Tips how to open and work with the Microsoft Office and OpenOffice documents

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About latest XML document file formats

The latest document formats are based on the Open XML architecture, a zipped XML based file format for text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. Open Office XML is de facto standard for any modern documents used by many developer subjects and governments specified in ISO/IEC 29500:2008.

Both Microsoft Office documents formats, such as DOCX, XLSX or PPTX or documents formats, such as ODT, ODS or ODP are based on Open XML format, thus can be opened in any software that is capable to handle Open XML formats is able to work with them.

How to open latest document formats

To open and work with the documents you can try one of the following option depending on what you need to do with the file. If you need to work with documents on regular basis its probably better to get yourself whole office suite.

Use latest Microsoft Office or editions

Microsoft Office logoThe most obvious option is to open and work with the documents in latest Microsoft Office 2010, which supports all documents in Open XML format. Alternatively, if you already own some older edition of Microsoft Office and do not want purchase upgrade, you can download compatibility pack for latest Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats from Microsoft Website.

If you do not want to play for rather expensive software like Microsoft Office just to be able to work with few files, you can get any of the free office suits such as or LibreOffice available for download on Internet.

While there will be probably no problem with opening formats in Microsoft Office, there may be some loss of special Microsoft Office features or formatting embedded or used in its documents, when opened in another office suite that does not support such features. However the actual text, spreadsheet or presentation data should not be affected.

Use one of the available viewers

If you do not want to work with the documents, just read or print them, you can download any of free document viewers available on internet. Microsoft offers free Word, Excel or PowerPoint viewers for download on their website. But, you can probably find many other viewers on sites with free/shareware software, or on website of office suite developers.

Use a document web service

You can also use one of the document services to open your documents, or even take advantage of cloud technology and web storage if you work with your documents daily. Popular document web services include Google Docs, Microsoft Office Web Apps or Zoho.

Google Docs logo

Related software and links:

Apache OpenOffice ( icon

Apache OpenOffice (    Multiplatform platform
A free multi-platform productivity office suite for Windows, Mac and Linux

Apache OpenOffice Calc ( Calc) icon

Apache OpenOffice Calc ( Calc)    Multiplatform platform
Spreadsheet program from productivity suite

Apache OpenOffice Impress ( Impress) icon

Apache OpenOffice Impress ( Impress)    Multiplatform platform
Free presentation program from

Apache OpenOffice Writer ( Writer) icon

Apache OpenOffice Writer ( Writer)    Multiplatform platform
Word processor and text editor from suite

LibreOffice icon

LibreOffice    Multiplatform platform
An open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux

Microsoft Excel icon

Microsoft Excel    Microsoft Windows platform
A popular spreadsheet application distributed with Microsoft Office suite

Microsoft Excel Viewer icon

Microsoft Excel Viewer    Microsoft Windows platform
Free viewer for Excel spreadsheets

Microsoft Office icon

Microsoft Office    Microsoft Windows platform
One of the most popular and powerful office suites on market

Microsoft PowerPoint icon

Microsoft PowerPoint    Microsoft Windows platform
A presentation program from the Microsoft Office suite

Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer icon

Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer    Microsoft Windows platform
A free viewer for Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

Microsoft Word icon

Microsoft Word    Microsoft Windows platform
One of the most popular word processor program from Microsoft Office suite

Microsoft Word Viewer icon

Microsoft Word Viewer    Microsoft Windows platform
Simple viewer for Word documents


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Related file extensions

docx - Microsoft Word Open XML document

odp - OpenDocument presentation

ods - OpenDocument spreadsheet

odt - ODF text document

ppt - Microsoft PowerPoint 97 to 2003 presentation

pptx - Microsoft PowerPoint Open XML presentation

xls - Microsoft Excel 97 to 2003 workbook

xlsx - Microsoft Excel Open XML workbook and spreadsheet

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