Office Compatibility Pack Review - OpenOffice.org Ninja

Office Compatibility Pack Review

Posted by Andrew Z at Wednesday, February 6, 2008 | Permalink

Stuck with .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx files? These are also called OpenXML or Microsoft Office 2007 format. Here's a way to convert them in to .doc, .xls, and .ppt (respectively) in Windows.

Don't let the name "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 file format" fool you. You do not need Microsoft Office, so it works great with OpenOffice.org, Google Docs, Abiword, WordPerfect, and Microsoft Office 2003.

Installation

Just download and install Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 file format. The site does not require the annoying Windows Genuine Advantage validation required for some other Microsoft downloads.

GUI conversion

Simply open the .docx, .xlsx, or .pptx document as you would any other. For example, if the document is on your desktop, just double click on it. Then, you'll see this simple dialog:

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack dialog box

Command line conversion

While most people will use the GUI, others may want automated or batch conversions. If so, use the Windows command line with this format:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\wordconv.exe" -oice -nme <input file> <output file>

Quality of conversion

Microsoft being the OpenXML experts, the conversion was excellent and rendered well in OpenOffice.org 2.3.1. The following converted properly: the text, bold, italics, underline, typefaces changes, font sizes, character colors, paragraph indentation, paragraph alignment, highlighting, hyperlinks, bookmarks, footnotes, track changes, comments, lists, tables, picture, columns, and manual page break.

The same two problems were visible in OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 and Word 2003: the header was not aligned properly, and the embedded Excel object displays correctly but cannot be edited. OpenOffice.org complains, "Error activating object: General OLE error." Word 2003 complains, "The server application, source, or item cannot be found." I assume they are both looking for an Excel 2007 installation.

Here is the original reference document shown in Word 2007:

OpenXML reference document in Microsoft Office Word 2007

Here is the converted .doc document viewed in OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 with the Calibri font installed:

In OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 the results of the OpenXML conversion

Compatibility with Linux through Wine

Sorry, this method doesn't yet work on Linux with Wine 0.9.52. The GUI appears to work but produces nothing. The command line method crashes Wine.

cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Microsoft\ Office/Office12/ wine wordconv.exe -oice -nme OpenXML_text_reference_document.docx test.doc fixme:heap:HeapSetInformation 0x110000 1 (nil) 0 fixme:heap:HeapSetInformation 0x110000 1 (nil) 0 fixme:heap:HeapSetInformation 0x110000 1 (nil) 0 fixme:heap:HeapSetInformation 0x110000 1 (nil) 0 fixme:win:WIN_CreateWindowEx Parent is HWND_MESSAGE err:x11drv:X11DRV_CreateWindow invalid window width -1611949332 err:x11drv:X11DRV_CreateWindow invalid window height -264947 fixme:ole:PropVariantCopy Invalid element type: 12l fixme:advapi:CheckTokenMembership ((nil) 0x147618 0x34f9d0) stub! fixme:advapi:CheckTokenMembership ((nil) 0x147618 0x34f9d0) stub!

Related articles

There are many ways to open OpenXML documents. I'll post more details soon. Subscribe so you don't miss them. :)

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

How would you like to see embedded objects handled in this case?

Andrew Z said...

Anonymous:

I was writing from a descriptive rather than prescriptive point of view. However, the end user does not care what type of object it is: he just cares about using it easily, so I suggest the embedded Excel object should become an object that Calc can seamlessly edit. Am I missing something?


Andrew

Anonymous said...

Useless with Vista - don't waste your time.

Anonymous said...

I tried to get the command line version you show running in DOS, I get nothing. No feedback, no error messages, and no output file. I'm personally interested in getting the powerpoint converter to work in an automated fashion like this, but I couldn't get either word or powerpoint to work.
Did you have to do any special setup, or have anything else in particular installed to get this working?

Anonymous said...

After I installed the Compatibility pack, I found that if I clicked on a .doc or .xls file that it tried to convert it back to .docx, .xlsx format.

I went into my File Types and set those types to open with OpenOffice.org 2.4, and now everything is cool again!

Todd Sharp said...

This works for me from the command line when converting ppt to pptx, but not for pptx to ppt (it fails silently). Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I also could not get the wordconv working in DOS. Could someone get it working?

Navster said...

In order to get the command line command working make sure you have the microsoft updates installed.

Go to www.update.microsoft.com. It will automatically pick up the updates required.

Anonymous said...

In order to get the command line to work please go to www.update.microsoft.com and download the express updates

Darren said...

I can't get it to run with Vista, either. I double-click on the docx file and I get the "Filter Selection" dialog box, which is what I got before installing the compatibility software.

Anonymous said...

I went into my File Types and set those types to open with OpenOffice.org 2.4, and now everything is cool again!
kral oyunoyunlaroyunlarkraloyunlaroyun

me said...

Good article.....

it really helps for me to solve my problem,

thanks,
Vijay
http://gOOgeo.blogspot.com

anytimesolution said...

I am having set of xlsx and pptx files, need to convert those to xls and ppt. but the command line is not doing any help.

for the the xlsx i tried

c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12>excelcnv -oice c:\xl.xlsx c:\xl.xls

it gives out a xl.xls but its just the copy of my input xlsx file when i open that file in the office 2000 it gives error. i just renamed the xl.xls to xl.zip, now i can see the xmls inside. so it just created the copy of my input file and renamed it to xl.xls.

Any help on this highly appreciated.

Thanks

Oyun said...

harika olmuş kutlarim. thanxxx..

ROI said...

Hi,

Well, no matter what we try (and we've been at it for ages) we cannot get the command line version of Microsoft's PPCNVCOM.EXE to work in XP or 2003 Server. Zilch, leaves you for dead, even with all the latest updates, security packs etc.

Does anyone have any idea how to get this thing working (Microsoft?) and does anyone know what the various switches mean?

Please save me from tearing out what's left of my hair! Thanks,
Steve.

Anonymous said...

kral oyun error messages, and no output file. I'm personally interested in getting the powerpoint converter to work in an automated fashion like this, but I couldn't get either word or powerpoint to work

dizi izle said...

In order to get the command line command working make sure you have the microsoft updates installed.

Alan said...

I have used the command you provided for wordconv.exe to convert from Word 97 to Word 2007 docx format.

Since then I have been searching for a description of the command line parameters with no success.

I would be grateful if you could point me to a comprehensive guide to these parameters.

Many thanks, Alan.

Anonymous said...

It is said to be compatible with Microsoft office 2007 but it does not work. It is right that we dont need Microsoft office 2007 documents but the majority of people using it and also my Professors ... I want to use Open office however this issue puts it into second place again . I installed Openoffice 3 just for this one . Looking forward for improvements in this issue ...

Miche said...

Thanks this worked well for me. I do need to "save as" instead of double clicking to open the document (as the instructions indicate).
My computer came with a trial version of Office2007, so I could always read the docs but not convert them or even cut and paste content.
Once I had .xlsx spreadsheet on my desktop I easily saved it as a 2003 version, then opened with OOcalc. All formatting perfect, including set splits and formulas.
Awesome!
And of course I can save in MS format to send to those still chained.

dizi izle said...

thanks

Mike said...

Comments don't work.

When you put comments in Word documents (one of my favorite features), they show up inline in the text in OO. Given that most of my major documents are shuttled between team members for review, it is the one reason I can't switch.

Artur B said...

Attention!!!
The "GUI conversion" paragraph steps are not “precise”..!
Instead use these steps to easily convert, in example .docx to .doc: right mouse click on file >>> select “Save As” from menu >>> the “Save As” GUI dialog appears, same as on that screenshot >>> select “Save” >>> file is converted and .doc copy is saved in specified or the same directory. Easy!

Anonymous said...

That did it for me. Thanks a bunch for the info. :) *using XP

Anonymous said...

Makes no sense. The link gives me a MS Office XP or 2003 add-on to convert files. i.e. It's not stand alone and has nothing to do with OO.

oyun said...

In order to get the command line to work please go to www.update.microsoft.com and download the express updates

Manju said...

Hello,

I have a requirement where in I need to convert the docx files to doc files. So tried to use this exe - "Wordconv.exe" which accordingly -

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\wordconv.exe" -oice -nme

I dont see any error message,no output,nothing. I wonder what is the problem. I also tried by downloading the latest windows updates from Windows.

Also,I tried this on a Windows server 2003 machine which also has the compatibility pack and Office 2007 installed the result is same.

Am I missing anything? any other switch or parameters.

Thanks in Advance,
Manjunath.

hikaye said...

I was writing from a descriptive rather than prescriptive point of view. However, the end user does not care what type of object it is: he just cares about using it easily, so I suggest the embedded Excel object should become an object that Calc can seamlessly edit. Am I missing something?

A.P.Scan said...

My boss assigned me to convert around 3 Gigabytes worth of xlsx files to xls in 2 days. I have no choice but to find a batch converter. Fortunately I found this:xlsx-xlsm-to-xls-converter.exe which batch converts excel2007 files quickly. I found it at the qweas site.

Anonymous said...

I tried Wordconv.exe (v.12.0.6500.5000 - I think it is the latest) to convert DOCX->DOC and it does not work.

Command line like following:

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Wordconv.exe" -oice -nme test.doc test.docx

does conversion DOC->DOCX, but I need reverse one. In the article it was stated about DOCX->DOC. Microsoft changed this utility in it's KB and SP patches or it was like this from the very beginning? Is other command line parameters to do DOCX->DOC conversion?

SkipLife said...

I need the reverse conversion. (DocX to Doc). Has anyone been able to successfully do it?

dm said...

thank you

serkgürnier said...

works on vista......thenks

Selçuk said...

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