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OpenOffice 3 reads MS Office 2007 Files

The release of OpenOffice.org 3 must be getting very close now; Release Candidate 2 (RC2) is available for download, and it looks very, very good indeed.
Written by J.A. Watson, Contributor on

The release of OpenOffice.org 3 must be getting very close now; Release Candidate 2 (RC2) is available for download, and it looks very, very good indeed. The best news about this release, at least for me personally, is that it can read Microsoft Office 2007 Open XML files (.docx, .xlsx and the like). That is extremely good news - if you need to read Office 2007 documents, this saves you the trouble of either having to run a separate file format converter every time, or having to download and install the Microsoft file converter update for a few previous versions of Office. In fact, if you were desperate enough, or determined enough, you could use OpenOffice 3 as a document format converter, opening the Office 2007 documents and then saving them in one of the many other formats OpenOffice can produce (tip: save them in ODF format, and save yourself a lot of future headaches!).

I have tried some of the earlier OpenOffice 3 beta releases, and although they looked quite good from the very beginning, there were always enough glitches and stumbles in them that I would end up going back to good old reliable OpenOffice 2.4. Not so with RC2. As far as I can tell it is very stable and very complete. I now have it installed on several of my systems (in fact, it was included with Mandriva 2009 RC2), and I don't expect to be going back. Now I'm just anxious for the final release to be available!

jw 30/9/2008

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