Open Office and MS Word

Yeah, they’re compatible… Sorta.

It seems that OO’s word processor has some nasty shortcomings in outputting to MS Word format.

Under XP and the latest “stable” version of OOo (3.1.0), I am trying to save a manual into MS Word format for a client. I also tried versions 3.0 and 2.4.whatever.

Saving from 3.1 to Word 97/xp format yields disastrously bad results in Word 2003 and Word 97. Graphics missing or scrunched, headers missing, gratuitous section breaks everywhere.

Saving from 3.0 to Word 97/xp format yields somewhat less bad results in Word 2003. Graphics mostly there, a few scrunched, headers missing, gratuitous section breaks everywhere.

There’s an outstanding bug ( for OOo’s Writer for the headers problem. The first headers are there, they just get lost after the first TOC or Table of Figures, etc. I think that’s a result of the many section breaks added to the file. That bug is currently slated for the 3.2 release. We’ll see if it gets handled.

It worked better in older versions. Somehow a bunch of things regressed in the push for 3.0 release. I guess there’s a reason some software companies have huge hordes of testers and programmers. (otherwise MS Wierd would be reeeally wierd!)

Oh,yes: Both versions 3.0 and 3.1 crash when saving the file to Word 03 XML format or Writer’s old formats.

HTML output wasn’t too bad, but I can’t face getting that HTML into MS Word. So, I’m taking the least bad output (3.0’s Word 97/xp output) and fixing it in Word 03. Sigh.

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