can be downloaded from. First, from Novell or from go-oo.org.
A couple of interesting notes: Novell also produces its own version of open office, which incorporates this extension. Go-oo.org offer their own version of openOffice, with “… new features in development and […] functionality not yet accepted up-stream (from their website).
One last thing: If you get a docx, xlsx, pptx file via email, do what I do: return it to the sender and ask them to send you a check for so many $$ in order for you to buy a copy of MS Office. Also, inform them of the ability of OpenOffice and last, as a courtesy, ask them to be kind enough to use the File -> Save As choice and save their work as doc/xls/ppt files.
PS. If this list is incomplete (and it most likely is), please let me know and I will add what’s missing.
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