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Microsoft Word Files

This tutorial has information on opening and closing files when both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice are on your computer. The tutorial also explains how to send your files to other people who do not have OpenOffice on their computers.

Installation Of OpenOffice

When you installed OpenOffice, you were asked to make a choice “Select the file types that OpenOffice.org 2.1 will automatically open”. There were three file types shown:

  • Microsoft Word Documents

  • Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets”, and

  • Microsoft Power Point Presentations”.

When you installed OpenOffice the program had the check marks added before the three file types. Since the check marks are there “by default”, most Users will have the check marks added. You may or may not have removed the check marks.

If Check Marks Are Added At Installation

  1. IF check marks ARE added, OpenOffice opens Microsoft files (.doc, .xls, .ppt) into the OpenOffice format. Any Microsoft file thus opened is still on the computer in the original Microsoft format.

  2. IF check marks ARE added, Microsoft applications opens Microsoft files into the Microsoft format.

If Check Marks Are Not Added At Installation

  1. IF check marks are NOT added, Windows opens Microsoft files into a Microsoft format (.doc, .xls, and ,ppt) and NOT into an OpenOffice format.

  2. IF check marks are NOT added, OpenOffice opens Microsoft files into the Microsoft format. Click File > Open and then click on the name of the file.

OpenOffice Is More Flexible Than Microsoft Word

OpenOffice (Writer, Calc, Drawing, Base) can work with files in either OpenOffice file formats or in Microsoft file formats. However, all components of Microsoft Office such as Microsoft Word can only work with files in Microsoft file formats.

Microsoft Office (Word) And OpenOffice On Your computer

Both OpenOffice and Microsoft Office can be on your computer at the same time and work well together.

It can be confusing when you are opening and closing files on your computer. It may appear as if your Microsoft files are converted to OpenOffice files and you cannot get the Microsoft files back; however, both the OpenOffice files and the Microsoft files stay on your computer.

Open Microsoft Word Files With A Microsoft Application

  1. IF check marks were NOT added, and you are in Microsoft Word, you may open the files normally.

  2. IF check marks were NOT added, you can open MS Office files from within OpenOffice normally. You can then work with the files and save them in any format of your choice (Use File > Save As)

  3. IF check marks WERE added and later you want to “Undo” the check marks so that Microsoft Word now opens Microsoft Word files by either Clicking Start > My Documents then clicking on the name of the file, or by using Windows Explorer and clicking on the name of the file, see the last section, Change The Method For Opening Microsoft files, at the bottom of this tutorial.

Change The Method For Opening Microsoft Files

  1. Click on any Microsoft Word file by using either clicking Start > My Documents then clicking on the name of the file, or by using Windows Explorer and clicking on the name of the file. (The Microsoft Word file is highlighted in “My Documents” or in “Windows Explorer”.)

  2. Right-click on the name of the file. Click on Open With > Program. (You will see a list of programs OR The Open With window will appear that has a list of programs.)

  3. Click on Microsoft Word.

  4. Click in the box before the words, “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file”. (A check mark is placed in the box.)

  5. Click OK.

Getting Microsoft Files From The Internet

  1. On the Internet, Copy the Microsoft material of your choice. (The “Copy” section, above has detailed information on copying)

  2. In OpenOffice, click the to the right of the Paste icon to open the menu below.

  1. Click Unformatted text. (The material appears on your OpenOffice document.)

  2. If you have already saved material from the Internet in OpenOffice and you did NOT use Paste > Unformatted text, the following will happen

  3. When you open the document to make changes, you may experience some difficulties when you attempt to add headings to paragraphs so that you can add a Table of Contents. (It may be written in MS Word.) Click the Non-printing characters icon. If you see this icon at the end of each paragraph instead of the OpenOffice Non-printing characters icon, you will need to delete those icons and replace them with the OpenOffice Non-printing characters icon. After doing that, you can make formatting changes without any problems. There may be other formatting issues affected by the difference between OpenOffice and other word processing programs.

  4. Note: You have to manually delete and replace the with the OpenOffice Non-printing characters . None of the steps below will replace the with the OpenOffice Non-printing characters .

  • Format > Default Formatting

  • Clicking on in the Apply Styles > Clear Formatting

  • Saving the document in OpenOffice format

Sending OpenOffice Files To Others

  1. If you send a file in the OpenOffice format to someone who does not have OpenOffice on his or her computer, he or she cannot open the file.

  2. If you send a file to someone without OpenOffice on his or her computer, send the file in the Microsoft file format. Some people may have Microsoft Office (or Word) on their computers.

  3. One solution for a person who only has Microsoft on their computer is to download a free plugin that will give users of Microsoft Office the ability to open, edit, and save files in the OpenOffice format.  To get more information go to http://sun.com/software/star/odf_plugin

Save Files

  1. IF you are working in Microsoft Word, do a normal “Save”. The file will be saved in the Microsoft format.

  2. IF you are working in OpenOffice, you can choose to save the file in either the Microsoft format or in the OpenOffice format (Click File > Save As. In the “File type:” box, select the format of your choice.)

  3. IF you have opened a Microsoft document in OpenOffice and have made no changes to the Microsoft document (.doc) and click File > Close, the file will be saved in the Microsoft format, (.doc) IF you have made changes to the Microsoft document, ( .doc) and click Close, you will get a choice to Save , Discard, or Cancel.

  4. IF you click Cancel, the option of closing is canceled and you will go back into the the document.

  5. IF If you click Discard, the Microsoft file will be saved in the Microsoft format, (.doc.) and the changes will be lost.

  6. IF you click Save, you will get this message:

Icons

The icon of a file indicates what application Windows uses to open the file.

  1. IF check marks are NOT added, the icon for a Microsoft file will be the Microsoft icon.

  2. IF check marks ARE added, the icon for a Microsoft file will be the OpenOffice icon. Even though the OpenOffice icon appears for a file with a Microsoft extension (DOC, XLS, PPT), that file on the hard-drive is still in a Microsoft format.

NOTE

Tutorials are improved by input from users. We solicit your constructive criticism.

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Edited by Sue Barron

Microsoft Word Files          09/01/07

 


Last modified: 2008.04.25 20:33 UTC
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