Is there an app for it?
October 13, 2010 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Is there a Mac app to convert OpenOffice documents to Word?

Some of my colleagues at work use OpenOffice and send me documents in the ODF file format. Since I have no intention to install OpenOffice on my Mac, I had until now to ask them to send me the document in another format again or convert them online with sites such as In the long run both options are not really satisfying.

Hence my question: Is there a way to get Microsoft Office/Pages to read ODF or is there a Mac app to convert OpenOffice documents to Microsoft Word?
posted by jfricke to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
You could install OpenOffice on your Mac, and re-save as a format that Word can open. Or you might want to give LibreOffice a shot. It's a promising new fork of OpenOffice due to concerns about the OpenOffice project's governance. Or check out NeoOffice, a much older port of OpenOffice, designed to make it more Mac-like...
posted by SemiSophos at 12:20 PM on October 13, 2010

TextEdit as of Leopard has builtin support for ODF text files, though it doesn't have full formatting support. Beyond using a conversion service, you only have two other options:

* Get all of your co-workers to agree on a single format that you can support.

* Install OpenOffice, open the files and re-save in your preferred format.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2010

Er - I think I don't understand the problem here.

Microsoft Office opens OpenOffice documents natively. If you get an ODF/ODS/etc file, you can just open it with Microsoft Office.
posted by koeselitz at 12:38 PM on October 13, 2010

koeslitz: Only in Office 2007 or later for Windows. Office 2008 for Mac doesn't support ODF/ODS/etc. There doesn't seem to be any info on if Office 2011 for Mac will support ODF.
posted by zsazsa at 12:50 PM on October 13, 2010

[Ah. Sorry.]
posted by koeselitz at 12:56 PM on October 13, 2010

Since I have no intention to install OpenOffice on my Mac ... is there a Mac app to convert OpenOffice documents to Microsoft Word?

You've inherently ruled out the answer to your question. Can you elaborate on why you don't want to install OpenOffice? Is it because it's an X11 app? Have you tried NeoOffice instead?
posted by Rhomboid at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2010

Rhomboid: OpenOffice has had Aqua support since 3.0 came out in 2008. No X11 required.
posted by zsazsa at 2:17 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can batch-convert ODF documents from the command line. You're not opening OpenOffice, but rather OO runs in the background and handles background requests to convert or process documents.

It's not "drag and drop", but this should be useful if you have a lot of conversion work to do and want to automate the process.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, hey, I totally missed the "I have no intention to install OpenOffice on my Mac" bit up there. Sorry! Still, the other ports feel less terrible. LibreOffice looks particularly promising.
posted by SemiSophos at 3:44 PM on October 13, 2010

I like BP's solution, but I honestly don't understand why your coworkers can't save in DOC format. It's the standard. If they cannot, why not upload to Google Docs, save in Google Docs format, and then save as a Word file?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:03 PM on October 13, 2010

.ODT is way more standard than .DOC (which even Microsoft doesn't use by default anymore). It's an open-source Open Document Format for Office Applications filetype, developed cooperatively to provide a common-denominator word processor filetype, open to conversion by anyone who chooses to use it. It's the very lingua franca of compatibility. If your word processor doesn't support it, it's deliberately not supporting it in an effort to lock you into exclusive use of their proprietary filetype.

The Wikipedia article on the Open Document initiative lists nineteen office suites, stand-alone word processors, desktop publishing applications, and other software capable of opening and converting .ODT files. If you don't want to use OpenOffice, try one of the other eighteen! I honestly couldn't think of an in-production word processor that's not on that list (until zsazsa pointed out that Word for Mac doesn't conform).
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 10:28 PM on October 13, 2010

Uh, yeah, sure, that page lists 19 things but how many of those a) export .doc, b) run on OS X and c) aren't web based (the criteria given by the OP.) If you count AbiWord which apparently hasn't released an OS X version in 5 years, then the number is two, otherwise it's one: OpenOffice.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:50 AM on October 14, 2010

« Older Please help me fix this faucet fast!   |   Basic boring black shoe? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.