Converting from Word to Writer

This page is out of date. It refers to a very old version of OOo.

I’m happy to report that OpenOffice.org 1.1.0 does a very good job of converting Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP files to OOo files — much better than the previous releases I tested. Most of the problems I had noticed with conversions done by OOo1.0.2 did not appear when I converted the same Word files using OOo1.1.0.

Some conversion problems remain. Most of these are probably due to OOoWriter not having any counterpart to some features of Word.

  • Styleref fields in page headers were converted to text. This is to be expected, as OOo has no field equivalent to Word’s styleref field. Most other fields that I tested, such as self-defined number sequences, appear to have been converted correctly.
  • In a book with several chapters, I had used a section break before each new chapter (so I could have a “different first page” header and footer) and styleref fields to change the chapter number and name shown in the header to match the current chapter. In most cases, OOo 1.1.0 changed the header text from one chapter to the next correctly, but sometimes the header text (including the page number) on odd-numbered pages disappeared completely, and in other cases the text did not change from one chapter to the next. I have not done enough testing to determine if there is a pattern to these errors.
  • Spacing between the contents of a table cell and the borders of the cell do not convert correctly, because Word and OOo use different methods of deciding the spacing. Sometimes the spacing above the contents appears in the converted file, and sometime it doesn’t. Spacing below the contents has never appeared in the converted file.
  • Portrait headers on landscape pages (created using text frames anchored to the page header) did not appear in the converted file. The text in portrait footers on landscape pages sometimes did appear, but not always; any border on the text frame did not appear.
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