Can I open Microsoft Word and Excel files with Ubuntu?
Yes, LibreOffice, or previously OpenOffice.org, can read and write word documents and excel worksheets.
Both programmes can open Microsoft .doc files automatically .
In libreoffice and open office you will need to remember to save your documents as Microsoft xp .doc.
To do this when you want to save your document click file>save as or instead press ctrl-shift-s to save as and select microsoft word 97/2000/xp on the right hand side (see my picture here)
Alternatively I have set up libre office to do this automatically as all my work has to be microsoft compatible.
If you would like to set this option up. Here is how to:
In libre-writer click tools>options>load/save>general
The select always save as Microssoft 97/2000/XP
Untick the option to warn when not saving as ODF
Now all your documents will be saved in this format automatically
Hope that helps
If you don't wish to use LibreOffice or OpenOffice, you can also install Microsoft Office via Wine or through PlayOnLinux.
Word, Excel and Power Point are known applications that will work and this way you can gain access to your files using these programs. There are known issues that won't allow other programs (such as Access) to work properly both in Wine or PlayOnLinux.
There are several versions of MS Office that are known to work without a hassle using PlayOnLinux and/or Wine.
Information on how to install these applications in PlayOnLinux and or Wine can be gathered on the net, examples are provided as follows:
Office 2007 Installed in Ubuntu Screenshot:
Office 2007 Installer:
I use LibreOffice on my netbook and Microsoft Office 2007 at work and have therefore some experience in transferring files back and forth.
LibreOffice reads and writes doc, xls and ppt files and even the docx, xlsx and pptx formats. Do not expect perfect compatibility however. Simple stuff without complex features transfers OK, but there are limits, especially in fonts.
For instance MS Office replaces the pretty Ubuntu font with an ugly one that it believes to be a close match. More serious problems happen with fonts in PowerPoint. Slides may turn out distorted in LibreOffice with text no longer fitting in the title bar or in the slide. Can be corrected, but not if you are in a hurry to start your presentation...
LibreOffice is installed by default and will do it. Alternatively you can install Microsoft Office via wine, that is supported pretty well.
ALthough it has some compatibility with basic documents, more complex MS Office documents don't render correctly, and if changed, will not render correctly on MS Office either. This is especially true with OOXML. ALthough LibreOffice do plan to add more compatibility in the future, many in the project are reluctant to do so, because of (possible) patent issues and of the headache it will bring to support another prorietary format.
Your best bet is Office 2007 via wine. DO NOT install as root; there is simply no need. just go into winecfg and set 'riched20' to native then builtin (MSOffice comes with it's own modified version of this system file), install the corefonts package, then install Office as you would on Windows.
The important point here is that you need to separate the office suite, such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice, from the operating system. A litthe bit like separating Microsoft Office from Microsoft Windows.
Ubuntu, as an operating system (OS), will not open any document file by itself. What will open documents will be the office suite or software that you will use. Ubuntu comes with OpenOffice or LibreOffice, which should open "Most" of MS Office documents, although not perfectly. If you use other software, you r mileage will vary, of course.
If you are considering using Ubuntu or Linux in general, and opening Office document is an important point for you, you should look at the different office suites available, rather than the actual distributions themselves. You may also see that some distributions will offer you more choice for office suites than others.
DistroWatch is perhaps a good starting point for selecting a distribution.
I realize this will not answer your question as such, but should help you better orient your search/quest for solution to your question.
Yes you can, but yu sometimes can have issues with the closed document format that uses by default.
If you us the Open Document Format that both Open/Libre Office and MIcrosoft Office besides other office suits, you will have no problems in compatbility at all
Recently I discovered a major shortcoming in LibreOffice's implementation of .docx when I was working on a file that recorded changes. After I had saved my changes in LibreOffice I closed it before later coming back to it. The file was garbled and I thought that all of my hours of work had been lost. Eventually in desperation I tried the file on a Windows computer and opened it in MS Word. The file was perfectly fine. So it seems LibreOffice, which had never failed me before, can't even open all of the files it saves.
But my point is that LibreOffice is usually compatible with MS Office file types, but not completely.