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Meeting the challenge of differing Office File Formats



OpenOffice default formats

From OpenOffice.org, OpenOffice's default formats at the de jure standard OpenDocument formats
While currently common Microsoft Office can be made to read OpenDocument formatted files with a snap in, many users can't be bothered with such effort, and it isn't the politest to force them to need it (not that it stops other large companies from trying to force us to 'upgrade'). So here is how to set your OpenOffice to the de facto standard of MS office 97-2003 formats.
Open Office 3; setting it to save in Microsoft compatible formats

Open any of the Open Office apps, (example started from 'Text')
  starting from the main menu, select 'Tools', 'Options...'(at the bottom), 'Load/Save', 'General'    at the bottom of the window you get you will see 'Document type' and 'Always save as'    - for 'Text document' set to 'Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP'
   - for 'Spreadsheet' set to 'Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP'
   - for 'Presentation' set to 'Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP'
Go ahead and set all three so that you are fully taken care of on that system.
example of setting for Microsoft Word


To Have OpenOffice open by default for MS Office documents

File Associations (so that Word and Excel documents open in Open Office when double clicked on) Usually only needed on a system that already had a version of Microsoft Office installed

For Windows XP Open 'My Computer' or Windows Explorer (under: Start, Programs, Accessories)
   From here select Tools, Folder Options, File Types Tab.
   Find the Extension 'DOC' (Microsoft Word Document) and select it, the click on 'Change' and OpenOffice.org 3.0 should be an option(otherwise Browse to c:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\swriter ), just select that and make sure that 'Always use....' is checked.

For Windows Vista
   Open 'Control Panel', Programs, under Default Programs 'Make a file type always open a specific program',
    Find the Extension 'DOC' (Microsoft Word Document) and select it, the click on 'Change' and OpenOffice.org 3.0 should be an option(otherwise Browse to c:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\swriter ), just select that and make sure that 'Always use....' is checked.

For Word 2003+ the extension is DOCX to c:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\swriter
For Excel, the extension is XLS and XLSX to c:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\scalc
For PowerPoint, the extension is PPT and PPTX to c:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\program\simpress

Microsoft Office default formats

Every couple versions of Microsoft Office has introduced a new format, and naturally they make it the default such that files you've saved are nolonger readable by those using older versions of Office. So the simple fix to keep your files readible by others, we just set your MS Office defaults to the older format as below.

to be completed once Andy has time on a system that has Microsoft Office installed on it.



Last updated 2009-11-12 Copyright © 1996-2010 Andy Konecny andyweb @ konecnyconsulting.ca