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ODF Support In Google Drive 40

An anonymous reader writes: Google's Chris DiBona told a London conference last week that ODF support was coming next year, but today the Google Drive team unexpectedly launched support for all three of the main variants — including long-absent Presentation files. You can now simply open ODT, ODS and ODP files in Drive with no fuss. It lacks support for comments and changes but at least it shows progress towards full support of the international document standard, something conspicuously missing for many years.
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ODF Support In Google Drive

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  • I just uploaded an ODT file that has two columns on a single page.
    GDrive, by default, converts it and removes the column formatting.
    Still not as good as OneDrive then.

    Shame on you Google.
  • This is huge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @03:50AM (#48615201) Journal

    I have been wishing for ODF support in Google Docs since forever. This one feature is what makes it now really feasible for me to start using the Google office tools - becauses I can then open the documents with a myriad other suites that work with ODF!

    • Re:This is huge (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpzToid ( 869795 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @06:16AM (#48615535)

      Plus, Microsoft Office just became less relevant and must now play catch up in order to remain competitive.

      This is huge news for the ODF Standard, and for all the municipalities, universities, etc. who must break free of Microsoft Office Lock-in and 'taxes'.

      • Why must it play catch up? MS Office in later versions opens ODF files just fine.

        • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

          Oh. Thank you for clarifying what I wrote earlier. This is good to know.

        • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

          Does MS Office save ODF files okay also? Like a round-trip?

          • In a word: no. A colleague who knows I prefer LibreOffice thought he was being helpful by sending me a presentation for review in odp format. He'd created and saved it in Powerpoint.

            Guess what? LibreOffice can't make any sense of it. Google Docs can't make any sense of it. But Powerpoint doesn't have a problem with it. If I open it with an archive manager it seems to have the right kind of structure, but the content xml file is so full of boilerplate (font definitions and other crap) that I can't actually f

  • Exporting? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by loosescrews ( 1916996 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @06:14AM (#48615529)
    Did they finally fix exporting as ODF?
  • Google's Beta (Score:4, Insightful)

    by simplypeachy ( 706253 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @09:05AM (#48616147)

    "Features and services may be introduced and withdrawn without notice. Good luck relying on any of them at home or work."

    • Well, almost all the software we pay for has boilerplate EULA that says, "We promise you lots of stuff. But if the software you bought for does not do it, well, tough luck buddy, suck it. Cant sue us". In fact some software actually said, "this software is not fit to do anything. not nuclear reactors definitely".
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @09:24AM (#48616253) Journal
    Everyone knew as long as MS-Office franchise is delivering money to Microsoft in fire hoses, there is no way anyone can compete with it in *any* sphere. It will sustain losses year after year to deny revenue to the competition. Once the competition folds it has the market for itself. Look how long it was able to sustain losses to gain dominance with XBox franchise. Everyone knew that. Many people had ideas to attack it, but lacked the resources. People with resources, I am looking at you Sun microsystems, lacked the competence to pull it off.

    Google went about it strategically. First it peeled of the low hanging fruit, people who don't need all the bells and whistles of a full suite with Google docs/apps. Then it leveraged the central server doing the edits, to create a collaborative edit features that were well ahead of MsOffice when it was introduced. Priced it cheap, pitched it to the enterprises. When it was forcing Microsoft to scramble to offer collaboration tools, Apple helped in the upgrade tread mill battle. In an earlier era, the top exec gets the latest and greatest laptop every six months with latest Office pre-installed and starts belting out documents in the latest format. IT will upgrade rest of the corp. But Apple took all the top execs with its iPad, and now PC is not the latest toy these top honchos were getting. Side effect: The corporate upgrade treadmill slowed down significantly.

    Now it is going for the last section that really needs all the bells and whistles of a full fledged office suite. Instead of spending the money to reinvent the wheel inside google docs, it is just using the well established code base of OpenOffice and the ODF. Even though Microsoft lost the mind share and the market share in percentage terms, its cash cows were producing milk at the same old prodigal rate. Cutting off a significant portion of the MsOffice revenue stream is important for Google's business ops in other spheres. Else Microsoft will under cut it. It even tried to pay people to use Bing.

    Google does not really want to make much money off its google docs franchise. It uses it just to crimp the revenue stream of Microsoft. It is making money elsewhere.

    • ...It will sustain losses year after year to deny revenue to the competition. Once the competition folds it has the market for itself. Look how long it was able to sustain losses to gain dominance with XBox franchise.

      It didn't work [] and Microsoft has little hope of ever recovering its losses. []

  • I do not yet see the functionality in Google Drive. In the "new" layout, there is no option to open an .odt, .ods, .odp file with the Google products Docs, Sheets, Slides. In the "old" layout of Google Drive, I can open the file, but it makes a copy of the file rather than editing the ODF based file. So it looks like I would not be able to edit the same file with the Google tools, then move to a laptop and use LibreOffice on the same file via Google Drive. In place ODF editing not there yet for me...
  • by Ragica ( 552891 ) on Wednesday December 17, 2014 @12:41PM (#48617895) Homepage

    Zoho Docs [] has supported ODT for some time. It's sad so few know about it. Their app Zoho Writer [] even supports editing ODT on android (and perhaps other platforms?). I was amazed when I stumbled on this functionality entirely by accident. The Zoho Writer app also supports opening files from Google Drive and Dropbox... so technically you could say that it supports editing ODT on those platforms as well.

    Furthermore, Zoho has a desktop file sync client that supports Linux, unlike Google who has has seemingly utterly failed to provide a linux client despite promising it when Drive launched.

    Way too little, way too late from Google, as far as I'm concerned.

    (My documents are fairly simple, so I'm not sure how technically complete the ODT support is. But it's worked for me.)

    • Google's support for critical open source infrastructure like Libreoffice has in general been pathetic. Much of the blame for that would appear to lie with that same Chris Dibona.

  • This is excellent news. It's absurd that so many typical documents are stuck in proprietary formats. As stuff changes we should be able to read older documents using any tool we'd like. This is a major step along the way; there are now even more systems that support open document format. Congrats to Google!
  • What would a lazy slashdot post be without a few unexplained acronyms?

    Next up, support for PQZ, RUO, U89, and VUI files!

  • What business of a storage medium is it to tell documents what format they can be?
    We wouldn't accept it if a usb stick refused to work with autocad files. How is this different?

    I store all sorts of gunk on Google Drive and I don't expect it to 'support' or not 'support' it. I just expect it to hang onto it.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas