Sharing Files with Microsoft
Office Users
Title:
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users: 
Version:
1.0
First edition: November 2004
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Contents
Overview
.........................................................................................................................................iv
Copyright and trademark information
........................................................................................iv
Feedback
....................................................................................................................................iv
Acknowledgments
......................................................................................................................iv
Modifications and updates
.........................................................................................................iv
File formats
......................................................................................................................................1
Bulk conversion
...............................................................................................................................1
Opening files
....................................................................................................................................2
Opening text format files
.............................................................................................................2
Opening spreadsheets
..................................................................................................................2
Opening presentations
.................................................................................................................2
Opening graphics files
.................................................................................................................2
Opening formula files
..................................................................................................................3
Saving files
.......................................................................................................................................3
Default file format
.......................................................................................................................3
Export to PDF
.............................................................................................................................3
Saving files in other formats
.......................................................................................................3
Writer can save to these file formats
...........................................................................................4
Calc can save to these file formats
..............................................................................................4
Impress can save to these file formats
.........................................................................................4
Draw can save to these file formats
.............................................................................................4
The HTML writer can save in these formats
...............................................................................5
AportisDoc and PocketWord files for transport to your PDA
....................................................5
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)
............................................................................................5
Linked files
......................................................................................................................................5
WordArt / FontWork
........................................................................................................................6
Vector graphics
................................................................................................................................6
Frames / text boxes
..........................................................................................................................6
Active content controls
....................................................................................................................6
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
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Macros
..............................................................................................................................................6
Import / export / sharing issues in text documents
..........................................................................7
Good practice in text documents
.................................................................................................7
Compatibility settings in OpenOffice.org for the current document
...........................................7
Tops of pages
..........................................................................................................................7
Aligning tabs
..........................................................................................................................7
Spacing between paragraphs
..................................................................................................7
Font and font spacing
..................................................................................................................8
Tables
..........................................................................................................................................8
Mail merge documents
................................................................................................................8
Forms
...........................................................................................................................................9
Footnotes, end notes, tables of contents and indexes
..................................................................9
Numbered paragraphs, outline numbering, cross-references
....................................................10
Page numbering
.........................................................................................................................10
Date and time fields
...................................................................................................................10
Importing Word fields
...............................................................................................................11
Import / export / sharing issues in Spreadsheets
............................................................................12
Password protected workbooks
.................................................................................................12
Number of rows
.........................................................................................................................12
Number of sheets
.......................................................................................................................12
Form fields
................................................................................................................................13
Array formulas
..........................................................................................................................13
Optional parameters in formulas
...............................................................................................13
Functions
...................................................................................................................................13
DataPilot / Pivot Table
.........................................................................................................14
AutoFilter
..................................................................................................................................14
Charts
........................................................................................................................................15
Right aligned text
......................................................................................................................15
Number formats
.........................................................................................................................15
Grid lines
...................................................................................................................................15
Import / export / sharing issues in presentations
............................................................................16
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
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Color gradients and borders
......................................................................................................16
Multimedia
................................................................................................................................16
Chart animations
.......................................................................................................................16
Pack and Go
..............................................................................................................................16
Fields
.........................................................................................................................................16
Action Settings / Interaction
......................................................................................................16
PowerPoint custom animations – Impress object effects
..........................................................17
PowerPoint  – Impress slide transitions
....................................................................................17
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
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Overview
Overview
This document describes some of the issues when importing and exporting Microsoft Office
(MSO) to and from OpenOffice.org (OOo).
Copyright and trademark information
The contents of this Documentation are subject to the Public Documentation License,
Version 1.0 (the "License"); you may only use this Documentation if you comply with the
terms of this License. A copy of the License is available at:
http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/PDL.rtf
The Original Documentation is Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users. The Initial Writer
(s) of the Original Documentation is/are Ian Laurenson 
©
2004. All Rights Reserved. (Initial
Writer contact(s): hillview@paradise.net.nz
. The Initial Writer contact(s) is to report  errors
in the documentation. For questions regarding how to use the software, subscribe to the Users
Mail List and post your question there: http://support.openoffice.org/index.html
)
All trademarks within this guide belong to legitimate owners.
Feedback
Please direct any comments or suggestions about this document to:
authors@user-faq.openoffice.org.
Acknowledgments
Thanks to the OOoAuthors team for proofreading this work, particularly Paul Miller and Jean
Hollis Weber.
Modifications and updates
Version
Date
Description of Change
1.0
7 November 2004
First published edition
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
iv
File formats
File formats
This section gives an overview of file format from an end-user’s perspective. For details
about XML formats, see http://books.evc-cit.info/book.php.
OpenOffice.org “natively” stores its files in a compressed (zipped) human readable (when
unzipped) XML format. This format is openly documented and is available under the GNU
General Public Library License (http://www.gnu.org
).
Note: Some compression utilities only check the file extension and so may not recognize the file
as being compressed in the zip format. To open an OpenOffice.org file with such a compression
utility, rename the file to have the extension .zip.
By contrast, Microsoft Office files are stored in a proprietary format which is not human
readable. Microsoft have not publicly documented their file formats, which causes a lot of
problems for software developers to write filters for importing and exporting in Microsoft
Office formats.
Table 1. File extensions
Document
type
Application
Document
Extension
Template
Extension
Microsoft
Office eqv
Text
Writer
.sxw
.stw
.doc .dot
Spreadsheet
Calc
.sxc
.stc
.xls .xlt
Drawing
Draw
.sxd
.std
na
Presentation
Impress
.sxi
.sti
.ppt .pot .pps
Formula
Math
.sxm
na
Master document
Writer
.sxg
na
HTML document
Writer
.html
na
NoteOpenOffice.org can open Microsoft Office files. The reverse is NOT true: Microsoft Office
can not open OpenOffice.org formats. So if you need to deal with someone using Microsoft
Office, save your file first in the native OpenOffice.org format; then you can save it to one of the
many supported Microsoft Office formats. This way you ensure that even if the filter can’t
translate perfectly, you have your original in its native format.
Bulk conversion
To convert a lot of files:
File > AutoPilot > Document Converter...
Note: Converting a lot of files can take a long time. Recommend to set it going when the
computer is not going to be used for a while, but check for sufficient disk space.
Before doing a bulk conversion of files, think about whether it is really necessary. Read this
document right through to get an appreciation of the limitations of the conversion process.
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
1
Opening files
Opening files
Opening text format files
OpenOffice.org Writer can import the standard Microsoft Office formats (as shown in the
right column of Table 1) as well as the .rtf, .txt, .csv and StarWriter formats. 
When opening .HTM or .HTML files, OpenOffice.org customizes Writer for working with
these files.
Opening spreadsheets
In addition to the native formats, OpenOffice.org can open the following spreadsheet
formats:
Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (*.xls; *.xlw)
Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP Template (*.xlt)
Microsoft Excel 95 (*.xls; *.xlw)
Data Interchange Format (*.def)
dBase (*.dbf)
Sylk
Rich Text Format
Text CSV (*.csv; *.txt)
Lotus 123 (*.wk1; *.wk1)
StarCalc formats
HTM and HTML files including Web page
queries
Opening presentations
In addition to the native formats, OpenOffice.org can open the following presentation
formats:
Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP (*.ppt; *.pps)
Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP Template (.pot)
StarDraw, StarImpress
CGM - Computer Graphics Metafile (*.cgm)
Opening graphics files
In addition to the native formats, OpenOffice.org can open the following graphic formats:
BMP
DXF
EMF
EPS
GIF
JPEG
MET
PBM
PCD
PCX
PGM
PLT
PNG
PPM
PSD
RAS
SGF
SGV
Star Draw
SVM
TGA
TIFF
WMF
XBM
XPM
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
2
Opening files
Opening formula files
In addition to its native format, OpenOffice.org can open the following formula files:
StarMath and MathML (*.mml).
When opening a Word document that contains an embedded equation editor object, if the
option for it is checked in Tools > Options > Load/Save > Microsoft Office then the object
will be automatically converted to an OpenOffice.org Math object.
Saving files
Default file format
To set the default file format when
saving new files:
Tools > Options... > Load/Save >
General
Note: If the default is set to an
OpenOffice.org format and a Microsoft
Office file is being saved, then a warning
dialog will be displayed about potential
loss of formatting.
Export to PDF
In each application there is the ability to directly export to PDF. This industry-standard file
format for file viewing is ideal for sending the file to someone else to view using Acrobat
Reader or any other PDF display program like ggv or Xpdf.
You can export directly to PDF using a button on the toolbar (next to the Printer icon) for
export directly to PDF, or by choosing File > Export, which allows you to select some more
detailed options.
Saving files in other formats
To save files in different formats:
File > Save As > File Type:
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
3
Figure 1. The first half of the writer Save As
pulldown menu
Saving files
Writer can save to these file formats
In addition to its native formats, Writer can save in these formats:
OpenOffice.org Writer template (.stw)
Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc)
Microsoft Word 95 (.doc)
Microsoft Word 6.0 (.doc)
Rich Text Format (.rtf)
StarWriter 5.0 (.sdw)
StarWriter Template (.vor)
StarWriter 4.0 (.sdw)
StarWriter 4.0 Template (.vor)
StarWriter 3.0 (.sdw)
StarWriter Template 3.0 (.vor)
Text (.txt)
Text Encoded (.txt)
HTML (.html; .htm)
Note: The .rtf format is a common format for transferring text files between applications but be
aware of the lack of formating available in that format. It also seems that there is a bug
concerning files saved in the .rtf format that contain images when opened by Microsoft Office.
So the best way to pass a file in writer to a Microsoft Word user is to save it as Microsoft Word
97/2000/XP (.doc).
Calc can save to these file formats
In addition to its native formats, Calc can save in these formats:
Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (*.xls; *.xlw)
Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP Template (*.xlt)
Microsoft Excel 95 (*.xls; *.xlw)
Data Interchange Format (*.dif)
dBase (*.dbf)
SYLK (*.slk)
Text CSV (*.csv; *.txt)
StarCalc formats (*.sdc, *.vor)
HTM and HTML files 
Impress can save to these file formats
Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP (*.ppt; *.pps)
Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP Template (*.pot)
StarDraw, StarImpress (*.sda, *.sdd, *.vor)
Impress can also export to MacroMedia Flash (*.swf) and any of the graphics formats as
listed below for Draw.
Draw can save to these file formats
Draw can only save in its native format and StarDraw format, but can export to:
BMP
EMF
EPS
GIF
JPEG
MET
PBM
PCT
PGM
PNG
PPM
RAS
SVG
SVM
TIFF
WMF
XPM
Sharing Files with Microsoft Office Users
4
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