Using the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office with Office 2007 SP2

ODF is now nativity supported if MS Office 2007 with Service Pack 2.

Nevertheless, people asked if it would still be possible to use the Sun ODF Plugin also in Office 2007 SP2, because the ODF quality might be better.

I just gave the final version of SP2 a try, but only to verify that the Sun ODF Plugin still can be used. My intention was not to figure out how good the native ODF filters in SP2 are.

OK, I must admit that I couldn't resist to quickly figure out what would happen with tables in presentation, because I know that SP2 only implements ODF 1.0.

Tables in presentations got specified in ODF 1.2, same holds true for formulas in spreadsheets. As expected, you might want to continue using the Sun ODF Plugin if you need these features.

If you want to use the Sun ODF Plugin for ODF documents, instead of he new built-in filters:

  • Don't open documents via the Windows explorer. You must use the file picker in MS Office
  • In Word, make sure to use the filter "ODF Text Document (\*.odt;\*.ott)"
  • In Excel and PowerPoint, use the "Export ODF" menu or tool bar items

In Excel and PowerPoint, using the new built-in filters is more convenient, because you can simply use open/save, instead of the extra UI. But the fact that the filter in Excel doesn't support formulas let me think that this filter is quite unusable for most users... (Don't get fooled when testing it: Formulas written with Excel will work when loading the same ODF file in Excel, because the information about the formulas is preserved with the help of some MS Office specific XML tags, which no other ODF application will recognize)

Alternatively, now that you are interest in ODF, you might want to give a try, in case you not already did so...


SP2 implements ODF 1.1, FWIW. you can find details about how it is implemented here:

Posted by Gray Knowlton on April 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM CEST #

Now I am confused, as Gray commented above Microsoft say they have implemented 1.1. Also I thought ODF 1.2 had not been agreed as final. Is it not best to encourage people to use the agreed final standard odf? I also cannot see on the link to the Sun ODF Plugin where it says what version ODF it supports.

Posted by Philip Oakley on April 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM CEST #

You both might be right wrt the ODF version: Some time ago I heard they only want to implement 1.0, because that is the ISO standard. But I just found a 1.1 element in a document.

In the end it doesn't make a big difference wrt what I wrote:

Tables in presentations are IMHO already defined in 1.1, but PowerPoint doesn't export them. They become drawing objects when loading the document again, and you can change the cell content anymore (table is a bitmap now).

Formulas are specified in 1.2, which is not finalized yet (status: Committee Draft available).

Posted by Malte on April 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM CEST #

Hi Malte, I don't known what kind of standard is implementing Microsoft but really ODF not.
I think is MS-ODF.
Please check this:

Office 2007 SP2 produce documents incompatible with ODF 1.1

Posted by sechole on May 07, 2009 at 07:27 PM CEST #

Microsoft Office 2007 does not support encryption (password protection) in ODF documents.

Posted by sechole on May 10, 2009 at 04:16 PM CEST #

I also support Malte's position that using Sun's plugin is the best option for the moment.

SP2's "support" for formulas in ODF produces DATA LOSS, is badly broken (intentionaly) and malicious.

It is clear for me that what Microsoft wanted is to discredit ODF in the eyes of non-technical users.
This lack of interoperability will produce much discontent, confusion and FUD.


Posted by Răzvan on May 13, 2009 at 01:18 PM CEST # It is clear for me that what Microsoft wanted is to discredit ODF in the eyes of non-technical users.
This lack of interoperability will produce much discontent, confusion and FUD.

Posted by oyun on January 16, 2010 at 04:07 PM CET #

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