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Is LibreOffice Writer able to read properly Ms Office Word docx Files?

I think it can't and users should be aware of it!

I tried to open many documents .docx created with Ms Office 2007 and appeared modified/transformed when I tried to open them with LibreOffice.

Can I do anything about it?

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closed as too broad by Eric Carvalho, Braiam, waltinator, mikewhatever, Avinash Raj Apr 27 at 16:26

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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... it depends on the version of libreoffice ... support is better in the latest version. –  fossfreedom Mar 31 '12 at 11:42
    
If you don't need to edit the .docx files, why don't you convert them to PDF? - This way almost everything stays formatted as it is. For me this was till now the only solution... –  hakaishi Mar 31 '12 at 12:07
    
Abiword should read and write .docx –  arochester Mar 31 '12 at 12:47
    
Read yes ! write no. In libre office 3 there is still lack of support for SmartArts,Shapes and Charts. –  Curious Apprentice Sep 3 '12 at 12:50
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7 Answers 7

Yes it can... Most of the times with out issues.

LibreOffice supports by default several formats including the ones used by Microsoft Office, including the Office Open XML specification from .docx, .pptx and .xlsx files.

That will not mean that everything will look exactly the same when you open a file in MS Office 2007 and in LibreOffice. To tell the truth not all files created in MS Office 2007 will open the same even in Ms Office 2010, the opposite is also true.

You should be aware that Office XML specifications were created by Microsoft and that nuances can be seen using different versions of the editor that you are using. That will also be true even with Microsoft software.

Just don't expect that everything will be the same all the times. Things like missing fonts and weird formatting in the original document will cause massive issues while trying to open it in LibreOffice. Open XML formats are bad. End of story.

As an option you can however run Ms Office in Ubuntu easily. Nothing is impossible. Just buy a MS Office license, run the installer with Wine and you can do all the things you do in Windows using MS Office 2007 under Ubuntu.

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I had this problem as well (it doesn't help that MS keeps changing their formats) :(

Hot Tip

One solution I found that seemed to work is to ask people I am working on documents with to simply save it in an older doc version. It seems to guarantee that I could see the document in the original format and the people I was collaborating with were able to properly open my documents properly (previously saving LibreOffice in docx was preventing them from doing that).

Hope that helps some folks :)

** Update: It appears as though the latest release of Open Office has better DocX support (only available in the latest version of Ubuntu 12 though)

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Thanks it helped me bro! –  Ravi Jun 9 '12 at 18:58
    
Hey no problem... also I just updated this to note that there is better support (apparently) in Ubuntu 12's LibreOffice latest release. :) –  shaneonabike Jun 13 '12 at 16:50
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Another factor that often is overlooked when compatibility is discussed is that documents created in MS Office in Windows often uses MS fonts that is not available in Linux. An exchanged font makes documents look different and the layout will get lost. This can partly be fixed by using exactly the same fonts in MS Office and LibreOffice.

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It's not only the fonts its the format of the document a friend of mine gave me to print a docx document and its format, objects,frames etc were misplaced completely altering the document in a big way, this was very embarassing. –  digitalcrow Aug 21 '12 at 19:00
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Not really, I cant use with any Documents that my business creates in Office 2007/10 - the formatting is all over the place.

Really should not be touted as a "full office suite compatible with MS office - it really isn't and in no way should it be used for businesses.

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I agree that it has some basic compatibility but as people have said here, the ususal workflow where a Windows/Office user sends you a docx which you edit and send back is fundamentally unfeasible with LibreOffice, and the main reason I still need to boot into Windows. Any file with tables or advanced formatting will tend to break.

I can't yet verify if the new/beta version does handle these better but at the moment I would still consider it risky

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Unfortunately, LibreOffice still has poor formatting compatibility with MS Office, despite a few improvements in the latest version. It's still way short for being able to open a Word document, edit it, save it, then open it in Word without losing formatting in one way or another. Docx compatibility is even worse than doc.

The only office suite for Linux that provides true interoperability with Microsoft Office is SoftMaker Office. Its word processor TextMaker opens and saves doc and docx without any flaws. Amazing. A free 30 day trial version of SoftMaker Office is available on SoftMaker's website for you to prove it.

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Seems there is a new beta update with DOCX improvements.
A List of Changes is available.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-prereleases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
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