odf in office (the other way round)

OpenOffice.Image via Wikipedia

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From the pages of this blog I have written about how to open a docx (office 2007) file in openoffice. This happens frequently with a client, a customer, a colleague who just updated (or was forced to update) to the newest version of Microsoft’s Office suite. And many readers have commented that often they received (as have I) docx files as attachments and don’t know what to do with them.

(Begin diversion)
I recently received such a file, an invitation to join a social club. I returned it with a polite note asking to receive it in doc, pdf or txt.
(End diversion)

But, what happens if someone (you, perhaps) started sending odf files to all those MS Office users? How, could the recipient(s) of such a file work with it, open it, edit it and then save it back as odf?

There are many possibilities, all free (isn’t it funny that you can work in an expensive, proprietary world with free software?):

  1. The SUN ODF plugin for Office. This is a SUN product which allows users of Office (versions 2000, XP, 2003, 2007 SP1) to read, edit and save an odf file.
  2. The Open XML/Odf Converter for Office. This is a sourceforge project with similar capabilities to the previous plugin. A command-line translator is also available for batch processing jobs.
  3. Microsoft Corp. According to this press release, the upcoming SP2 for Office 2007 will offer the ability to work with many additional formats including odf.
  4. OpenOffice.org. Educate the person who received the file that there is a free alternative to the MS Office way that does what MS Office and more…

If you know of additional methods of working or educating people who receive odf file in an Office environment, please let me know. What has your experience been in this area?


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