Differences between the OpenDocument Text (.odt) format and the Word (.docx) format

OpenDocument (.odt) files are compatible with Word and open source applications like OpenOffice and LibreOffice, but you might see formatting differences and some Word features aren't available in .odt files. Word documents (.docx) are compatible with most applications.

Switch your default file format

  1. Do one of the following:

    • In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image > Word Options.

    • In Word 2010, 2013, or 2016, click File > Options.

  2. Click Save.

  3. Under Save documents, in the Save files in this format list, click the file format you want to use by default.

What is supported when I save a Word document in the OpenDocument Text format?

The table below shows which Word features are fully, partially, or not supported in the OpenDocument (.odt) format.

  • Supported     Both Word and the OpenDocument Text format support this feature. Content, formatting, and usability won’t be lost.

  • Partially Supported     Both Word and the OpenDocument Text format support this feature, but formatting and usability might be affected. No text or data are lost, but formatting and how you work with text or graphics might be different.

  • Not Supported     The Word feature isn’t supported in the OpenDocument Text format. Don't use this feature if you plan to save your Word document in the OpenDocument Text format, because you risk losing content, formatting, and usability in the part of your document that the feature affects.

To see information about graphic features, see the Graphic Elements table at the end of this article.

Note   If you are using Microsoft Word Starter 2010, not all the features listed for Word 2010 are supported in Word Starter. For more information about the features available in Word Starter, see Word Starter feature support.

Area

Subarea

Level of support

Collaboration

Address Book

Supported

Collaboration

Blog

Supported

Collaboration

Comments

Partially Supported

When you save the document in .odt format and open it again in Word 2007, comments about a group of words becomes a single point. The single point is usually indicated at the end of the group of words.

Tables are not supported in comments. The contents of the table are maintained in the comment but the structure is lost.

Collaboration

Compare-Merge Documents

Supported

Collaboration

Document Protection

Not Supported

When you save the Word 2007 file in .odt format, the feature is removed and .odt files with this feature cannot be opened.

Collaboration

Information Rights Management (IRM)

Not Supported

When you save the Word 2007 document in .odt format, the feature is removed and .odt files with this feature cannot be opened.

Collaboration

Mail Merge

Supported

ADDRESSBLOCK and RECIPIENT fields are converted to plain text.

The connection to the data source must be established again if the document is edited by another ODF application.

Collaboration

Reviewing Pane

Supported

Collaboration

Track Changes

Not Supported

When you save the Word 2007 document in .odt format, all changes are accepted.

Content

Bibliography

Not Supported

Bibliography section is converted to plain text.

Content

Captions

Not Supported

SEQ fields are converted to plain text.

When you add new captions, the caption number is not automatically incremented.

Content

Content Controls

Not Supported

Content

Cross References

Supported

Content

Document Building Blocks

Not Supported

Content

Equation Editor

Supported

Content

Equations

Supported

Content

Footnotes-Endnotes

Supported

Custom separators not supported.

Content

Frames

Partially Supported

When you save the Word 2007 document in .odt format:

  • Frames are converted to text boxes.

  • Anchors to some regions in the margin are not supported.

Content that is not supported causes frames to be lost but not the content. The content that is not supported include: tables, AutoShapes, text boxes, frames, and SmartArt graphics.

Content

Framesets

Not Supported

Content

Header-Footer

Supported

Content

Index

Supported

Multiple columns indices currently not supported.

Content

Insert Break

Partially Supported

When you save the Word 2007 document in .odt format, continuous section breaks might lose some properties, such as top/bottom margins, headers/footers, borders, and line numbering.

Content

Office Art

Supported

See Graphic Elements table for details.

Content

Page Numbering

Supported

Content

Pictures

Supported

Pictures from a document created in OpenOffice are not displayed.

Content

Tables

Partially Supported

Tables with more than 64 columns are not supported.

Theme formatting are converted to cell level formatting.

Content

Templates and Wizards

Supported

Content

Text boxes

Partially Supported

Text boxes cannot be nested.

Content

Table of Contents (TOC)

Partially Supported

TOC loses items labeled with a SEQ field.

Content

Table of Authority (TOA)

Not Supported

Content

Table of Figures (TOF)

Not Supported

Content

E2O

Supported

See Graphic Elements table for details.

Editing

AutoComplete

Supported

Editing

AutoCorrect

Supported

Editing

AutoSummary

Not Supported

Editing

AutoText

Supported

AutoText entries are stored in Word templates (.dotx). If you save a Word template with autotext entries in the .odt format, the autotext entries are not saved in the .odt version.

Editing

Change Case

Supported

Editing

Click and Type

Supported

Editing

Cut-Copy-Paste

Supported

Editing

Drag and Drop

Supported

Editing

Envelopes and Labels

Supported

Editing

Selection

Supported

Editing

Sort

Supported

Editing

Undo-Redo-Repeat

Supported

Editing

Word Count

Supported

File Operations

Binary File Format

Supported

Can save to binary .doc and .dot file types.

File Operations

Bulletproofer

Supported

File Operations

Encryption

Not Supported

File Operations

Fixed File Format

Supported

Can save to .pdf and .xps file types.

File Operations

HTML File Format

Supported

Can save to .html file type.

File Operations

Master Documents

Not Supported

File Operations

Open XML File Format

Supported

Can save to .docx and .dotm file types.

File Operations

Organizer

Supported

File Operations

RTF File Format

Supported

Can save to .rtf file type.

File Operations

Text Converters

Supported

File Operations

Text Encoding

Supported

File Operations

Trust Center

Supported

File Operations

Word Converter

Supported

File Operations

WordML File Format

Supported

Can save to WordML file type.

File Operations

WSS Integration

Supported

Formatting

Background

Not Supported

Formatting

Borders and Shading

Supported

Patterns on shading not supported.

Picture border styles are not supported. They are converted to a solid line.

Formatting

Bullets and Numbering

Supported

Spacing between number/bullet and text might be slightly different.

Spacing between list items increased to match line spacing of document.

Default bullets in OpenOffice change appearance when .odt file is opened in Word 2007.

Formatting

Drop Caps

Supported

Anchors to some regions of the margin are not supported.

Formatting

Format Consistency Checker

Supported

Formatting

Format Painter

Supported

Formatting

Highlighter

Supported

The highlighting is converted to character background color when you save the document in .odt format.

Formatting

Horizontal Lines

Supported

Formatting

Paragraph

Supported

Formatting

Reveal Formatting

Supported

Formatting

Styles

Supported

There is an increase in the number of styles after you save the document in .odt format, and all formatting in ODF is style based.

Formatting

Tabs

Supported

Positional tabs are not supported.

Formatting

Text Columns

Supported

Some properties associated with the section might be lost, for example, top/bottom margins, headers/footers, borders, or line numbering.

Formatting

Text Orientation

Partially Supported

The following text orientation formats are supported:

  • rltb: right to left, top to bottom

  • lrtb: left to right, top to bottom

  • tbrl: top to bottom; right to left

  • Text orientation in a table cell is not supported.

Formatting

Themes

Not Supported

Formatting

Watermark

Not Supported

Formatting

Live Preview

Supported

Formatting

Positioning

Partially Supported

The position of some text boxes, frames and shapes might change depending on the type of anchor used.

Infrastructure

Acetate

Supported

When you save in the .odt format, content with content controls are converted to regular text.

Infrastructure

Bookmarks

Supported

Infrastructure

Boot-Quit

Supported

Infrastructure

Cicero - Handwriting - Speech

Supported

Infrastructure

DataBinding

Not Supported

Infrastructure

DDE

Not Supported

Contents of field are converted to plain text.

Link to data source is lost.

Infrastructure

Fields

Partially Supported

Fields that are not supported are converted to plain text.

Fields that are supported continue to be retained as fields.

SEQ fields are not supported and affects the behavior of TOCs and captions.

Infrastructure

ActiveX/Forms

Not Supported

Infrastructure

Freeze Dry

Supported

Infrastructure

Help

Supported

Infrastructure

Hyperlinks

Supported

Documents from OpenOffice do not have the hyperlink style applied but are still functional.

Infrastructure

Ink Comments

Not Supported

Infrastructure

Keyboard Customization

Not Supported

Infrastructure

OCX

Not Supported

Infrastructure

OLE

Partially Supported

Objects embedded in document created in OpenOffice are not displayed. The image type is not supported, and the link is relative.

International

IME

Supported

International

Insert Symbol

Supported

International

Pluggable UI

Supported

International

Two Lines In One

Supported

MODI

OCR

Supported

Navigation

Document Map

Supported

Navigation

Find-Replace

Supported

Navigation

GoTo-GoBack

Supported

Printing

Supported

Printing

Page Setup

Supported

Printing

Print Preview

Supported

Programmability

Addins

Partially Supported

Programmability

C-API

Partially Supported

Programmability

COM Addins

Partially Supported

Programmability

Events

Partially Supported

Programmability

Macros

Not Supported

Programmability

Object Model

Supported

Programmability

Smart Documents

Not Supported

Programmability

Smart Tags

Feature not available

Programmability

VBA Recording

Supported

Programmability

VBE Integration

Supported

Programmability

WordBasic

Supported

Proofing

Custom Dictionaries

Supported

Proofing

Grammar

Supported

Areas of text that that are marked “don’t check spelling or grammar” will lose that property. Spelling and grammar will now be checked for that text.

Proofing

Hyphenation

Supported

Proofing

Intelligent AutoCorrect

Supported

Proofing

Language Autodetect

Supported

Proofing

Language Properties

Supported

Proofing

Spelling

Supported

Areas of text that that are marked “don’t check spelling or grammar” will lose that property. Spelling and grammar will now be checked for that text.

Proofing

Thesaurus

Supported

Proofing

Translation

Supported

Research

Research Pane

Supported

View

Draft

Supported

View

Outline

Supported

View

Print Layout

Supported

View

Reading

Supported

View

Ruler

Supported

View

Scrolling

Supported

View

Status Bar

Supported

View

Thumbnails

Supported

View

Web Layout

Supported

View

Windowing

Supported

View

Zoom

Not Supported

WordMail

Autosignatures

Supported

WordMail

Fax

Supported

WordMail

HTML

Supported

WordMail

Options

Not Supported

WordMail

Plain Text

Supported

WordMail

RFM

supported

WordMail

RTF

Supported

XML

Attach Schema

Not Supported

XML

Attributes

Not Supported

XML

External Source

Not Supported

XML

Include Text

Not Supported

XML

Merge XML

Not Supported

XML

OOUI

Not Supported

XML

Selection Behaviors

Not Supported

XML

Tree View

Not Supported

XML

Validation

Not Supported

XML

XSLT

Not Supported

Graphics Elements

The table below shows which Word graphics features are fully, partially, or not supported in the OpenDocument Format (.odt).

  • Supported     The Word format and the OpenDocument Format support this feature. Graphics using this feature generally appear and behave the same in either format.

  • Partially Supported     The Word format and the OpenDocument Format support this feature, but graphics might appear different between the formats. No data is generally lost between the formats, but formatting and how you work with these graphics might be different.

  • Not Supported     Because of the unique differences of features and implementation between the Word format and the OpenDocument Format, this feature isn’t supported in OpenDocument Format. If you plan to save your document in an OpenDocument Format, don’t use these features.

Basic s hapes

Level of support

Shapes

Supported

Text boxes

Supported

Supported except for objects in text boxes that are partially supported. SmartArt graphics, shapes, or text boxes inside a text box are not supported and are lost when you open the file.

WordArt

Supported

3D shapes options

Supported

Pictures

Supported

Supported except for the insert and link option that are not supported by ODF.

SmartArt diagrams

Supported

Converted to a group of shapes.

ActiveX controls

Not Supported

Objects in charts

Supported

Converted to a group containing the chart and objects. Word cannot support a group containing a chart so the objects are ungrouped when you open the file in Word.

Signature line object

Not Supported

Ink annotation

Supported

The ink annotation is converted to an Enhanced MetaFile (EMF). (In Word 2007, it's converted to a freeform shape.)

Group of objects

Partially Supported

Some objects cannot be grouped together in Word, so the objects are ungrouped when you open the OpenDocument file. This includes anything grouped with a chart, and a picture grouped with a shape, text box, or OLE object.

Object visibility

Partially Supported

Invisible objects become visible after saving the file in .odt and opening again in Word.

Object borders

Supported

Not all border styles are supported. Border styles that are not supported are saved as the default border style (black, solid line).

Object fills

Supported

Supported except for gradient fills with more than two stops lose all stops after the first two.

Line formatting

Supported

Not all line and line end styles are supported in ODF. Styles that are not supported are saved as the default, black solid line and open arrow type, respectively.

Picture cropping

Supported

Regular cropping of a picture is supported. However, cropping a picture with a shape is not supported.

Picture recoloring

Partially Supported

Some picture recoloring has the equivalent in ODF, such as black and white. Other picture recoloring does not have an equivalent and is flattened. The picture appears the same but the recoloring can no longer be changed or removed.

3D picture options

Not Supported

Picture styles

Partially Supported

Borders are partially supported, but might not look the same.

Themes

Not Supported

Hyperlink on shape

Not Supported

Top of Page

Applies To: Word Starter, Word 2010, Office 2010, Office 2007, Word 2007, Word 2013



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