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Do OpenOffice Users Save In Microsoft Format? 620

Posted by kdawson
from the compatibility-or-purity dept.
superglaze writes "Looking through an article on the smartphone office suite Quickoffice, I noted a claim by a company executive that OpenOffice users usually save their documents in a Microsoft format, e.g. .doc. Hence the company has no plans to support .odf. I guess I can see the rationale for this — it helps if you're sending a document to an MS-using company — but what's this community's general experience of saving in .odf vs. .doc format?"
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Do OpenOffice Users Save In Microsoft Format?

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  • by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:37AM (#21026727) Journal
    Been saving in ODT, PDF and TXT for ages... add HTML to that.
    • Count Two (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mpapet (761907)
      I stick to OOo's default format no matter what.

      If I'm in the position of being able to return a .doc and call the shots, I return it as an ODF and tell them to get openoffice.org. I've made numerous switchers that way, all but one of whom thanked me for it.
      • Re:Count Two (Score:5, Insightful)

        by G Fab (1142219) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:54AM (#21027131)
        pretty sure you're full of it, man. IF you already had office paid for, why would you want openoffice? I think openoffice is excellent, but when I gave up on Office 2007, I installed Office 2003.

        If some moron told me to install an entire office program (A sluggish one that cloned the one I already have, at that), I would email his boss and ask for the correct file format. It's common sense. IF you abuse your position to have people install redundant software, you probably won't be in that position for very long. It's like sending your files in Spanish. .doc is the format of business.

        Microsoft has a stranglehold, but it's on a dinosaur. Software like this should not be locally installed, it should be online so you can easily collaborate. Beating Microsoft by copying them is silly because they will always be a step ahead.
        • Re:Count Two (Score:5, Informative)

          by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#21027547) Journal
          I've done some IT over the years along with other things.

          I don't see how having paid for something that has drawbacks can actually cost me a damn thing. I took all the Office disks that my old man bought during my stay "away from the company" back to Staples Office Store, raised hell with the local management that I did NOT accept the licenses, and got back a good bit of cash. Do I run office? Why would I? The entire office runs Gentoo, BSD (various flavors) and one rig of Windows XP on a tripple boot arch.

          Why would I pay for office again??

          For the record, I've been messing with Open Office AND KOffice.

          Both are nice, and neither in windows, nor linux are either worse than MSOffice.

          As I do little business that can't be communicated in plaintext, PDF or webformat, I find that distributing my app to the net would result in forcing my clients to be logged in while in the field. Frankly I'd rather have them out there with a notepad, later transcribing data, than spending all their time connected.

          Frankly, my best notes were actually done on napkins with a few friends at a late night coffee shop chat. I've scanned and printed a few to post script over the years. (Ghost script, if you would.)

          Quite fun to mess with, and quite useful. Helps to NOT pay 5k for something that the IT shop doesn't even get a good markup from.
          • Re:Count Two (Score:4, Informative)

            by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @03:12PM (#21030749)

            Why would I pay for office again??
            I'm not a huge fan of Office, but:
            • Excel's VBA scripting environment is easier to use than OO.org's StarScript or whatever they call it. Excel's VBA editor is very helpful and nice.... small projects only, though!
            • OO.org's graphing functions are even worse than Excel's, which are terrible. Graphing is one of the main things that I have historically hated about OO.org.
            • Complicated Excel documents almost never import 100%.
            • Complicated Word documents almost never import 100%.
            • Forget any document where OLE was used.

            But yeah, for simple documents I find OO.org to be just fine. It helps a lot if you don't have to read in documents from outside the company.

            For most of us, we need to have MS Office installed... and at that point, why use OO.org at all?
        • Missing the point (Score:4, Informative)

          by mpapet (761907) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:22PM (#21027615) Homepage
          One at a time:

          (A sluggish one
          What's sluggish? I read this claim over and over again. In my experience, the only thing vaguely resembling sluggish is the nominally slower load. Please, provide more details.

          that cloned the one I already have, at that)
          That you paid a ridiculous amount of money for or stole. Most small businesses I deal with are very pragmatic and operate legitimately. Therefore they thank me when they can spend less.

          I would email his boss and ask for the correct file format.
          There's lots of small businesses who started their own successful businesses because they cut out that kind of political inaction. Or, maybe you should consider for a moment that I'm the boss.

          It's common sense.
          Maybe to you. But many small businesses LOVE the fact that I show them how to do the same job they used to do for less money.

          you probably won't be in that position for very long.
          Nope. Sorry. Turning away business because I maximize my customer's time/money.

          It's like sending your files in Spanish.
          Don't get me started on the bugs in a .doc written in one default language, then opened in a different default language. ODF? Not so much. .doc is the format of business. Microsoft has a stranglehold, but it's on a dinosaur.
          Wwwait... What just happened there? On the one hand you tell me use .doc, but then establish it is on it's way to extinction. ODF isn't on its way to extinction. I'll use that.

          it should be online so you can easily collaborate
          So, a closed format that's more expensive to use and prevents collaboration is better because it's somehow on the web? ODF is cheaper and easier to communicate with.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            In my experience, the only thing vaguely resembling sluggish is the nominally slower load.

            That's what the OP meant by "sluggish". Nominally slower to you is sluggish to him. Anecdotally, I agree with the OP - the slower load time makes the entire thing seem sluggish.

            That you paid a ridiculous amount of money for

            The point is that he and his company has already have it. Switching away from it once they already have it doesn't save them money. Go on, give me the whole locked-in-for-upgrades schpiel. He and his company can re-evaluate their costs and needs when the time comes to upgrade.

            or stole.

            Why are you making accusatory assumptions lik

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Trogre (513942)
            What's sluggish? I read this claim over and over again. In my experience, the only thing vaguely resembling sluggish is the nominally slower load. Please, provide more details.

            I find the nail-growing load/save times intensely frustrating, to say nothing of the glacial start-up time.

            Compared to MS Office, which goes like a road-runner in comparison. Of course, that would be a road-runner that slams into brick walls from time to time and doesn't know how to pick itself up again. But I've carried that analog
      • Re:Count Two (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:06PM (#21027341)
        You should advocate installing Sun's ODF Plugin [sun.com] for MS Office. It works quite well, as is free (as in beer).
        • Re:Count Two (Score:4, Informative)

          by MsGeek (162936) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:04PM (#21029595) Homepage Journal
          This is useless to me...it doesn't work in Office:Mac v.X or Office:Mac 2004.

          Call me when you consider the Mac users out there, Sun.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      '.doc' is a whole shitload of different formats, some very differentm some only a little different. However, it is because of the differences that sales for new versions of MS Office are driven. If the old programs could read the new formats, then we wouldn't have that problem. Why else do you think that MS Offfice 2007 munges your old files [slideshare.net]?

      If MS published the specs for the old binary formats, we wouldn't ahve that problem either. Or if MS Office supported an open format like OpenDocument we wouldn't

    • by seanellis (302682) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:48AM (#21026999) Homepage Journal
      I save ODF locally, PDF if someone else needs to print it, RTF if I need to send it to someone to edit, DOC if I need hell to freeze over.

      (OT: Has everyone seen the new Open Rights Group T-shirts?)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I save in .doc only if I got the document in .doc, and then not always. Any new document I save in .odf. I normally send .odf documents by email, and when somebody tells me "I can't open it" I send them this link. [openoffice.org]
      • by rwven (663186) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#21027553)
        I'm pretty close to the same. I only use ODF stuff locally, but if someone else needs it that I know is using MSO, i save the document as a .doc. I don't see the .doc format as somehow evil, i just like ODF much better for obvious reasons. At the end of the day, .doc still gets the job done.
      • by ignavus (213578) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @06:37PM (#21033611)
        "DOC if I need hell to freeze over."

        So what you are saying is, saving files in .DOC format helps fight global warming?

        A new advertising angle for Microsoft's marketroids.
    • by Skevin (16048) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:58AM (#21027225) Journal
      I use .odf when I'm feeling vindictive. Sometimes, a company will send me an email, whose entire body is otherwise stored in a .doc file, when it could have otherwise fit in just the regular body. I re-save the document as an .odf, make my changes or answer their questions, and then send it back to them.

      S.
      • by jimicus (737525) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:55PM (#21028281)
        From personal experience, most people pay so little attention to email you send them that it wouldn't matter too much if you were able to send an email that magically turned their computer into a dancing ferret wearing top hat and tails, they wouldn't open it anyway.

        Not unless the subject line was britney_spears_naked, anyway.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Myopic (18616)
        Yeah. When I was in college all the CS majors received an email from the secretary in the administration's office saying to do something with an enclosed Word doc, then email it back to her. She said it was "urgent". I responded and said sorry, I didn't have Word, and would she please send it to me as an RTF, then I could do whatever was necessary. I never heard from her. I guess it wasn't very urgent.

        Since then I have acquired a .doc reader (OS X's TextEdit does a mediocre job with simple ones). But seriou
        • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @05:20PM (#21032623) Homepage
          I actually got an advantage once because I didn't have Word. A company sent me a contract for moving in .doc format. I did my best with WordPad which was the closest thing I had available, but it ended up mangled. I sent it filled-out to the best of my ability, with a comment that I couldn't easily deal with it and I wasn't sure if it was usable.

          Well, they ended up delaying my moving significantly and then asking me for some extra fees that I'd never known about. I objected, and they said this information was all in the doc file I'd signed.

          "Oh, the one I could barely read? It wasn't shown in the version I saw, because I couldn't read much. I sent you what WordPad did with it - what I signed was that."

          Turned out that a lot of the major clauses were missing in that version due to WordPad's crummy handling - but since I'd signed it, and they'd accepted it (I presume without looking at it, otherwise they would have seen how mangled it was), they had technically agreed to the modified version which didn't have any of those fees at all.

          I was tired of dealing with them by then anyway, so I told them to either deliver my stuff at the price that I'd agreed to or send it back to the place they'd picked it up from and refund my money, as I'd certainly never agreed to give them more than they had already received. They delivered it in two days.
    • I save many of my text documents in .doc format. The reason? It "just works" ... OpenOffice is truly amazing when it comes to importing and exporting text documents to MS Word's format. It gets references, fonts, formatting just right even with repeated import/export cycles. It even makes a heroic effort to translate or at least not permanently mangle OLE objects and Visual Basic scripts.

      So, for any document that I'm going to have to share with others... I use .doc format. For my own personal documents
  • Interchangeability is important. The .doc and other formats replaced WordPerfect and .rtf standards as de facto interchange formats. That's what happens when you use software that monopolized a market.
    • by Stripe7 (571267)
      I usually save in the default openoffice format, if I have to send it to work export it into MS format and send it in as the office is based on MS products.
    • Don't give in! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by epiphani (254981) <epiphani@da[ ]et ['l.n' in gap]> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:47AM (#21026981)
      Interchangeability is important. The .doc and other formats replaced WordPerfect and .rtf standards as de facto interchange formats.

      I save in .odf, and when I need to distribute documents, I export the docs to PDF. They're clean and easy to read, and the export is very accurate. PDF is also basically universally supported.

      The MS formats are so particular that the given version of office that people are using will maul my document. OO exports to PDF well, I dont need to check on it.
      • Re:Don't give in! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by VGPowerlord (621254) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:55AM (#21027155)
        PDF is basically universally supported... for reading.

        If you need to exchange documents with someone that needs to edit them, PDF is not an option.
        • Re:Don't give in! (Score:5, Informative)

          by julesh (229690) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:37PM (#21027951)
          If you need to exchange documents with someone that needs to edit them, PDF is not an option.

          How common is this, really? I don't recall any occasion when I've expected somebody from outside my company to edit a document that I started. And inside the company, we've standardized on OO.o, so it doesn't matter which format we use. Which means we use .odt, because (a) the files are smaller and (b) it's easier to automatically process them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by legirons (809082)
            "How common is this, really? I don't recall any occasion when I've expected somebody from outside my company to edit a document that I started."

            The obvious example is resumes that you send via a recruitment agency. They edit it to remove all your contact details and any URLs that link to your work before faxing it to the customer.

            Hence why they refuse to accept PDFs even though that's the most logical format (guaranteed correct layout, compatibility, ease of viewing/printing)
    • I usually save it in whatever format I got it. So, that is .doc more often than not. Why convert? If I create something I save it in the default OO format, but that is rare. But it makes you wonder if the "survey" is a lot of people saving modified .doc files.
  • Save in ODF (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:38AM (#21026757)
    Honestly I always save in ODF on my MAC and then just convert to whatever I need to when I need to send a file to someone else. I get people asking for PDF or Word so it's easiest if I save as ODF and convert from there rather than saving as WORD and losing some of my formatting to convert to something else.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_womble (580291)
      I do the same. In practice I usually send stuff as PDFs because they look better, and there is no real need for anyone to edit anything I send them these days.

      There is one document that I have needed to send someone in a format they could edit in the last few weeks, and he requested that I share it through Google Documents.

      I was pretty impressed with Google docs (first time I used it btw), and that might be the real threat to MS office as an interchange format.
  • by Craig Maloney (1104) * on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:39AM (#21026765) Homepage
    I save my items internally in ODF format, but if I have to send something to another person without OO.o, I need to save it in .doc format. Honestly, if someone could convince the world that ODF is an acceptable format, I'd love to save the step.
    • by Erioll (229536) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:42AM (#21026865)
      I have my "editable" one in the native format, and just do a "save as" for .doc if I'm sending it to someone. Then unfortunately I need to go re-open my actual .odf file, which is a pain.

      Honestly, what I'd like (and might be available, I haven't looked) is the option to automatically save in multiple formats whenever you push the save key. If it automatically "worked" in .odf, but was always exporting along the way to both .doc and .pdf, that'd be ideal for me.
    • by Azarael (896715)
      Same here. Additionally, I deal with a lot of large spreadsheets and the odf version is often %50 smaller so the first thing I do with these is ditch .xls.
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      Ditto,

      I could be a dick and send them .odf knowing they don't have it and don't want it. But I just send .doc to save time.

      Pushing OO is great when people don't have microsoft office to begin with, but once they have it, they don't want to try it.
  • I don't save in either with Writer. I save in PDF. That way ANYONE can open my document, no matter who they are
    • Re:Neither....PDF! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Marcion (876801) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#21026837) Homepage Journal
      I also do PDF quite bit, it also makes you look a bit more professional, as PDFs have a nice snobby image.

      However, my main format, especially when collaborating is .txt. The best supported open format in the history of computing. Plain Text forever!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by s.bots (1099921)
        .txt is superb for collaborating, and once all the work is finally done, then you can apply the formatting. All too often you can find yourself dicking around with format because you had to save an unfinished document with formatting.
  • If it's for personal use .odf ... if I'm sending it to someone via email/web it's .pdf ... only if I'm receiving, editing, then replying do I leave a document in the .doc format (ie - I never generate .doc ... I do pass them back if that's how they come to me.) As for these "statistics" which tell us we all use .doc I'd say it's just the usual FUD ;)
  • I save my own stuff in odf. I save to .doc if I need to send someone in my department (computer science... yes, even here) something they need to edit, and otherwise I send people a pdf.
  • my experiences (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668)
    When I installed it for someone who was too cheap to pay the ridiculous $175 fot Office 2003, I got a call real quick when they brought a "powerpoint" project to school that was saved in non-microsoft format and it ruined their whole presentation. They weren't very happy. If more people supported it, it wouldn't be a problem. If Microsoft would quit being jerks about it and supported opening open formats that Open Office uses, that would be ever better!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mpapet (761907)
      That's funny because I had a presentation go horribly wrong when I opened the presentation in the customer's office and Office 2003 needed to download new features to open the presentation. Their IT man wasn't in the office that day. Killed a few trees with that presentation.

      Lesson #1: Microsoft's Office suite has as many gotchas as OO.org.

      Lesson #2: Don't ever trust your potential customer when they tell you, "Don't worry we've got all that.."
  • by John Jamieson (890438) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#21026815)
    It is software companies like this that force us to save in MS formats!
  • I use the native Open Office formats. If I have to send something to someone else, I usually dump a PDF. I've not saved a file in a .doc or .xls format for quite some time now. I'll save to a .doc file if and only if the receiver has an explicit requirement for that.
  • .DOC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GWLlosa (800011) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#21026823)
    I have and use OpenOffice, but frequently wind up writing stuff that I'm going to want to send to a friend or allow him to grab off my share or whatnot. Rather than dick around with the whole format thing, its easier to just use .doc. Saves time and hassle.
  • ODF-only here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rbanffy (584143) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#21026839) Homepage Journal
    Finished documents are sent in PDF format. Internal documents are strictly ODF.

    I only send a .doc when I absolutely need some MS vict^H^H^H^Huser to contribute to the document.

    And, even then, only when I can't make him/her install OpenOffice.
  • Interopability (Score:2, Interesting)

    I use it but I save in DOC format. Here's the problem: None of the computers I go to have support for ODF. A document that you can't open is absolutely useless. We live in a Microsoft dominated world and since most businesses use DOC format, that is what we, the users of free office software are stuck using until more support for ODF comes to more computers. With Ubuntu on the rise, this may become more and more common, but as of now, we are pretty much stuck using doc format if we want to open these docs o
  • Unfortunately, if you are writing a document which is going to be distributed outside of your organisation, you have to.

    As much as it would be great if more organisations were using open office, when there's an 99% monopoly, your shooting yourself in the foot if you don't.

    Argue till your blue in the face against me here, but you know it's true.
  • in a word, yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by kevin.fowler (915964) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:44AM (#21026925) Homepage
    Eveything I need to send document files to uses Word or PDF. Most places I send pr's or ad copy to use the old standby formats. No ODF at the local newspaper yet.
  • No way... I've been using Open Office since the start (used Star Office before) and have good reasons not to trust the office compatibility (haven't tried the last version of Open Office, and it might have gotten better, but it'll be a while before I trust it with my information or with my commercial information exchanges).

    I use the free Word 97 Viewer (available in MS's site) to view .docs sent to me, and save in propietary formats for storage, and PDF to send over email to other people. When I needed to d
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@l y n x . b c .ca> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:46AM (#21026971) Journal
    If I am sending the document to someone who has explicitly requested the document be the document in Office format, only then will I save in that format (and even then, I still have it saved in openoffice format also, since that will always be my working copy). For all other cases where I am sending, I export to PDF.
  • I almost always save in .odt, and if I need to share a document with someone who doesn't have OpenOffice.org (pretty much everyone), I send them a .pdf. Only on rare occasions, when I need to edit a document on a computer without OpenOffice.org or on the even rarer occasions that I actually want someone else to edit a document do I save in .doc format. I should note, however, that I also use Word somewhat frequently; when someone sends me a .doc, I'm not interested in dealing with conversion issues, and Wor
  • We used to. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:50AM (#21027037) Homepage
    Internally we used to default all OO.o installs to save as MSFT formats. we changed that recently.

    We changed all internal to OO.o formats and all documents that exit the company must be sent as pdf. we did this for 3 reasons. compatability, security, and simplicity.

    compatable. even a solaris machine can display a pdf. simplicity. PDF is actually the most universal document format no matter what Microsoft says.

    Security. We had a problem with a salesperson that sent a contract to a client. the client sent it back and accepted it. The salesperson used the file sent back by the customer as the legal document and did not check it for changes. we got SCREWED because the asshole client changed several things silently in their favor.

    If we sent them a PDF, they cant play that game as all contracts have to be sent to legal for acceptance as the oridional document format. this solved this problem.
  • Sounds to me like they don't want to anger the beast. Why else would they want to support a format that hasn't yet been officially accepted as a ISO standard and comes with 5000+ pages of incomplete documentation?

    For the record: I save as .odf and I don't give a sh*t if somebody can't figure out how to open them.
  • by 56 (527333) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:51AM (#21027063)
    I work at a tech desk at a university library and see a significant number of people who use open office, mainly Mac users. All of the people who have come to the desk with open office issues save in .odf. Their problem is that they want to print at the library, which requires the use of one of our information commons computers and therefore Word. So I have to show them how to save their documents as .doc files in order to load them in Word. None of them knew how to save as a .doc file and only one of them was even aware that open office saved as .odf.
    • by MickLinux (579158) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:20PM (#21027581) Journal
      It seems to me that your library should install open office on those computers, as well. It goes against the spirit of anti-trust legislation to have public utilities (such as a university library) forcing people into a specific company's product in order to get full print capability. That is typically going to be the case, as well, because since .doc is a closed format, not everything transfers over correctly.

      Now, on the other side of the coin may be the fact that Microsoft has provided the library with computers for free, under the contract that no openoffice gets installed on them. Fine, and well -- then set up one computer which the library has purchased free and clear, that sends the .odfs to the print server.

      If the contract specifies no open-office anywhere, at all, then I'd say that the users should be informed of that fact, and be given the opportunity to sign up on a list of complainants, for the purpose of a university-wide lawsuit against Microsoft.

  • I always default to native formats, and export to MS if necessary.

    There used to (and may still) be a bug in the OOo spreadsheet, Calc, when it exported to .xls. If I had a cell that calculated a value from another tab that was itself a calculated value that referred to another cell (on any tab, even the current one), that would not export cleanly. When the xls file launched in Excel, it would show "!ERR" or something. If you clicked on the cell, then its equation and hit enter, it would evaluate correct

  • Save all my own files in ODF format. Anything I'm sending to someone else goes as PDF or DOC. I suspect pretty much everyone else will do the same. There's that network effect for you.

    Of course the executive will only see DOC files, and well, because he's retarded mentally like so many of his ilk, assume that everyone uses DOC for everything.

     
  • ODT for my own rw copy, PDF attachments, homework, etc.
  • I have been using OpenOffice for several years now. From before 1.0 anyway.

    In order

    1. PDF

    2. Openoffice ODF

    3. MS Office

    I do save a lot of files in PDF, from news sources etc.

  • Save in OpenOffice formats, usually export to PDF, sometimes export to .DOC.

    I have a fully licensed copy of Word 97, but haven't bought a Microsoft Office product since then.

  • Like many of the other people responding, I save in different formats, depending on the situation. Often it's ODF for myself and MS Office for a final copy sent to someone else. PDF and HTML certainly have their place as well.

    I think ODF is the better archival format because the binary formats of MS Office are not even 100% compatible across different versions of MS Office today. They are convoluted and difficult to support. Microsoft is sure to phase out support eventually. Once you get into the newer
  • I use OOo at home and save everything in ODF format (as does my wife). If we need to send something to someone, PDF is usually the winner.
  • Personally If I write a document in openoffice I will save it in the default format if its for my use. If I however need to send it to someone I will save it as a PDF. If they need to edit the file and they are on windows I will send it in windows document format. Generally Word 95 to be easy.
  • This is my experience, saving a 72 page document with graphics and usual formatting (bold, italics, and a few pictures).

    Saving to .doc appeared faster. In other words, the save operation concluded in less time as compared to .odt. I am yet to find out why.

  • I always save if OpenDocument format. When it comes time to send a copy to someone else, I send a PDF, unless they need to be able to edit it. If they do, then I save a copy in MS Office format and send that, unless I think they're likely to have OOo -- or might be interested in installing it.

    Regardless, my working copy is always in OpenDocument format. The only time I use MS Office formats as working formats is if I'm collaborating on a document with people who don't have OOo, and then I actually use

  • I save as DOC and XLS formats because I don't want to have to convert the files when I share them. Since I'm using only the common features, I don't lose anything in the "foreign" format. Often I want to just email someone quick a spreadsheet, and I don't want to take 10x as long to open the OO.o doc in OO.o, Save As, clean up, and then maintain two different formats of the same doc as I revise it in collaboration with the people with whom I'm sharing it.

    If those OO.o files were really proper objects, rathe
  • Going to ODT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:58AM (#21027219)
    My documents are going towards ODT.
    When I save to ODT, the documents are stable.
    When I save to .DOC the indices and contents get messed up. Custom masks get messed up.

    However, I do use OOo to fix corrupted word documents. I open them, save them as ODT, then resave them as word and then word does not crash on them any more.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:50PM (#21028185) Homepage Journal
    I save all of my files in ODF/ODT, and if I need to submit them to just about anyone else I have to convert them to an MS-Office (.doc, .xls, etc...) format. I do the same with audio files, image files, etc, using open file formats instead of their closed/proprietary/patent-encumbered brethren.

    The problem is that people's computers aren't coming pre-installed with software that can read our "primary" Open File Formats. Heck -- even when I send my Macintosh-toting friends Ogg Vorbis files, they don't have any idea how to open them, so eventually I get enough complaints and just re-encode in mp3 format (and feel bad about trying and failing at spreading the Good Word).

    Perhaps the best thing that us geeks could do to support open file formats is to develop a little "Unknown File Format" system utility for all of the current flavors of Windows and OSX. The utility would sit in the background and would pop up a little note whenever the user tried to open a file of an unrecognized type, telling the user that the file was, say, an XCF image file created by The GIMP, and offering to download an appropriate program to either view or edit the file.

    If we had such a tool, we could feel much better about sending out open file formats like Ogg Vorbis, knowing that even clueless users would only be a click away from opening our files.
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:37PM (#21029089)
    What we need is a small portable efficient ODF viewer that can be used as a stand-alone app, as well as a browser plugin, just to render and view + print ODF files. That way people won't have to have large applications just to print these files.

    Also, it seems to me though that (when sharing) OpenOffice users might not save in .odf or .doc format as much as they would PDF format, actually.
  • by Allnighterking (74212) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @04:23PM (#21031933) Homepage
    Normally I hand it to Win Users in PDF but frequently I am force to save in doc format to overcome win users shortcomings.

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