When asked about text processing, 9 out of 10 users will immediately think about Microsoft Word, since it is by far the most popular text processor in the world. However, there is always an alternative to commercial software, and Word is no exception. Open Office has been around for years and it has not just been the favorite toy of MS-haters, but also an affordable and efficient solution for companies looking to minimize IT costs and yet provide corporate users with capable and fully-functional productivity suites that can solve typical office tasks with comparable efficiency.
ODT files are essentially Open Office equivalents of Microsoft Office DOC/DOCX files. The format is used in standalone desktop applications and web-based services and is now supported by a great number of commercial applications. Given that DOC and ODT formats have a lot in common — mostly in terms of internal organization and structure — they can be relatively easily converted. If you have received an ODT file from a colleague or partner, you can either download Open Office or another freeware office suite, or find a converter that will help you save your ODT file in the Microsoft Word format. The second scenario will require something like NW Docs Converter, a free, multilingual and reliable ODT to DOC converter. Apart from this, versions of Microsoft Office 2007 RC2 and above support ODT by default, so you can open it just like you open familiar documents. If some or none of these variants work for some reason, you can always upload the ODT file you need to Google Docs (native Open Office support) and open it online. Fortunately, this format is getting more and more popular these days, so imagining a situation where you can’t open an Open Office file is really hard.
If you get an ODT file by email, don’t panic — it’s the same good old Word file, but name differently. Use one of the methods suggested above and you will see your text back very shortly.
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