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

When you edit a document in Word Online, some of the content of that document is not displayed, but is retained in the document, for example, the page margins. When you edit a file in the OpenDocument Text (.odt) format by using Word Online, and then open it again in Word 2010, you might notice some formatting differences between the original version and the edited version. Likewise, you might also see formatting differences when you open an OpenDocument file in Word Online. This is because of the different features that the file formats support.

Note    The differences you will experience when you work with two file formats are generally constrained to formatting differences. Data and content will convert, but how you format and interact with the data and content might be different between the formats.

What happens when I edit a document in the OpenDocument Text format?

The table below shows which Word Online features are supported or partially supported in the OpenDocument (.odt) format.

  • Supported    Both Word Online and the OpenDocument Text format support this feature. Content, formatting, and usability will not be lost.

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

For information about graphic features that are fully, partially, or not supported in the OpenDocument Format, see the Graphic Elements table at the end of this article.

Area

Subarea

Level of support

Comments

Collaboration

Mail Merge

Supported

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

Content

Cross References

Supported

Content

Equation Editor

Supported

Content

Equations

Supported

Content

Footnotes-Endnotes

Supported

Custom separators not supported.

Content

Header-Footer

Supported

Content

Index

Supported

Multiple columns indices not supported.

Content

Insert Break

Partially Supported

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.

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.

Editing

AutoCorrect

Supported

Editing

Cut-Copy-Paste

Supported

Editing

Drag and Drop

Supported

Editing

Envelopes and Labels

Supported

Editing

Selection

Supported

Editing

Undo-Redo-Repeat

Supported

File Operations

WSS Integration

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 Online.

Formatting

Drop Caps

Supported

Anchors to some regions of the margin are not supported.

Formatting

Highlighter

Supported

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

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

Positioning

Partially Supported

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

Infrastructure

Bookmarks

Supported

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 affect the behavior of TOCs and captions.

Infrastructure

Hyperlinks

Supported

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

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

Two Lines in One

Supported

Printing

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.

Graphics Features

The table below shows which graphics features are supported or partially supported in the OpenDocument Format (.odt).

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

  • Partially Supported     Both Word Online 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.

Basic Shapes

Level of support

Comments

Shapes

Supported

Text boxes

Supported

Supported except for objects in text boxes that are partially supported for Word 2010. 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.

Objects in charts

Supported

Converted to a group containing the chart and objects. Word 2010 cannot support a group containing a chart so the objects are ungrouped when you open the file in Word 2010.

Ink annotation

Supported

The ink annotation is converted to an Enhanced Metafile (EMF) image.

Group of objects

Partially Supported

Some objects cannot be grouped together in Word 2010, 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 and opening again in Word 2010.

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 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.

Picture styles

Partially Supported

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

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Applies To: Word Online



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