Software

Convert open source spreadsheet into something Office 2007 can use


I posted a couple of blog posts earlier today (Open Source and Microsoft Office) relating my story regarding the lack of support for the Open Office .osd file format in Microsoft Office 2007. I was surprised that the .osd XML-based format was not readable by Excel -- after all, the native .xslx file format is XML too. Shouldn't they work together?

I think they should, but they don't -- so I had to come up with a Plan B. This is where the Web site Media-Convert stepped in to save the day. Enter a file in one box, specify what you want it to output, and click the Convert button. After a few minutes of grinding, you are presented a link to your converted file, which you then download to your PC. It was relatively painless and quicker then I had imagined. Best of all, it worked. I converted two Open Office spreadsheets in .osd format to Excel 2003 .xsl format.

Why that conversion is not part of Office 2007 has not been explained to me yet. Perhaps the discussions stemming off the blog posts can explain it. In the meantime, if you come across a situation requiring the conversion of just about any file type into just about any other file type, the Media-Convert Web site is one place try. If only everything worked as well as advertised.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

9 comments
Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

so they don't make them compatible with anything they see as a strong competitor. Heck, MS Office isn't fully compatible with all it's older versions, so why expect compatibility with non MS apps. Luckily Open Office allows 'save as' in all the basic MS formats, and they work.

songkit
songkit

Thanks,it is very useful for me.

amorse
amorse

I think you've basically uploaded your files to their servers, and they now potentially have copies of your files. I looked at the website and it has a ton of misspellings, and looks kind of shady. This would be an easy way for someone to get a hold of sensitive information.

JDThompson
JDThompson

That's a good question, and only Microsoft can answer it definitively. The ODF file specification is open-source, so there's no obstacle to Microsoft implementing, and ODF is already an ISO recognized standard (ISO/IEC 26300; http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2006/Ref1004.html), but Microsoft for their own reasons is pushing their proprietary "Office OpenXML" format and hoping to get ISO certification for it. Why we need two ISO standards for the same thing is puzzling, to say the least.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Works every time. I use ODF whenever possible, but certain documents have to be saved in MS Office formats. OpenOffice is handy for another thing. I've noticed that it will open Office files that MS Office says are too corrupt to open. Great for data recovery...

e_caroline
e_caroline

Open Office 2.1 has the ability to save in Microsoft Office formats, among others. Both documents and spreadsheets can be saved in non-Open-Office formats. Also, you can send the print job to a pdf file which also preserves any hyperlinks that may have been included in the source document.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Yes, I agree. While this may be a good place to translate files from one format to another on the fly -- it is not a good solution for any information that you are unwilling to let just anyone see. Someone mentioned an open source conversion tool that is an add in for Office 2007 -- that is the way to go. Thanks for the warning. I was distracted by the inability to open the file in question that I failed to mention the appropriate warning.

lastchip
lastchip

Not really. Microsoft want to "own" the worlds desktops; simple as that. If they can lock you in to their (so called) open standard, they will.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Microsoft very often gives the impression [ :^0 ] of being the Borg of personal computing.

Editor's Picks