For a school project I need to collaborate with a lot of different people, and they all use MS Office. Of course they all have problems with opening .odt files. (even though MS says that Office should open them just fine..). They all get messages that the file is corrupt. Normally they can recover the content, but with messed up formatting.

So I was wondering.. what file format is the most compatible with Microsoft Word? Also another thing I wondered for a while.. I saw that there are two options for .docx when I save a new document, Office Open XML and Office 2007/2010 or something. Which of the 2 should I use?

Hopefully someone is able to help out! :)

7 Answers 7


I have found saving my libre office docs in the older ms word 97 format works best, it gives the .doc extension instead of the 2007 .docx extension. same thing with powerpoint ppt instead of the pptx

in libre office I set the options to save in that format by default.

I have ms office 2007 at work and don't seem to have a problem going back and forth with the 72/2003 formats

  • Thank you. I tried it a little bit and my documents at least can be opened without a hitch. Of course using older file types will introduce problems of its own in the long run, but for now it works good enough.. :)
    – Gladen
    Apr 28, 2013 at 9:47

From being semi-active in the LibreOffice support areas, I have seen numerous references to .docx, .pptx and .xlsx (the MS Office 2007+ versions) having a few problems currently, and that for best collaboration with MS users, the original formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) should be used, as the exporting techniques used provide greater compatibility than .docx, .etc and .odt, .etc for MS Office.

ODT support in MS Office will never be perfect, partly because Microsoft want people to use their formats, therefore tying them into their platform to get the best compatibility, and even if people don't like it, Microsoft are a business trying to make money, unlike The Document Foundation (who make LibreOffice) who are a non-profit, trying to promote open standards and supply a great Office Suite.

Disclaimer: I am a volunteer at LibreOffice, but the above text is not influenced by my time there.


For various reasons, Microsoft does not play well with others. Your best option is to save your content in a Microsoft Office format. Try saving a test document in doc, docx, other MS options available, and have someone in your group see which one works best for them.


your best option for working with libre office and MS office is to save your documents as a rich text format, i use both Ubuntu and Windows (Libreoffice and MS office) files i have created on MS office are saved as a RTF (rich text format) i can then edit them on Ubuntu and then open and edit them on Windows

  • 1
    Then, we have to consider formatting.
    – jjkim
    May 14, 2013 at 19:34

There'll never play along, my suggestion is, if you have to use MS Office for work, USE IT, don't waste your time and energy, I tried once and never worked out. Play on Linux can run Office 2007 with some limitations.

If the documents are simple text documents (Single page), in LibreOffice use .doc format, and avoid anything else but arial 10. Don't use tables or images too complex.

You could try also using Google Docs or Office Web Apps for collaborative work.


If you've ever install fonts from Windows to Ubuntu, try using Office Open Document, then try open in your MS Office. Note some fonts aren't recognized in Windows, so try install Windows Fonts.


i had the same problem as you with MS OFFICE, the first thing i did was to save my files using the options that libreoffice give us but i found that when i wanted to open it in ms office my file did not work properly so, I recomend you to try out these 2 things: 1-go to Ubuntu Software Centre and install PLAYONLINUX and then install MS OFFICE in your ubuntu but first you must have the MS OFFICE SOFTWARE with extention .EXE.

2- Go to:http://www.libreoffice.org/download en download the libreoffice for WINDOWS and with extension .EXE and enjoy what libreoffice can do for you.

I tried out every trick possible in the world to get compatibility between libreoffice and ms office and it was a waste of time so, I recommend you the 2 option I just gave you because all my problems were solved by this way.

hope it works for you too.

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