Crossing the digital divide with Openoffice.org

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The Openoffice.org productivity suite, whose main modules are the Writer word processor, Calc spreadsheet and Impress presentation package, has extremely good filters for exchanging files.

You can use these to open and edit Microsoft Office format documents in Openoffice.org and vice versa. You can save Openoffice.org files as Word documents, Excel tables or Powerpoint presentations, in a range of Microsoft Office formats, such as Office 97, 2000 or XP.

In this feature we’ll give you some practical tips on how to share documents between these two suites with the minimum of fuss, plus we’ll show you where problems are likely to arise and how to avoid compatibility issues.

The exchange of text documents between Microsoft Word and Writer works very well. Even long documents retain their text formatting intact, although version 2.x of the open source suite is much improved compared with version 1.x. Even so, transfer works better from Openoffice.org to Office than the other way round.

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