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
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
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.
- IF check marks ARE added, Microsoft applications opens Microsoft files into the Microsoft format.
If Check Marks Are Not Added At Installation
IF check marks are NOT added, Windows opens Microsoft files into a Microsoft format (.doc, .xls,
and ,ppt) and NOT into an OpenOffice format.
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
IF check marks were NOT added, and you are in Microsoft Word, you may open the files normally.
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)
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
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”.)
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.)
Click on Microsoft Word.
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.)
Getting Microsoft Files From The Internet
On the Internet, Copy the Microsoft material of your choice. (The “Copy” section,
above has detailed information on copying)
In OpenOffice, click the to the right of the Paste icon to open the menu below.
Click Unformatted text. (The material appears on your OpenOffice document.)
If you have already saved material from the Internet in OpenOffice and
you did NOT use Paste > Unformatted text, the following will happen
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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
IF you are working in Microsoft Word, do a normal “Save”. The file will be saved in the Microsoft format.
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.)
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.
IF you click Cancel, the option of closing is canceled and you will go back into the the document.
IF If you click Discard, the Microsoft file will be saved in the Microsoft format, (.doc.) and
the changes will be lost.
IF you click Save, you will get this message:
The icon of a file indicates what application Windows uses to open the
IF check marks are NOT added, the icon for a Microsoft file will be the Microsoft icon.
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.
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Edited by Sue Barron
Microsoft Word Files 09/01/07
Last modified: 2008.04.25 20:33 UTC